Have you ever met a person where after conversing with them briefly you say to yourself, this guy or girl is wise beyond their years?
Singer/songwriter Cade Thompson is one of those people. Just 20 years old, the South Dakota native has made a splash recently with the release of his latest single, “New Normal”, a heartfelt cry for his generation. Burdened by the increasing spate of school shootings across our land, it is his prayer to see young people rid themselves of fear as they face a highly uncertain future.
I recently spoke to Cade about the significance of his new single, why he has described “New Normal” as a prayer, and a key suggestion for people seeking normalcy in a world hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest, and the need for racial reconciliation.
What are today’s kids facing that perhaps children even as recently as 10 years ago, didn’t need to face? Simply put, what’s that environment like for young people right now?
That’s a great question. I think kids daily face fear of the unknown which creates different anxieties more than ever before. Whether that be related to the topic of “New Normal”, which is the threat of school shootings, or even social media. I think kids are overwhelmed with so many different things going on in front of their eyes via social media these days that are contributing to anxiety. And that’s really part of what this “New Normal” is as we hope for a new normal. In other words, we can hope for a new normal as we take our eyes off of ourselves and focus on the people around us.
What you just shared ultimately led you to write and record your latest single “New Normal”. How did the song come together from the beginning to the point where you are releasing it now?
This song started out for me when I was a senior in high school. I walked into my high school just like any other day as a normal senior would, except on this day that I walked into my school I found out that there was an active shooter threat. And I remember the fear and anxiety that I was filled with in that moment. As I was looking around the school, my peers were also filled with that same anxiety. Some of them were leaving the building. I called my mom. She didn’t answer the phone. Thankfully, I ended up going home safe that day. But I just remember that fear that I felt. Fortunately, it was not an active shooter that day. It was just a threat.
That was honestly one of the biggest fears of mine growing up in today’s world. When I was five years old, my sister actually had an active shooter at her school. And I remember my family dropping off my sister at school that day. It really put something inside of me, a really big fear. And that’s what fast forwarded to that moment. After this happened to me as a senior in high school, I ended up going to Nashville and writing this song, “New Normal”, because I knew that I wanted to write a message that says we want a new normal as we hope for (quieter days).
You have described “New Normal” as a prayer. What are you praying for?
That’s a great question. I think we’re praying for our eyes to be opened, that we can hope for new normal. As we open up our eyes to the people around us, to spread the love and spread hope that ultimately can be found in this way of life. As Jesus changes us from the inside out our own new normal can happen as our fear can be turned into peace.
You have been quoted as saying you just want kids to be unafraid to go to school. From your perspective, what does that look like?
It’s easier said than done, right? Of course, my generation faces fears that maybe other generations haven’t in the past. And I think a way that we can face those fears, first of all, is to open up our eyes to the people around us. A lot of people go to school with their head down, looking at their phone, not talking. And if we can open up our eyes to spread the love, ultimately as a Christian, to spread the love of Jesus, then I think we can say we have a job well done.
So, how can people get to their new normal today? It’s easy to talk about it in a large umbrella sense, but how do we make that happen?
I think we can find our new normal in Jesus. I think that’s the first thing. And knowing that in the word of God, in John 16:33, Jesus said, “When you have trouble,” not if you have trouble, he says, “Take heart knowing that Jesus is walking with this in the middle of our pain, in the middle of our fear, in the middle of our anxiety.” That’s the way we can turn to hopefully have a new normal.
What has God been teaching you or has taught you lately through the experience of writing “New Normal”?
I think for this song specifically, I’ve really been burdened with this on my heart. This song is bigger than me. I think it’s easy to see the gifts that God gives us and to sometimes selfishly think it’s about ourselves, but as I hear this song and I hear this message, I know that the gifts God has placed inside of me are to bring them back to Him, to glorify God, and do all that I can do. And I think that’s such a cool thing that all of us have talents, gifts and abilities. We were not created for ourselves, but ultimately to bring praise and glory back to God. That is what’s been on my heart.
Do you see yourself as a voice for your generation in the world of contemporary Christian music?
Absolutely. I feel like being able to go to a school growing up and to see what my peers face every single day and what I face, honestly, it’s different than what it was 20 years ago. I want to be able to be a voice for this next generation to bridge the gap, to say, hey, following Jesus is worth it. It’s a beautiful thing. And that’s ultimately why a lot of the music I make today is what it sounds like and what it is lyrically.
Final question, after people have listened to the song, “New Normal”, what would you like your listeners to get out of the experience? What’s your greatest hope for this song?
I think my greatest hope for this song really (can be expressed) in the bridge lyrics where it says, “In this world there will be trouble, but take heart, take heart. He has overcome the world.” If there is a message that I could share, it’s take heart that Jesus is with us in those moments where you face fear, or you face the unknown. And that’s the hope that we can have.
Watch a Video of Cade Thompson’s Latest Single, “New Normal”: