Monday, December 14, 2009

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

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