Monday, December 14, 2009

Ian McIntosh Interview

An interview with Worship leader Ian McIntosh. The interview took place in September 2009.

It's been almost two years since Twenty-two year old Worship leader Ian McIntosh made his debut with the very impressive and emotional Awakened. Ian McIntosh "embarked on a journey to develop a new sound" and his new album Alive is proof that he has done just that!

First, thank you so much for taking the time to do this! I'm sure you're a busy person.

Haha... not at all. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I wish it were simply 'cause I was busy... hopefully I'm more busy than I am unorganized? :)

1. How did you become a Singer/Songwriter? Was it something you always planned on doing or did it just happen?

Well I definitely hadn't planned on it. I discovered music when I was 10 and started taking piano lessons. I jumped on a few youth worship teams... what is now known as the JesusCulture Band was one of them. God was all over what we were doing and I was happy with it. Then one day my mother and Kim Walker conspired and came up with an evil scheme (muahahahaha) that cornered me into leading a song for youth group. I did, it was fun and I was stoked and loved it. I had already written the song Awakened in my bedroom by that point, but nothing else. After a mind-blowing prophetic word from an amazing woman named Cindy Jacobs (and the Lord haha), I really went after songwriting and production a ton more. That's basically it. I've just kinda taken it step by step.

2. You recently released a new album in May entitled "Alive". Which I absolutely love! Can you explain the inspiration for the title? And artwork?

The title comes mostly from personal experiences and what keeps me going. There have been hard times, there have been fun times, there have been awkward times. But what has always been constant is that as I continue to pursue God and His heart, I am constantly becoming more and more alive. It's invigorating. It's what makes a real relationship with God so exciting and fun. It's the idea that, as I've grown and lived, everything - good or bad, is pointing to how amazing God is. I can't ever point my finger away from His faithfulness and His goodness. I'm "Alive". And the artwork was kinda random I guess... I played around with a bunch of ideas, and landed on the one with the buildings. I just kinda liked the underlying reference that what I just explained is available for ALL the earth. That and I like cities. haha :)

3. "Faithful" is without a doubt my favorite song on the album. Can you tell me how that song came to be?

Faithful was written completely out of a place of awkwardness. It's the very human feeling of wanting moremoremoremore!!! and the very humbling feeling of looking back 5 years and realizing how much I've actually accomplished already and how selfish it can be to want more when so many are broken and needing more than me. It's the feeling that even though I've grown... it still seems like I'm behind where I want to be. All of that stuff that I know most people feel... especially teens and young adults. Then the answer to all that... is God. And His Faithfulness. Regardless of where I am in life, God is God... He is faithful and I can trust that. THAT... I can bank on. THAT... is something I can rely on. I don't understand how He can be that faithful, or what His plan is... and while I'd like to understand, that's kind of the very thing that makes Him God - I don't understand Him. And I want Him to stay God.

4. That song is so unique and one of the thing's I love about it is the very beginning of the song, it sound's so...80's. Was that your intention?

Haha... kinda. That drum beat is actually an old synth called an 808. I love electronic synths and drum machines and get stoked about them. I used it a lot on the record - Faithful, Flight, Come Away, Always Good. I don't know if 80's was actually the goal, but yeah I thought it was fun! (There's also 606s and 909s in there too)

5. So what song on the new album means the most to you and why?

I think Flight - the instrumental - is actually the most profound to me, mainly because of what it represents to me. I got this picture before I wrote it... what if God took me on a flight around the world, and as the journey progressed... I could actually hear the rocks crying out and the actual Earth, as an entity, worshiping God... what would that sound like? And Flight is what came out.

6. Was the process for this album any different than the process for "Awakened'?

YES! Waaaaay different. On Awakened I pretty much wrote all the songs (besides Awakened) on piano, and took them to Jeremy my producer and we blew through the recording process in 2 weeks. Sweet. On Alive, I spent months on preproduction before I brought the record to Jeremy. I gave him 12-20 tracks per song of audio with beats, drum loops, keys, and scratch guitars and he took it and made it all awesome haha. Both had their magic... I think somewhere in the middle would be perfect.

7. "What Does It Sound Like" is another one of my favorite's. Can you tell me how that one came to be?

That song was written by a friend/mentor of mine Brian Johnson. I wanted to do a version of it and brought it before Jeremy. He had this idea of doing a clap and stomp thing. It was actually kinda funny hehe... We were in the studio recording drums and here Chris, Jake and I are... looking at him through the glass window with confused looks on our face, while he tells us when to clap... and we were totally not really hearing it at the time hahaha. It was funny. Then he told us to grab some drums sticks and hit stuff on this beat or that beat. It was really a lot of fun! And he was obviously right. The claps and stomps are sweet. I was stoked.

8. What is your writing process like for you? Do you write the music first and then the lyrics? Or vice versa?

Great question. I actually do a little of everything. I'm constantly trying to figure out the best process for me. On Awakened, it was me and piano. On Alive it was all the music and production 1st, then the lyrics. I actually finished writing some of it in the studio during vocal tracking. I now do something in the middle. I'm writing for my next record, and am loving starting with a fun musical idea, and not really producing it too much, but writing with vague ideas I guess. For example, I just finished writing a song where instead of doing either the production first, or sitting at the piano, I wrote the whole thing with a pulsing pad and kick drum. Kinda in the middle. Works great for me.

9. Who are some of your musical influences and inspiration's?

I have to 1st credit to Delirious? - they're the 1st band I really got stoked about. But my influences and inspirations now are Muse, Mew (Frengers-era), Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Ratatat.

10. What do you hope people will get out of your music after they listen to it?

I really hope people's hearts are opened to find God in a real and tangible way. And have a ton of fun. If a record can make you cry one day, and make you smile then next... it's pretty sweet. If anyone gets moved toward God or towards loving life - I'd be stoked.

11. What are your plans for the future? Do you see yourself doing this all your life?

To some extent I do see myself doing music forever. It's really weird to think of not doing it. I'm not sure it will looking like recording and releasing records every 2-3 years... but I'm sure I'll be poking around in the industry forever haha.

12. And last, what is your favorite scripture?

I don't really have a favorite scripture. I love the whole section of time in scripture with David and Jonathan, then Solomon. I study them quite often.

Thank you again for taking the time to do this. God bless you abundantly and may He continue to use you and your ministry to reach out to as many people as possible.

Thanks Blessings!

P.S. - I'd love you to mention that I LOVE hearing from people about how God used my music, or what it means to them, or about dances they choreographed. All of that is awesome.

If you'd like to find out more about Ian McIntosh please visit:
Official Website

Becki Ryan Interview

An interview with Worship leader Becki Ryan. The interview took place in September 2009.

"Becki Ryan and her husband Devon are actively involved with Life Connections International, a short term missions organization and LoveWorks.

She and her husband partenered with LoveWorks currently live in Denmark in Northern Europe."

In the past Becki has also lent her beautiful voice to big acts such as Amy Grant, Hilary Duff, and Clay Aiken.

1. How did you become a Singer/Songwriter for the Lord? Was it something you always planned or did it just happen?

I think from the beginning it was definitely something I wanted to do and felt called to do - I met Jesus at an early age - so naturally I wanted to sing for Him - but as most people do - I had my time of wandering and serving myself. Fortunately Jesus never leaves us. :) No matter how far away I went He never left - He was always there waiting or me to turn around and take His hand. Unfortunately I'm a pretty stubborn person and I typically have to learn things the hard way in order to change (however I'm working on this one BIG TIME to avoid more disasters). So, as life sometimes does - I was thrown a few "curve balls." I was young and newly married - and these circumstances or "curve balls" brought us to our knees - but mostly it showed me the pit of pride and selfish ambition I kept putting myself into. The Lord is always so quick to comfort and rescue that I barely noticed my slow progression out of the pit. I thought I had changed - so life would be perfect - :) boy was I wrong. Little did I know that was just the beginning of a 3 year journey that led to the creation of "Make A Way." And since it was released the Lord has blown us away with how much we still don't know and just how much we need Him.

2. What is your writing process for you? Do you write the lyrics first and then the music or vice versa?

Honestly I am NOT one of those prolific songwriters who are constantly writing amazing songs. In fact, more often than not I am pretty dry, when it comes to writing. It seems that I write from the exact place I'm at spiritually. I don't have the gift of writing some writers have who can always write from any perspective at any time. No, for me I have to be IN it to write it. It's something I have struggled with - as any writer would like to be able to write more... but the Lord is showing me the beauty in the process He's given me. I've learned over the years with Him that there is NOTHING he wants more from me - than JUST ME - honest and humble before Him. SO to answer your question... :) the process... I don't have a set way of doing it - but typically it's the melody first - then lyric. I always write from where my heart is at - which more often than not is from the bible study I'm doing at the moment. The Lord speaks to me in Mighty ways through HIS word - and through the teaching of some very gifted and passionate teachers. Currently I am doing the "Esther" study by Beth Moore. I'm so excited to see what songs come from this study!!! ;)

3. "Wonders" is probably my favorite song from "Make a Way". It's so beautiful. Can you tell me how that song came to be?

I love that you love this song... This is one of my favorites as well. "Wonders" started in our apartment in El Segundo CA - long before we started a worship cd. My husband kept singing the chorus over and over "Your wonders stretch across the sky" we sang it at home for so long before we ever even started working on writing for this project. It was kind of our little personal worship of how great GOD is and all HIS majesty. Then when we began working on the cd - we brought Paul in on it and finished the song. It was really powerful - all three of us worshipping together, singing the truth of how wonderful our God is. How powerful He is. He is the one true God and so worthy of our praise. The song came together VERY quickly - like 30 minutes and we knew it needed to be on the record.

4. In the past you've done BGV's for artist's like Amy Grant, Clay Aiken and Hilary Duff. You even sang "Alive" for the film Flicka. What was all that like?

This was such a HUGE blessing and encouragement to me as a young singer/musician. It was very humbling and very exciting all at the same time. Humbling - in the fact that my first "job" was singing for Amy Grant - who was my childhood "idol" - I wanted to be JUST like her growing up - and here I was singing for her... I was so humbled to be ANY part of her work - I was SO excited I could hardly contain myself! From that point on I was completely blessed to land in a world of EXTREMELY talented writers and producers who believed in me and did everything they could to see me succeed. I owe so much gratitude to Dennis Matkosky, who was the first writer/producer to "discover" me - and give me the majority of the work I've done. He not only gave me work, but in an industry that can be VERY untrustworthy, Dennis looked out for me like I was another daughter to Him. The Lord used Dennis to protect me from many things I was not ready to face. I feel so blessed to have his professionalism and kindness in my life.
When I sang the song for Flicka it was actually just a "demo" - meaning I was hired to sing the song for the songwriters - so they could "pitch" (send) the song to different artists to see if any would record the song. Then when 20th Centrury Fox was looking for a song for Flicka - "Alive" was sent and they loved my version of it. I was VERY honored. They could have had a signed artist sing it - but they chose my version - again a TOTAL blessing from the Lord. I am very grateful for His blessing and provision.

5. You've been involved with Love Works for sometime now. You even moved to Denmark because of that. What has it been like for you? It must be so different than the US.

YES - we've been involved with LoveWorks for many years now and we are SO blessed to have been able to partner with them - This is an incredible ministry of discipleship teaching people to LOVE as Christ has loved us. We are so blessed by this ministry and so honored to partner with them. Yes we moved to Denmark this past year and have been able to partner more intentionally over the past 8 months. It has been amazing to watch the Lord work through the unity and partnership of worship and His word. It's a powerful thing when people come together in Unity to worship Him and hear HIS word. There is something very special that happens when we are together and we are so blessed by them.
Denmark is VERY different than the US. We love the country of Denmark and are so blessed to walk along side so many on this journey with the Lord. The culture of Denmark is extremely different than the culture of the US - however we've grown to embrace the differences and choose to walk in our purpose and calling while we are there - UNITY - Unity in Christ - no matter our cultural differences. It's been such a fantastic journey - we are so thankful.

6. And what exactly is your role there?

Our role in Denmark is leading worship for the different LoveWorks seminars, courses and events. As well as leading worship at AVM (Arhus Velminghed) - our home church in Arhus Denmark. We also disciple different worship leaders, and musicians/bands both secular and Christian in Denmark. We are also heavily involved in the Dansk OASE movement -this is the organization who host the biggest summer camp in July - It's truly been an amazing walk together watching the Lord call so many Danes to worship Him. Denmark is such a musically talented nation - it's at times very intimidating for us - however we know what our role is - bringing them to the foot of the cross through prayer - and exploring what it means to abandon "performance" and enter into TRUE worship. It's a journey we are on together - and we are so honored to walk with them.

7. What is your favorite experience from Denmark so far?

The nights of prayer and worship at our home church AVM - partnered with LoveWorks.

8. "Revival" is another one of my favorite song's can you tell me how that one came to be?

Revival was written by a VERY talented songwriter Jess Cates and his wife Mandy. They also happen to be our dear friends and he was our worship leader at our home church in Los Angeles when we lived there. Our church was going through an amazing time of growth with the Lord. He was pouring out in mighty ways - and one of the ways was through worship.

9. What song on "Make a Way" means the most to you and why?

This is a hard one for me - cause they all mean SO much to me - some were the FIRST worship songs I EVER played - so naturally they have a HUGE impact on me. But I would have to say "This is Why You Came" means the most to me. Probably because it's the most intimate to me personally. It's my autobiography. It was written from my realization of just how messed up I was and where I would be without Jesus. It was in that place He spoke hope to me, and reminded me that was exactly WHY HE CAME. To this day that song brings tears to my eyes when I sing it. It's hard for me to sing this song live - it's still such a reminder of where I was and where I could have ended had He not saved me. I am forever grateful.

10. Do you have any plans for a new album?

OH YES! We have SO many plans it's crazy! :) Actually we are nearly finished with a Hymns EP we started a few months ago with a Danish producer... we are very excited about this project. Some of my favorite hymns with our twist... It should be done in a few months and available at our website.
We are also praying about the next worship record. We have been writing - and praying... we are waiting for the right producer - we are completely independent - so have virtually NO budget - so we are currently waiting on the Lord for this one! :) - we'd love for you to join us in prayer!!!!
We do have another project in the works as well - it's based off of the song "Alive" from Flicka. The writer/producer of that song is producing a whole record similar to that - of course the songs will be songs full of hope - This has come out of the response from "Alive" - there has been an overwhelming response for people of all ages to this song. The overall request has been wanting more songs like this - so Rob Wells, the producer, is gracious enough to help us complete this. We are praying this will be another tool for the Lord to bring people to HIS WORSHIP... we are excited to be a part of this project - we are scheduled to begin recording at the beginning of November.

11. What do you hope people will get out of your music when they listen to it?

My prayer is that those who listen to any of our music will be drawn closer to the Lord. That they will experience HIS voice through the music. That I could be OUT of the Way so HE can speak mightily to them. Worship is just another way to connect with Jesus. My prayer is that this record - or ANY record I sing on would be just that - another avenue to meet with Jesus. He LOVES His children SO much. I am so blessed to be a small part of HIS mighty plan.

12. What is your favorite scripture?

Well this is probably the hardest question for me to answer! ;) You see this one changes all the time with me - depending on where I am at with the Lord in that season... but I think the one verse that I always seem to come back to no matter what season I am in - is Jer. 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Thanks again Becki, may God bless you and your family in all that you do and may He touch many lives through your ministry.

You are SO welcome.

Many blessings.
Love, Becki Ryan

If you'd like to learn more about Becki Ryan please visit:

Official Website

If you'd like to listen to Becki Ryan's album Make A Way then visit:

Listen to Make a Way

Jon Bauer Interview

This is an email interview I had with Canadian Christian Artist and Worship Leader Jon Bauer. The interview took place in June 2009.

1.So how did you become a Singer/Songwriter for the Lord? Was it something you always wanted to do or did it just happen?

I was introduced to music at a young age although did not have a passion for it until age 18. My parents had me in piano lessons until age 14 and looking back, I am so glad my parents strongly encouraged me to stick it out. When I finished high school I went on to college and it was there that God placed a passion in my heart to use music for Him and to draw others closer to Him. I joined a worship team at church and college and from there I started to lead worship weekly. After college I became a teacher and taught for a number of years using music in the class to help the kids draw closer to Jesus (as I taught in a Christian class in the public school system). As the years went on I started to get more and more requests to go to churches, schools, and conferences to share the music God had placed on my heart. It soon came to the point where I had to make some decisions - stay in the security of a full-time teaching job with great benefits and holidays or become a full-time touring artist and trust in the Lord to meet all our needs…I decided that I needed to have ruthless trust and since then God has been exceedingly faithful to meet all of our needs as I minister on the road.

2. I downloaded your album "Surround" from NoiseTrade some months ago and it's definitely one of my favorite worship albums. I love the title track, can you tell me how that song came to be?

In my life over the last number of years God has always been faithful. I have seen and experienced both the ups and downs - from the birth of my first baby son to the sting of cancer hitting those my wife and I love and are extremely close to. Through these mountain and desert times God has always been faithful and what He asks of me is to walk closely with Him in all times and all situations that my life and His love would be an encouragement to others. So this song was birthed out of this recognition that God will “Surround us, Consume us, Sustain and Renew Us” as we praise His name through the great and the trying times of life.

3. Which song off "Surround" means the most to you and why?

The song Holy Lord has a strong significance for me. One day I was in the basement and I prayed that God would give me a picture of what Heaven will be like someday when every nation, tribe, and tongue, every one I have loved who has gone on before me, when we will singing to our Saviour. As God gave me that picture of heaven, I started to sing out that very simple chorus imagining all of us singing around His throne.

Holy Holy Holy Lord
Worthy of all praise
Holy Holy Holy Lord
God of mercy of grace

4."Glorious to Me" is another one of my favorite song's from "Surround" can you tell me how that song came to be?

The song Glorious to Me came about as I was reading in Ephesians 1:11 where it says:
“It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
As I read this scripture it was so clear to me that there was a song in there waiting to be written in a fresh way. So through with some hard work and co-writing with my producer birthed the song that you hear on the record.

5. I heard you're planning on releasing a Children's worship album. Was the writing and recording process more difficult than your previous albums?

I released a Children’s Worship Album back in the fall of 2008. During my time in the classroom I was passionate to help the kids grow and connect with Jesus and found that music was such a perfect way to do this. This album has a mix of songs both familiar and ones that I have written that allowed the kids to sing out their worship to Jesus. The writing and recording process were not that different for this album. The main difference was planning and preparation for a kids choir on the album and working between recording studios in Edmonton and Nashville to put all the pieces together.

6. What exactly is you're writing process? Do the lyrics come to you first and then the music? Or vice versa?

The songwriting process for me is a mixture of writing from experiences and writing from scripture. The cool thing for a Christian songwriter is that we can take words and phrases right from a book (the bible) and call it our own song and we won’t get charged for plagiarism. One of the things I have often done is sung out scripture. When I find a scripture that is speaking to me, I merely start singing it out and from there, songs have been written. More often than not the lyrics come first or come together. I rarely have music first. Another great thing I have been able to do is to co-write with a lot of great writers down in Nashville. I have found there is so much strength in co-writing and so most if not all songs on my next album will be co-writes.

7. I read that you opened for Michael W. Smith at the Copps Coliseum in Ontario Canada. What was that experience like? I'm sure it must have been amazing!

It was definitely a highlight of my year. The very first record I ever owned was Michael W. Smith’s album. So it was a little surreal to be sharing the stage with the guy I listened to when I was 10 years old. If you want to get a feel for the whole experience, I created a 4-part video on youtube which captures the entire day and concert. I had a lot of fun with it, so go to my website to check it out…!

8. Any plans for a new album in the future?

I am currently working on a new studio album right now. I’m in songwriting mode and am looking forward to sharing these new songs in the coming months. The new project should be coming out in early 2010.

9. Who are some of your musical influences?

I have a wide variety of influences. Today, most of my musical influences include other worship artists like Chris Tomlin, Bob Fitts, or David Crowder.

10.What artist are you currently listening to most often?

On my i-touch right now I have – Downhere, Chris Tomiln, High Valley and Chris Sligh.

11. After someone listen to your music what do you hope they'll get out of it?

My goal in writing songs is to express my personal worship to Jesus and to help others do the same. I pray that when people hear the music that they are drawn into a worship experience and that God’s spirit ministers to them as they listen to the music either in the car or on their iPod

12. There’s a lot going on in the world. As a Christian artist, what are some important social issues that you think should be highlighted in your art?

I am partnered with World Vision. The reason I am is that there is such a need out there beyond our North American view of life. There is a hurting and needy world that is starving for the basics that we take for granted every day here in North America. My wife and I have been so blessed to sponsor 5 children through World Vision and it’s been a privlege to encourage others to do the same as we tour and minister throughout North America.

13. Looking at the social issues you’ve highlighted, what are some unique ways in which Christians can approach the topic in their everyday lives?

What it comes down to is when you see a need, simply respond. Whether it is a homeless man who asks you for money on the street or someone who needs help carrying groceries, the question we need to ask ourselves is “What can I do to represent Jesus to this world that is so inwardly-focussed?”

14. Favorite scripture?

Jeremiah 29:11

If you'd like to download Surround for free, click HERE.

Or get 3 free song's by signing up for Jon's mailing list HERE.

To find out more about Jon Bauer, please visit:
Official Website

Matt McCoy Interview

This is an email interview I had with indie artist Matt McCoy. He's a pretty awesome dude, with some amazing music and you should definitely check him out. The interview took place in May 2009.

1. So how did you become a singer/songwriter for the Lord? Was it something you always wanted to do or did it just happen?

I started leading worship in my church middle school group when I was 13. I had always loved singing while growing up and was involved in every musical I could. I also used to sing church 'specials' with my mom and dad. However, I didn't learn to play an instrument until later. In middle school I began to show interest in guitar, so my dad showed me a few chords. Him and I would sit for hours by the fire and sing all sorts of worship songs from his songbook. A few months later, one of the worship leaders in our church (Micah) began to invest a lot of time with me and a few other middle school students. He helped us form a youth band and we began leading worship every week for our youth group. He was so patient, yet persistent. One week he asked if I would lead a verse of a song... I was hesitant, but went for it. A few weeks later he asked if I would lead a song on my own. I was scared again, but he walked through it with me. Then a few weeks later, Micah asked if I would lead 2 songs. Next thing I knew, I was leading the entire worship set - with him playing guitar next to me. It is the most powerful picture I have witnessed of 'passing the torch' to the next generation leader. He had a flame inside of him that was contagious - that spread to the entire youth band. To this day we are all still involved in leading worship on a regular basis. I don't know what I would be doing right now if Micah hadn't seen something in me, sacrificed his time, and really believed in me.

2. Who are some of your musical influences?

I grew up in the Vineyard church movement, so I have been greatly influenced by Vineyard music and worship leaders - Robbie Reider, Casey Corum, Nigel Briggs, Brian Doerksen, etc. I'm also very influenced by Chris Tomlin, Rich Mullins, and Delirious. I enjoy listening to just about anything - as long as its not that screaming stuff. That scares me. I listen to a lot of Coldplay, U2, Snow Patrol, Death Cab for Cutie, Sigur Ros, Jimmy Eat World and John Mayer.

3. "Song of the Redeemed" is my favorite song on "Raise The Flag Again", I absolutely love it. Can you tell me how that song came to be?

There is a youth conference called "Summer of Service", which takes place at the Vineyard church in Cincinnati every year. Students gather from all over the country and do servant evangelism projects all over the city for a week. I led worship at the conference for a couple years, and I wrote this song for the 2007 conference. I wanted to write a song that could be an anthem for the students... a declaration of our hearts saying we belong to Jesus. That He has won our hearts. That simple chorus just came out one night as I worshipped in my bedroom.

4. Which song on the album means the most to you and why?

The song "Treasure" is probably my favorite song on that album. When I sing that song, it pulls at something deep inside of me. I wrote it during a time of deep loss in my life. I felt very lost, confused, and lonely. This song became my anthem during that time period - that all I wanted, and needed was Christ. The bridge gets me every time - "I'm chasing You, I'm longing to be with You. No one else will do, I'm longing to be with You". It's really just a cry of my heart that God is enough for me... my souls sufficiency - even when all else fades away.

5. "Everything" is another one of my favorites, can you tell me how that song came to be?

I was visiting my family in San Diego, CA for Christmas. One evening, I was sitting on the porch - under the stars and the chorus just came to me out of no where. Then the line "I'm dancing for you now, for you now". That's all I had. A few months later I was in a co-writing session with my best friend, Zak Stegman. I showed him the song and we wrote a verse for it. We also came up with the bridge - "From the north to the south, from east to west... You're everything. Far above all the earth and the universe, You're everything". A few months after that, we were going to play the song for a conference and literally a few hours before the evening worship set started, the second verse was finished. It really just came together over time. Actually, I'm still adding to it. When I sing it live, after the second verse I now sing "For you now, I'm singing for you now."

6 I heard you recently went to Germany. What was that like?

I was very privileged to join a team from Willow Creek and worship at the Shift conference in Nuremberg, Germany. There were thousands of students and youth pastors there who were so eager and excited to worship. It was beautiful hearing them sing songs in their language. On saturday night, Delirious joined us for an evening of worship. It was a really great experience.

7. After someone listens to your music, what do you hope they'll get out of it?

My hearts desire and passion is to write songs for the church and for personal worship. When I write a song, I want it to be something anyone can sing and relate to. I really hope that people are able to use these songs in their own times of worship - whether they are driving in their car, running on the treadmill or in their prayer closet. I also hope that the local church and worship leaders are able to utilize these songs as anthems for their church body.

8. So what is your writing process for you? Do you get the lyrics first and than the music, or vice versa?

I rarely get lyrics first. I really wish I could write lyrics first, and then music - but that doesn't usually happen. Most of the time I will be sitting with my guitar or piano and a melody and chord arrangement will come to me. I'll begin to explore it more and just sing jibberish... eventually lyrics will just come out. I then spend time editing the lyrics and finding the ones that fit best. I have a hard time just deciding to sit down and write a song. Usually songs come out when I am really burdened with something on my heart... it is in those moments that I really have something to say.

9. If you could work with anyone in the music industry who would it be and why?

I really respect a lot of people in the christian music world and have so many people I would love to work with someday. I am very influenced by many artists and their music and leadership has a large impact on me. Some of those would be Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Louie Giglio, Shane & Shane, Tim Hughes, and Nathan Nockels.

10. What is your favorite scripture?

Revelation 5 : 11-13

11. What are your plans for the future? Any plans for a new album?

I'm actually in the process of recording a new full length album with all original songs. I'm REALLY excited about this project and can't wait for you to hear it. We are recording about 15 songs up front, and will begin to narrow them down as we decide what will fit best for the project. We are hoping it will be finished by August of this year. Stay tuned to for updates.

If you'd like to find out more about Matt McCoy and his music/ministry please visit:
Official Website

Jeff Capps Interview

This is an email interview I had with indie artist Jeff Capps. The interview took place in November 2009.

Hey! I just want to say how much I love your music. I recently downloaded your new EP "Shine" and I just loved everything about it.

Jeff Capps:
Hello there. First of all thanks for your email with questions and I appreciate your time as a fan.

1. How did you come to be a singer/songwriter for the Lord?

Jeff Capps:
I sang before I knew the Lord but when I was changed by Him my songs begin to change into what they are today. I simply can not get over what he has done in my heart.

2. What do you want people to get out of your music?

Jeff Capps:
I want people to see that there is hope in all of this mess we find ourselves in and that there is grace greater than our sins.

3. Have you grown closer to God since you began your music career?

Jeff Capps:
Thats a great question ...I definitely think my music career has been an outlet to display to others what is going on inside of me. Hopefully I am honest enough that folks can see the good and the bad and know that God is constant when I am not.

4. "Merciful King" is probably my favorite song off the EP.Can you tell me how that song came to be?

Jeff Capps:
The song "Merciful King" was written by one of my very good friends Robbie Seay and I knew when I was writing to record this EP that I wanted to include this great anthem.

5. Which song on the EP means the most to you?

Jeff Capps:
"Anchor of My Heart" means alot to me because I wrote it on the spot in a service I was at and within 10 mins of writing it I was leading the whole congregation in singing what now is "Anchor of My Heart."

6. What is your favorite thing about performing live?

Jeff Capps:
Getting to interact with people from all over the country and seeing what gives them the joy daily.

7. If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be?

Jeff Capps:
I would love to play in England and visit some of the great churches there.

8. What's your favorite scripture?

Jeff Capps:
I love the whole book of Ephesians.

9. Do you have any plans for your next album?

Jeff Capps:
Yes we are writing now and will be starting to record very soon to release a full record this summer.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions I know what a busy person you must be. Thanks again and God bless you and your family always. :D

I really appreciate you taking time to ask some questions. Blessings, Jeff Capps.

If you'd like to find out more about Jeff Capps, please visit:
Jeff Capps

If you'd like to download Jeff Capps' "Shine EP" click on the link below.

Stephanie Meier Interview

This is an email interview I had with indie artist Stephanie Meier. Since the interview she and I have become good friends. She has been a huge encouragement to me and I am honored to be called her "friend."
The interview took place in OCtober 2008.

Hey Stephanie, thanx so much for taking the time to do this. :D

It's nice to meet you. I told one of my friend's about you and he said he really liked you and that you have a great voice. I also told people on about you.

Hey! It’s nice to meet you too. Thanks for spreading the word and taking such an interest in my music.
God bless,
Stephanie :)

1. How did you come to be a singer/songwriter for the Lord?

I’ve been involved with church music practically since I was born, but I had a very low-self esteem issue concerning my voice. When I was about 14 or 15 I started writing my own music and used it as an escape from some things that were going on in my life. It was at that time I found my love for singing, though being a naturally shy person I was too nervous to share it with anyone. Since then God has done a major work in my life and has taken me out of the box that I had put myself in.

2. What do you want people to get out of your music?

I want people to feel the passion I have for God and to get excited about having an intimate relationship with Him. I also want people to see that God isn’t just some “guy in the sky” and for them to realize how REAL He is.

3. I really like your song "Lost in You" can you tell me how that song came to be?

“Lost In You” had a very interesting writing process. It’s basically a song that I have been trying to write for the past year, but it was hard to put it into words. I spent a whole night trying to write it and it finally came at around 5 in the morning. The song basically describes my relationship with God at this exact moment and is very special to me for that reason.

4. Which one of your song's means the most to you?

I would have to say that “My World” is probably one of the ones that means the most to me. When I wrote it, a couple months ago, I was going through a really confusing time in my life and I wanted to just give up. I knew that God would never leave me no matter what happened and that He was standing right there beside me through it all. So I guess that song is the very essence of what I was clinging to during that time.

5. If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be?

I really have a heart for missions, specifically South America. I would love to perform around there. But anywhere else God wants me to perform is also nice.

6. What's your favorite scripture?

But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
-Isaiah 40:31-

7. So what plans do you have for the future?

Definitely something involving music. God is also calling me to be an evangelist. Evangelism and music are my biggest passions and so I plan on combining the two of them in my ministry. I am about to start up a ministry and it’s going to be a sort of spontaneous street team that goes out and ministers to the people in town and wherever God leads us. I am really excited to see what else God has in store.

8. How do you pronounce your name?

My first or last name? or both? lol...I'll put both just in case.
Stephanie = Steff-uh-knee
Meier = Rhymes with wire. haha.
Does that make any sense whatsoever?

Thank you so much for taking the time and God bless you and yours always.

You're very welcome! :)

If you'd like to find out more about Stephanie, please visit the link's below.


C.J. Bergmen Interview

This is an email interview I had with Independent artist C.J. Bergmen. Interview took place in September 2008.

First of all I downloaded "Sons and Daughters" sometime back and I thought is was an amazing album, I've been trying to tell everyone I know about it.

Can I first say just how much I appreciate you downloading the album,
listening to it, telling others about it,
and taking the time to email me. It is humbling and exciting. I
love nothing more than sharing my heart with
people, and count it a privilege that you would even ask me questions
requiring answering =].

1. How did you come to be a singer/songwriter for the Lord?

I started
writing songs when I was in college
and growing as a worship leader. I was very inspired by a couple of
worship leaders, Shane Barnard, David Crowder,
and Chris Tomlin to name a few, and wanted to try my hand at writing
songs that connect people with God.

2. What do you want people to get out of your music?

C.J.: My goal is to give people words to connect in their relationship with God. Often we have thoughts and feelings
towards God and have difficulty finding the words to put around what God is doing in our lives, I want to attempt to help people with that. Ultimately, I want people to love God more and have a deeper longing for Him after they listen to any of my songs.

3. Have you grown closer to God since you began your music career?

C.J.: Yes I have, but I don't think because of music, I think because of a
desire to humbly come before Him and allow
Him to speak and change me. Music is a means to an end and something
I believe God has called me to. I was
not ever planning on being a musician, just kind of worked out that way.

4. "Praise The Lord I Love" is probably my favorite song on the
album, how did that song come to be?

Wow, awesome! =] thanks. That one has been around the longest of all
of the songs on the CD. I originally
wrote that song on Acoustic guitar and used it in the place I lead
every week. I literally wrote it the day after I heard
a song I love called "Here is our King" by David Crowder. I thought,
"I need to write one of those" =]. It evolved a ton
as we went in the studio. I had been writing a lot trying to come up
with new material for "Sons and Daughters" and had
that piano riff that ended up in the song. I tried singing praise
the Lord I love over that piano part and it was a match made
in heaven =]

5. Which song on the album means more to you?

Definitely song #1, "The Real Me". You should go over to and click the album and then the real me
to read about it.

6. Can you tell me a little bit about your new single "It's a Secret"?

Yes, the lyrics are:
"Take your time, take it slow, save your life, lose control.
I'm on the edge of something I just can't see yet.
Seeds that fall blow away why can't You show Your face?
Take their lies somewhere else, I've been fed enough.
Half sure yet curious, I don't need anyone.
It's a Secret."

I read an amazing book by Brian Mcclaren called "The Secret Message
of Jesus"
that inspired a lot of fresh thinking. But mostly, the song is about
a non-believer who is on a journey of finding Christ. God is showing them patience
as they seek Him, what they do not realize is that if they will just give up control,
He would reveal Himself to them.
They know that something different is happening inside of them, but
they haven't had that ah ha
moment of realizing they need Jesus. God wants them to really count
the cost so that they don't
end up like the seeds that fell on rocky ground (Mark 4). They begin
to realize that the world has been
lying to them but don't understand why God won't just reveal Himself
visibly or audibly to them, silencing
all of the lies of the world in an instant. Ultimately their battle
is not against rational truth, or an encounter
with God that proves His existence, it is a battle in their own heart
to come to the end of themselves
and recognize that the need a savior.

Jesus talks all about His Kingdom being at hand. What Kingdom?
Where is it? It is within us believers,
hidden, a secret. It is not easily found. Most people do not seek
it. The path is narrow. Ultimately we don't
know if our non-believer chooses God in the end. I want this song to
be one that reminds us to continue
praying for those we know who are on this journey and asking these
questions, and I want the non-believer
to think, "finally a Christian who knows how hard it is to decide I
am going to just give it all up and
accept Christ, what a hard decision this is".

7. What's your favorite thing about performing live?

When someone walks in and can't tell if the band is leading the crowd
in worship,
or whether the crowd is leading the band in worship.

8. If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be?

Wow, hadn't thought about that before. People say the Hollywood bowl
is a pretty big deal.
I love Argentina and Eastern Europe. I don't care as much about
where as I do about who.
To worship with a great crowd of believers and watch the hand of God
move would be amazing,
which I get to do pretty much every week as it is =].

9. What's your favorite scripture?

Difficult to choose a favorite but I always come back to Romans
12:1-12, it has shaped my life in so many ways.

10. Can you tell me what C.J. stands for, or is it a secret?

Clark Jr. =], no secrets here, full name Clark Allen Bergmen Jr.

Well thank you so much for taking the time, I know your a very busy
person. God bless you and your family always.

Blessings to you, and again thank you for your interest, it
is more encouraging than you know


If anyone would like to find out more about C.J. Bergmen you can go to:
Official Website.

You can download his album Sons and Daugthers for free here:

You can listen to his album Sons and Daughters here:
Sons and Daughters.