Music keeps singer grounded with God

Cade Thompson to perform at Sacred Heart in February, inspire others to keep faith
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

Anyone curious about how deep Cade Thompson’s relationship with God goes can find out with the latest single he released on Jan. 20, titled “Empty Room.”

That song, along many of the other ones that the contemporary Christian music artist has in his repertoire, will be performed in a private concert Feb. 3 at Sacred Heart Catholic School in celebration of National Catholic Schools Week. Thompson will be making a return trip to Wisconsin later in the month as he performs at the Grand Theater, 401 N. Fourth St., Wausau, at 7 p.m. Feb. 26.

For Thompson, the music is more than his passion. It’s his ministry.

Thompson spent his early years in Missouri, and he recalled how the church was very much his world.

“I grew up listening to Christian radio and Christian music, and I think, at an early age, I saw the power of Christian music,” Thompson said. “At a young age, it was putting these truths into my life and pointing me to Jesus where I really came to know Him and my faith became real.”

Thompson became active in his youth worship team during his middle school years, which helped set his mind toward music as a ministry. He noted that music alone can be powerful, but using it in league with preaching the Gospel can lead to life changes.

“I just started to write songs out of scripture, and I had no idea what I was doing,” Thompson said. “I was just trying to stay faithful in those moments, and I saw later that those songs could touch people in a very special way. That’s what led me to write music, and that’s what led me to write Christian music, specifically.”

He added that he never takes it for granted when he steps onto a stage or interacts with an audience.

Thompson described his music as an “upbeat, energetic style” and he tries to use the stories of his life to explain that God is everywhere.

“I have had the awesome opportunity to be touring and traveling since I was 16 years old,” Thompson said. “Therefore, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people and heard a lot of different stories. That’s what really inspires the music I make, seeing how God is in the middle of it all. That’s why I’m excited to be with my friends in Wisconsin to share those stories.

“Sometimes you just need that extra push to know that you’re making an impact out there. Every night, it seems like there’s a new story about how God is working, and that’s how I keep on going.”

There can be different energy in different settings, according to Thompson, like what kind of reaction he’ll get from Sacred Heart students versus the audience when he visits Wausau a few weeks later.

“I believe every venue is so special and something that’s so near and dear to my heart,” Thompson said. “I was raised in a public school setting, and I saw the power of being a light to my friends.”

In “Empty Room,” Thompson talks about how God takes the emptiness and turns it into a “holy place” where he can be inspired to create. He notes that the “stage and lights” was not the ultimate goal of his Lord, but that his heart was made good by his work.

“It’s a really special song about getting back to being a special place with God,” Thompson said. “Me and my middle school years, writing music in my empty room, shaped a lot of my heartbeat that led me into my high school years, where I found my foundation to be a light that led me to moving to Nashville, Tennessee, when I was 18 years old and signing a record deal. It started me with in the empty room.”

Thompson signed a deal in 2019 with Red Street Records, an independent label founded by Jay Marcus, one of the members of Rascal Flatts. In February 2020, he was on a roll with his first single, “Provider,” and starting to tour before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the dream to a halt.

“It was pretty wild,” Thompson said. “I was writing a lot of songs, and I was so excited when I put my first song out to radio in February 2020. I had no idea, of course, that a month later COVID would hit. It was wild to be touring and then, in a moment, everything stops.”

Thompson said he went back home for a few months to regroup, but it wasn’t long before he was back in Nashville, finishing up his debut record, “Bigger Story,” which came out in September 2021. That album includes the song “Every Step of the Way,” which earned Thompson his first Top 20 Billboard single.

“It’s really special because a lot of the songs on that first record I had written in 2019 before the pandemic, and I never knew that I would need some of those messages personally … during those dark times.”

Thompson is working on his second album, which will be coming out April 14, and that will include “Empty Room” and several other singles he has released recently.

The up-and-coming singer-songwriter has high hopes for the future now that the dark times of the pandemic seem very far behind.

“I really hope to be part of the next wave of Christian music,” Thompson said. “I hope to be someone who can reach people in the future the way others reached me at a young age. Wherever the Lord takes me, I’m ready.”