BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#193 - "This Is The Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli
NRT contributor Kevin Davis speaks with reigning GMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Franscesca Battistelli, about her new single, "This Is The Stuff."

By kevindavis

BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #193 -
Francesca Battistelli: "We all deal with frustrations and I tend to make bigger deals about things that go wrong than I should."
After erupting onto the music scene, Francesca Battistelli is breaking multiple records as her radio singles rocket up the Christian charts. Francesca’s enthusiasm can’t help but find its way into her music. In fact, whether she’s talking about her accept-yourself-as-you-are anthem “Free to Be Me,” hit songs “I’m Letting Go,” “It’s Your Life” or “Beautiful, Beautiful,” Francesca says, “I really love this song. It’s so much fun to sing.” That pervasive joy, along with Francesca’s adventurous musicianship and relatable songwriting made My Paper Heart an impressive debut, which was also re-released as a deluxe edition with some additional recordings including an alternate version of “Beautiful, Beautiful.” Francesca has had a fun, fast paced ride on life's roller coaster the last few years. My Paper Heart was a major hit. She was awarded the 2010 GMA Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year. She's got married and this past September, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Matthew Elijah Goodwin.

She's on top of the world and is ready for a second album entitled, Hundred More Years. The first single from this album, “This Is The Stuff,” was released to Christian radio in January. I had the great opportunity to interview Francesca recently about her current single “This Is The Stuff.” You can listen to our entire interview here.

What's the main message of you first single from Hundred More Years, “This Is The Stuff."
 
We all deal with frustrations and I tend to make bigger deals about things that go wrong than I should. I co-wrote the song with Tony Wood and Ian Eskelin. We were talking about ideas for songs and this idea came to us. I said it was perfect, because I needed to hear this song and knew others did as well. We had fun writing about the things that go wrong in our lives. We listed as many frustrating things that we could possibly think of and we were laughing at some of our thoughts. We landed on the couple of examples that ended up in the song.
 
Do you have any Bible verses you used to write the song?
 
My husband and I have been memorizing the Book of James. James 1:2-4 is perfect for this song.
 
Profiting from Trials  
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
 
What does the song mean to you personally? How can listeners apply that message in their walk with God?
 
It’s a personal song for me and puts my frustrations back into perspective. It reminds me that people are dealing with much worse things than losing their phones, car keys or getting pulled over for speeding. Whatever things frustrate us, not only can God use those things for His glory, but they are not the end of the world. For me, the stories I hear from fans at the end of the night when I’m signing autographs or the e-mails I get, people will tell me about how one of my songs helped them through a difficult time. Usually the things people tell me are really serious. A girl the other day brought me a letter to thank me and let me know my music had changed her life. Her mom had passed away and her dad was sick and she had this big smile on her face. I was just so blessed and hugged her and thanked her for the encouragement. It was yet another chance to put things into the proper perspective. When I compare situations like that to the things that frustrate me like how nice a dressing room is at a venue, it reminds me that people are dealing with real “stuff.” It’s amazing to be a small part of encouragement in someone’s lives.

The album is centered around God’s love. The title for the album came from the last song on the album and it perfectly fits my life right now. It’s about finding that person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and falling in love. The song is about great moments in life and wanting them to last a hundred more years.
 
 
I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please
Cause I can't find my phone
 
(CHORUS)
This is the stuff
That drives me crazy
This is the stuff
That's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff
That gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust
You know exactly what Your doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use
 
45 in a 35 
Sirens and fines
While I'm running behind
 
(CHORUS)
 
To break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world...
 
This is the stuff
That drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff
That gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust
You know exactly what Your doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use
 
Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary on James 1:2-4: “In this first chapter of the biblical text we have found the thrust of James's entire letter: calling upon Christians to live with moral urgency, serious holiness and unconditional obedience to the word of God. By putting the two halves of the chapter together we also establish the context for the moral earnestness of the entire letter: complete confidence in and reliance upon the grace of God. Furthermore, going back to the very beginning of James's message, this pursuit of holiness is not an oppressive burden but a task of joy, because of the great worth of the goal that God's grace has made possible. God has called Christians to become mature and complete, as first fruits of all he created. This is so high a calling and so valuable an attainment that we may consider even trials along the way pure joy!”
 
I can’t say it any better than that. Complete confidence in and reliance upon the grace of God is the theme of this great song and this incredible new album. In traditional Francesca Battistelli style, she tells it just how it is and all the things that drive her crazy. The main message of the song, despite all the little things that drive us all crazy, is to remember we are blessed. Francesca writes and sings about relatable subjects and her lyrics and melodies are completely infectious. The bridge of “This Is The Stuff” also summarizes my prayer as a Christian: “To break me of impatience, Conquer my frustrations, I've got a new appreciation, It's not the end of the world...” Amen.
 
You can listen to this great song here.
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Posted March 01, 2011 | Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org.

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Rated 5 Stars
Love your songs! | Posted March 15, 2011
As soon as I heard your newest song, I loved it! At the time, I didn't realized you also were the artist behind, "Free to Be Me," which I also love!
Anyway, I usually try to see the brighter side of things, but do get frustrated at the little things that sometimes happen. Every time I heard the song, It made me smile and reminded that in the grand scheme of things, whatever was frustrating me, really didn't matter. I was also reminded about how big I'm blessed.
The real impact of your song in my life can be seen on my Facebook page. I posted the link to "This is The Stuff" on 2/16. I was in a car accident on 2/17. On 2/26, I referred back to the song. If you would like to "friend" me to read what I wrote, let me know.
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