Mary Lambert is good at two things; crying and singing. Nowhere is this better reflected than on her debut EP Letters Don't Talk. The collection of songs, released in 2012, established Mary as a formidable Seattle artist and caught the attention of local hip-hop duo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, with whom she wrote and sang the same-sex rights anthem "Same Love".
The revolutionary single has allowed Mary's voice to reach millions. She has toured nationally and performed live on The MTV Video Music Awards, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, VH1, and The Colbert Report. "Same Love" has sold over two million copies in the US alone, peaking at number 11 on The Billboard Hot 100. Her recent single, "She Keeps Me Warm", from her new EP, Welcome To The Age Of My Body, received over one million views in its first week and debuted at #2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
In many ways, Lambert isn't your typical major-label pop artist. Inspired by confessional folk singers as well as spoken-word performers, she is a brutally candid writer who deals directly in her art with such past traumas as being raised in a strict Pentecostal household, abusing drugs and alcohol before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, surviving a gang rape at 17, and being molested repeatedly by her father as a child. "It's important for me to be completely and totally open," Lambert says.
To that end, Welcome To The Age Of My Body features the dark, desperate "Sarasvati," which Lambert says she hopes "sparks people's ability to be vulnerable and say, ‘Yeah, there have been times when I've thought about killing myself, too. Maybe I can talk about it.'
In 2008, she represented Seattle in the Brave New Voices International Poetry Competition, which was filmed for HBO. She also won Seattle's Grand Slam Poetry Competition in 2011 and has independently released a book of poetry, entitled, 500 Tips for Fat Girls. The book is a frank depiction of rape, incest, bi-polarity, body image, and homosexuality that has, along with her music, established Lambert as a fearless and outspoken gay voice in contemporary culture.
"The fact that my work has affected people on a personal level is what I've always wanted as an artist," she says. "After a show over the summer, a girl came up to me who was a pastor at her church, which was not accepting of same-sex relationships. She said that ‘Same Love' allowed her to come out regardless of the consequences. The fact that music was able to do that? That I could have been a part of that, and that she felt safe enough to tell me? I know how strong you have to be to do that. If I can give that fight to somebody, then I want to keep doing it."
Saturday, September 27, 2014
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This event is sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts