Singer-songwriter Lara Landon, one of 2009's most promising new artists, is kicking off the new year with one simple goal: to make a difference. Last week, Landon joined Michael W. Smith and dozens of artists at Belmont University's Ocean Way Studios in Nashville to record "Come Together Now," which will be made available for sale soon with all proceeds going to benefit relief efforts in Haiti.
But her relationship with Haiti is much deeper than one single evening in a Nashville recording studio. Landon is the co-founder of New Reality International (NRI), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those who are victims of extreme poverty, disease and injustice access free healthcare and vocational training. The song "Better" from Landon's debut album, Beloved (Bema Media/Provident-Integrity Distribution), is the organization's theme song.
Just two months prior to the devastating earthquake, Landon spent a few weeks in Haiti assisting in ongoing efforts there to bring medical aid to a country in desperate need. NRI is currently in the process of mobilizing several teams to return to Haiti this month to aid in the relief efforts there.
"During my previous travels to Haiti, I realized what a wonderful country it has the potential to be," says Landon. "The people are so full of life and beauty. The children there truly stole my heart and when I saw the recent re-devastation of the country, I knew that God had been preparing me to respond through our organization NRI. We are dedicated to helping Haiti recover and rebuild. When the world's attention has faded away we want to still be there making a difference in their lives. I feel very tied to this place now."
"Beloved, the debut release from Lara Landon, is, like most beloved things, a thing of beauty," declares NewReleaseTuesday.com. The album has received stellar reviews since its release in September, with additional high marks from Focus on the Family's Plugged In Podcast, ChristianityToday.com, Soul-Audio.com, HigherRockMusic.com, CrossRhythms.co.uk, AlphaOmegaNews.org, ChristianMusicReview.org and many others. "The real star of this album is Landon's voice," states JesusFreakHideout.com, comparing her to the likes of Sarah McLachlan and Leona Lewis.
In the final months of 2009, Landon appeared on numerous television programs including JCTV's new concert series 1 Music Village, Lesea Broadcasting's Live from Studio B, FamilyNet's Mornings, Good Morning Arkansas (ABC affiliate, Little Rock), Live at 9 (CBS affiliate, Memphis), Atlanta Live and the nationally syndicated mainstream morning show Daytime. In addition, she's currently featured in promotional spots for Gospel Music Channel.
About Lara Landon:
At the age of nineteen, Lara Landon left her home in southern California to study music business at Belmont University, and from there worked to make industry connections while honing her skills at local shows. It was one of those concerts where her emotional piano pop caught the attention of Plumb, leading to an introduction to music executive and Essential Records founder Robert Beeson, who eventually signed her to the Nashville-based record label Bema Media. Before long, Landon was in the studio with multiple GRAMMY® Award winning producer Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart), creating the collection of songs that would become Beloved. The recent college graduate wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, with additional writer credits that include top songwriters like Omartian, Tiffany Lee (Plumb), Sean Shenkel and Jason Ingram. While the stirring string and piano arrangements draw instant comparisons to groundbreaking mainstream artists like Sarah McLachlan, Imogen Heap and Tori Amos, the content of Landon's songs is definitively focused on Landon's musings about the grandeur and the intimacy of a relationship with a loving God.