*Twenty-year-old breakout Christian artist Cade Thompson drew inspiration for his new single “New Normal” from his experiencing fear when a potential active shooter was at his high school in 2018 in his senior.
Undoubtedly, panic rippled through the hearts of all the students, especially Cade, who could not reach his parents to alert them of the threat. Thankfully, the situation proved to be a false alarm, and he was able to go home safely, yet, the event triggered Cade’s deep-seated anxiety. Cade later told his mom: “I don’t think you understand. To me, the only fear I have in life is a shooting at school.” The young singer confessed to his mother that his never-ending trepidation stemmed from an incident when he was 5-year-old; his sister was in 6th grade in Joplin, Missouri. As they arrived at her middle school, the police were there flashing their lights and maintaining a chaotic environment due to an active shooter. Although Cade was safe inside the family vehicle, the event left an indelible mark of fear on his mind that would revisit him all those years later during that false alarm at his high school.
CNN reports, “starting on March 16, when eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas, the US has had at least 45 mass shootings, and an analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), local media, and police reports. The US has seen at least 147 mass shootings in 2021, according to data from the GVA, a non-profit based in Washington.” Sadly, the mass shooting epidemic is genuinely becoming a new normal in the US, as listed by the New York Times in their article “A List of Recent Mass Shootings in the United States.”
Cade’s used his memories and emotions as the motivation behind his single “New Normal,” which drops today from his upcoming record due in the fall. He reveals, “I wrote this as a prayer, as a song to bring hope in the middle of the heartache, in the middle of the trials, in the middle of the hurting.” As a young adult, Cade’s music career led him to an independent Christian label Red Street Records, founded by Jay DeMarcus, bassist, pianist, harmony vocalist, songwriter, and producer of superstar country music band Rascal Flatts.
EURweb.com spoke to Cade on why we need a “new normal” today, what impact Cade wants the song to have on his generation, and how those who have experienced school shootings can draw upon courage to face a new day.
EURweb: Why do you think we need a new normal today?
Cade: In my life, I experienced a lot of things. I saw a lot of things that my peers faced as they walked through the school. The fear of the unknown, I believe we need a new normal to change the way we live and take the focus off of ourselves and focus on the people around us, that together we can have a new normal as we hope for a new normal.
EURweb: How did your faith get you through your intense feeling of fear, especially when attending school?
Cade: As a believer, when I’m walking with Jesus, I am able to help turn that fear into faith. It’s interesting in the Bible, Jesus says, “When you go through troubles,” in John 16:33, He doesn’t say, “If you go through troubles.” That’s hard to hear sometimes, but at the same time, it is also very comforting because we know we have a God that walks with us inside of those moments.
EURweb: For students and adult that have experienced and survived school and mass shootings, what words of wisdom can you impart to them to find comfort from the trauma?
Cade: First of all, I can never imagine what it is like, and my heart goes out to people who have had to walk through a tragedy such as this, but I know we have a God that wants to walk beside us in the middle of that, in the middle of those darkest moments that seem like you’re never going to see the light of day again. I would encourage you to be real with God and express your heart to Him in those moments.
EURweb: 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” What do you draw upon to provide you with the courage to face each day?
Cade: I would say the first thing that I like to start my day with is the word of God. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but I know the moments that I do start my day with that I am a completely different person, I’m walking with peace, and I’m grounded. The second thing that I would say to that question is to slow down and create rhythms in your day where you can pause, take a deep breath, and be in the moment.
EURweb: How did you come to know Jesus Christ, and how do you maintain that relationship?
Cade: I was raised in the church. My mom was in ministry as a children’s pastor and youth pastor [while I] grew up. So I always knew about Jesus, but my life didn’t change until I accepted Him in my heart and [followed Him]. That faith went from my head and hit me in the heart. After that, God just put the gift of music on my heart. I had no idea what I was doing, but it lead me to write songs that I found were impacting people’s lives, and that’s how it all started for me.
EURweb: How do you continue to grow in your faith, and how does that impact your music?
Cade: One of the best ways that I do that is to surround myself with people who will inspire me to chase after Jesus daily. For example, this morning, I just had a Bible study with some of my closest friends in Nashville, Tennessee. And it’s those moments that I crave because just having the fellowship and connection with fellow believers inspires me to make the music I make as well.
EURweb: I listened to your other singles, like “Provider” and “Every Step of the Way” both will be on rotation. Your songs are very riveting. Can you describe your writing process?
Cade: Totally, my process usually starts with a lot of stories in my life. I self-reflect on certain scenarios or stories that have happened in my life, and I try to see God in those stories and in those moments and pull out those truths that I need to proclaim over my life. That’s how the song “Provider” and “Every Step of the Way” started. I was looking back on my life and reflecting, and I saw God and His goodness every step of the way, and that’s what starts it off for me.
EURweb: The exciting news is your album will be released later in 2021. What are some of the goals you want to achieve with your music?
Cade: I’m excited about this record and releasing my debut project. The power of Christian music has impacted me. I grew up listening to Christian radio, which inspired me to write because I’ve seen something so special and different about Christian music. That’s why I want to be a voice for this next generation, hopefully, to bridge the gap for those peers of mine to listen to Christian music and see that we can find hope, and hope can be found in Jesus.
EURweb: Due to Covid-19, your touring opportunities are limited. How are you planning to connect with the public with your new album?
Cade: I’m very thankful. This year I’ve been able to be on the road safely. I’ve done some drive-in concerts, which was fun. I’ve done many church venues, which has been great; people are socially distant and spread out. Also, many festivals are going to be back up this summer which I’m looking forward to being outside and making music in the hot summer heat.
EURweb: You are so young. What tools do you use to manage this level of responsibility that comes with having a recording career?
Cade: For me, it’s always coming back to the basics of how I got started; it was me in an empty room in middle school, at my church just worshipping. I always try to remain with that heartbeat because it can be taken away in such an instant. These gifts that God has placed inside of me were not created for me. The more I live, the more I see that they were created to bring back glory to God, the giver of all good things and all good gifts; that’s my mentality in going to everything I do.
The original interview was May 20, 2021; the article has been edited for brevity and clarity.
His song “New Normal” drops today.
Connect with Cade on social media using his handle @cadethompsonmusic