|Meet the Artist: Michael W. Smith|
|Written by DeWayne Hamby|
|Tuesday, 13 May 2014 02:27 PM America/New_York|
Iconic artist Michael W. Smith brings his musical gifting to Sovereign, a collection of fresh worship songs, as well as a deluxe version CD-DVD with a concert featuring Kari Jobe and Leeland Mooring. Sparrow Records (Capitol Christian Distribution) releases both titles May 13. Smith recently told Christian Retailing about the process of putting the new record together.
When did you decide Sovereign would be a collection of original songs?
The plan was to do a record of worship around the world. I’ve been literally on five continents in the past few years. The favor of God blows my mind. I said to my team, “We have to record all these shows.” We captured some stunning moments, people worshipping, people in Brazil breaking into “Agnus Dei” in Portugese. That was what I was putting together with Capitol. I was working this song called “Miracle” with Chris York and said, “Maybe the ‘Worship Around the World’ record is for another time. Maybe we do an album of new songs.” He started flipping out. It’s not live, like what I’ve done in the past, and it’s not all corporate. Half of it is kind of anthemic.
Did having a new label change how you approached this record?
I think it was much more of a team record. I’ve always wanted to work with Bill Hearn at the people at Capitol. I felt like I needed to change it up. I talked to every major label and ended up at Capitol. I remember being in the room and saying, “Guys, let’s do this together. I don’t need a bunch of ‘yes men.’ I need some pushback.” I got out of my comfort zone and started writing with all these kids. I completely went the other direction and took a lot of risks. My faith had to increase a bit. We went through almost 120 songs to listen to, and it took that many to get to 12.
Who did you collaborate with for Sovereign?
“Miracle,” I wrote with Kyle Lee and Seth Moseley. It was a great collaboration, still one of my favorite songs on the album. We let that be the bar. It’s got to hit at least there. That’s just the beginning of it. I’m a little too close to it because I’ve been listening to it over and over again in the studio. You just want to go to an island and deflate a bit. “You Won’t Let Go” is another song with Seth Moseley. We were working on “Miracle,” and I said, “Let me hear what you’re writing. You got any ideas?” He played me the track and I picked up an acoustic guitar and started writing the melody. The song reminds me of Romans 8, “Nothing can separate.” We pulled Mia Fields in who’s a great songwriter. She came in and we bashed it out, and we all got excited.
With more Christian films releasing, any chance you will get in front of the camera again soon?
I’ve read so many scripts. I feel like there’s another film for me as an actor. It’s got to be the right story. I haven’t found anything. It’ll have to be right thing for me.