Returning to his worship artist roots with his 6th recording project, We Cry Out, Jeremy Camp is bringing it back full circle. I had a chance to chat with him on the phone and talk about returning to a more “worship” driven album.
As the hot summer days wind down, you can find Jeremy writing and working with artist Adam Cappa. They’re working hard on an album that will release next spring. He’s also getting ready to tour this fall with artists, John Mark McMillan and Carlos Whittaker. Jeremy’s family is not unlike yours and mine, he’s just getting his kids back in the swing of a new school year.
The Most Rewarding Aspect of the Project
Jeremy’s new worship project, We Cry Out, hits streets on August 24. He says the most rewarding moment of making this album was just that, a “moment” that happened while recording the song Overcome. He says it just, “rocked his face.” “During the recording, there was a spontaneous moment of worship. The producer raised his hands, and my father was there; he stood up and worshiped. I had to stop singing from all the emotion. We felt God’s Spirit was so thick in that room—and I would never say that lightly.” He says that part of what made that experience so amazing was that as they sang through the bridge (We will over come by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony / Everyone overcome) that he just knew that God’s hand was all over it. It just “ministered to my heart,” he says.
The Most Challenging Aspect of the Project
One of the most challenging things about recording this project, he says, was to “capture the true essence of the songs.” Jeremy wanted to make sure that they weren’t just “formulating the ‘perfect’ song.” After listening through We Cry Out for the last few days, I believe that he achieved that goal. It’s one hundred percent the Jeremy Camp that we all know and love and throughout the recording you can sense the touch of the Holy Spirit.
Co-writing The Way
One of my favorite songs from the album is The Way. It is a little unique sounding in comparison to the rest of the album. After they were almost finished with the project, Jeremy’s brother-in-law, Brad Peens, showed him an idea for a song that included an African choir. Jeremy had a few ideas for the song, and they re-wrote it together. “It’s very anthemic, a world-wide kind of song,” Jeremy says. With lyrics like: All creation cries out with longing / with wisdom You always answer / Jesus, You are The Way, Jeremy says, “It feels like a war song, a cry of God’s glory.”
An Emotional Moment in the Studio
Another of my favorite cuts from We Cry Out is the song Overcome (Jon Egan). The arrangement from this recording really brings in the big choir sound. Instead of a paid choir, Jeremy brought in friends to create that big vocal sound. “We knew their hearts would be right,” he recalls. Before recording the choir parts Jeremy shared his experience in recording the song, and he says that what happened as they move forward was unbelievable. “God was just there in that moment,” he says.
I would agree. It has a “live” feel to it. In listening to this song over and over, you can just sense that it’s not just an ordinary studio recording. You can really feel the worship environment that they created there in that studio.
Recording Other Writers’ Songs
Most of the songs on this project are well-known, established worship songs written by other worship artists which brings him back to what was going to be his original project, Carried Me. “A lot of people don’t know that Carried Me was the first project I signed up to do; I was launching as a worship artist. But we ended up debuting with a studio album (Stay), because the content of those original songs related more directly to my personal testimony.” (Camp’s first wife had just passed away months after their wedding when he was 23 years old).
I asked him about how he decided which songs he included in his projects. He says simply, “The ones that minister to me.” He really enjoys recording songs that he’s done live. “When I sing them I believe them, they resonate big with me.”
What is God teaching You?
Jeremy believes that God has really been teaching him how to not rely on his own power when writing, leading, and worshiping in front of others. He often steps back from self-written tunes, choosing instead to celebrate and share the latest praise songs by others that have been stirring his own spirit toward revival.
Jeremy’s personal favorites from this project are Overcome, The Way, and Not Ashamed
Since we have a growing songwriter’s group at The Worship Community, I asked Jeremy about his writing process. “I spent some time co-writing with Matt Maher for this project,” he recalls. “Before we started, we talked about Scripture that was really ministering to us at the time. We prayed and asked God to give us a song.” He says his “process” for songwriting is all about “what God is showing you.” I could tell that he doesn’t write just to write, but puts a lot of passionate work into capturing the essence of a scripture or theme that really resonates with him. “If it doesn’t really resonate with me, I don’t feel it to write it,” he says.
When it comes to leading worship, Jeremy says that God is teaching him that not a lot happens when he gets up in front of people to minister in his own strength. “Authority comes from intimacy,” he says. “If you want to affect people, you need to spend time with God. I gotta be on my face.” I could really sense the authenticity as he talked about seeking God.
Jeremy encourages all the musicians, singers, writers, team leaders, worshipers that are connected to The Worship Community and the Church at large to “be faithful.”
“Never think because you’re not ‘out there’ that you don’t matter,” he encourages. “Your rewards are in heaven! That’s all that matters.”
We Cry Out – The Worship Project hits streets on August 24th. It is available for pre-order on iTunes now!