Stanwood's singer's backup is her Christian Faith Subscribe To My News (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

By Rikki King
Herald Writer
Published: Saturday, September 27, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
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Christian singer Leanna Crawford performs at the Night of Hope charity event in the Stanwood High School Performing Arts Center on Sept. 20.
Ian Terry / The Herald

STANWOOD - At 19, Leanna Crawford just started college, but she's been making music for years and she's already had a song on Christian radio.
The Camano Island and Stanwood native is majoring in music industry business at Kirkland's Northwest University.
She was home schooled and raised in the Camano Chapel. Her dad, Mark, works for Smokey Point Concrete, and her mom, Nancy, is a former teacher.
Growing up, the four Crawford kids went to church every Sunday except when farming and horse shows took up the schedule.
Crawford has worked as an assistant horse trainer for her older sister. Her own horse is a Belgian-thoroughbred cross named Crispy.
"That's been a huge part of my life, our life, all of our lives," she said.
She got involved in youth group in junior high and later began leading the worship music, singing and playing keyboard. She also plays piano and ukelele.
As a child, she got obsessed with the "Sound of Music," and did her first musical at 10 or 11. She found out she loved performing.
She auditioned for a play at Show & Tell Family Projects, a local community theater group focused on family-friendly farce.
At the audition, Crawford was shy but had an electricity on stage, theater co-owner Lydia Crouch said.
"She's got a spark that I think comes from her walk with Christ, her deep faith," Crouch said. "That comes out in who she is and how she acts."
People are drawn to Crawford for her sincerity, on and off the stage, Crouch said.
Josie Colby, the director of music and worship at the chapel, has seen Crawford grow up.
"My favorite part of Leanna is her very sweet spirit," Colby said. "She's a very genuine, sweet person. She's very humble."
Crawford stood out for her organic, earthy voice, and her ability to connect with an audience, Colby said. She described Crawford's songs as honest and realistic but also full of hope.
"She is who God created her to be, and she is using her gift and it's really fun to watch that," Colby said.
In 2013, Crawford won a singing competition hosted by Lynden-based Praise 106.5, and got to open for Christian rock band Jars of Clay. Event organizers invited her back to the same event this year.
A Nashville production company released an EP of four of her songs last year. She wrote the lyrics and the melodies, which the studio remixed. She is taking classical singing lessons as well.
Her sound is contemporary Christian pop with a country twist, she said. She might sing mainstream songs, too.
"I like writing songs that mean something to me, so the songs that come out are usually Christian," she said. "I have a few love songs. They're just cute little things."
The band members almost always pray together before they go on stage, she said.
"That's something that always calms me down and puts the focus where it really should be, for me, for all of us," she said.

posted by Lyndsay Crawford on 03/25/2016