"I loved that it caused them to think...where is she going with this?" she said of the anthem on her latest album.
No, it's not the story of a past relationship or any kind of romantic entanglement. Instead, it's a musical statement rejecting fear and its undue influence in a determined believer's life.
The song's music video with more than 10 million views, depicts a phone call in which the artist tells fear that "you don't own me" and "the no vacancy sign on my heart is lit up."
The New York native showcases the song on her tour which comes to Holland, Mich. on March 24.
MAKING AN IMPACT
"The Breakup Song" reached the top 10 on Christian radio – and topped the genre's iTunes chart - soon after its release last year. It continues to draw responses from listeners.
Battistelli, 33, recalls one reaction in particular.
"A mom came up to me a while back and told me about her daughter in elementary school," said the artist. "(The girl) struggles with anxiety and fear...she's very sensitive and even certain music makes her sad."
Now she sings it on her way to school and even says the lyrics to herself during the day.
"When that mom told me that story, she was crying and I was crying," said Battistelli.
Currently another song from the album is finding radio listeners. "Defender" is a worship song co-written by veteran worship leader Rita Springer. It's a lyrically Psalm-like ballad that depicts God as the one who will fight our battles as he works on our behalf.
"This whole album is personal and is my story of where I've been over the past couple of years," said the mother of four.
Her spring tour carries that same name as the album – "Own It." "I want to be sure to introduce some of these songs and tell the story behind why I wrote them," she said.
But she'll also be performing numerous of her top Christian radio hits such as "Free to Be Me" and "He Knows My Name."
ON HER WAY
With both of her parents involved in musical theatre, Battistelli grew up engaged in music, ballet, and acting. When she was a teenager she started playing guitar and writing songs. Yet another world opened up for her, and she performed wherever she could.
After completing a college degree she met and eventually signed with a record label, moved to Nashville and has been there ever since. Her national debut came in 2008.
But if an opportunity came to take the stage in musical theatre.....she just might do it! "If it was the right show and the right role I would love that," said the artist. "I don't think that part of my life is over, although it's not something I'm actively pursuing."
Her four kids keep her busy. The oldest is 8, the youngest just 17 months. "It's a lot of noise, but it's a lot of fun," she said.
Battistelli is married to former NewSong drummer Matt Goodwin, who is her manager and occasionally takes their children on the road with their mother. The kids have shown some musical interests – her oldest plays piano, and another has begun violin lessons.
The artist takes a page from many veteran performers and does co-writing sessions to compose new music. "That was new to me when I moved to Nashville, but now it's normal," she said of the collaborative writing process. "I've got my 'go to' people I'm comfortable with now and I'm always trying to think of the next thing. But it's a really fun job when you realize that... you get to go write a new song today!"
But that's also why one of her earliest songs – the breezy "Free to Be Me" – is still her favorite.
"That one I wrote all by myself in my car when I was 19 before I had my record deal," she stated. "There was a real purity in those moments."
Francesca Battistelli – The "Own It" Tour – with special guests Stars Go Dim and Elle Limebear
7pm Sunday March 24
at Ridge Point Community Church, 340 104th Ave. Holland, Mich.
Tickets: General admission $26, deluxe tickets $45 (includes new album and pre-show Q&A): Friends & Family 4-packs, $22 per ticket. VIP packages may be available. Purchase online.
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