Passion exists to glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation. Passion has encountered millions of students and 18-25 year olds, young people whose lives have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the most impactful and stirring aspects of the movement has been the sea of voices uniting together to lift up the name of Jesus, currently helmed by Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Melodie Malone. The band has seen worship leaders such as Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Crowder, Christy Nockels and more unite over the years, writing, recording and leading arenas in worship. Transcending the conferences, songs from Passion have become some of the most recognizable and unforgettable worship anthems of this generation. With more than 1.8 million units sold and a multitude of chart topping singles such as “How Great Is Our God,” “One Thing Remains,” “Even So Come,” and “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” listeners across the world continue to be impacted by the music of Passion. Songs from Passion such as Even So Come, Salvation’s Tide Is Rising, and Worthy of Your Name have become timeless staples in the Church. Their newest offering, Whole Heart, is set to release digitally February 23, 2018. The four time Dove Award winners have had seven albums debut at No. 1 on Billboards Christian Albums Chart with two hitting the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. Through it all, Jesus continues to remain at the center.
Capitol Christian Music Group
David Crowder first stepped into the music industry when he realized that over half of the students at Baylor University, a Christian school that he attended in Waco, Texas, were not going to church. He began to actively recruit students for worship services and started writing songs to draw more young people in. He eventually started releasing the songs, leading to his debut album, 2002's Can You Hear Us? The album was released under the name the David Crowder Band, as Crowder was joined by guitarists Jack Parker and Jason Solley, drummer Jeremy Bush, bassist Mike Dodson, and electric violinist Mike Hogan. Their sophomore effort, Illuminate, appeared in the fall of 2003 and was followed a year later by The Lime CD, which comprised two earlier live releases (The Green CD and The Yellow CD) that had been given out to fans who had either pre-ordered prior albums or attended various CD release parties.
Sunsets & Sushi appeared in early 2005 before the band's next studio album, the bluegrass-tinged A Collision, was issued that fall. A spinoff of the latter album, entitled B Collision, came out a year later and focused even more on the group's delvings into bluegrass. Remedy was released in 2007, followed by Church Music in 2009. A four-song EP, Summer Happiness, featuring acoustic versions of songs from Church Music, appeared in 2010. Arriving in 2012, Give Us Rest; Or, A Requiem Mass in C (The Happiest of All Keys) was the David Crowder Band's sixth and final studio album. It was followed in 2014 by Crowder's solo debut, Neon Steeple, which was released under the moniker Crowder. The album was a major success for Crowder, topping the Christian chart and reaching number nine on the Billboard Top 200 as well as earning a Grammy nomination for his song "Come as You Are." He followed up in September 2016 with American Prodigal. ~ Bradley Torreano, Rovi
Capitol CMG artist Riley Clemmons' music is the intersection of her root in church music and love for fresh, upbeat pop. Her first single, Broken Prayers, is a powerful anthem that combines compelling melodies with a rich, thoughtful chorus. Though youthful, Riley has a seasoned strength that shines throughout her music. She began writing songs at the age of 13 and played shows around her hometown. Her inaugural collection of music finds her working with a bevy of top writers including GRAMMY Award®-winning Emily Weisband (Hillary Scott) and Josh Kerr (Kelsea Ballerini, Danielle Bradbery) alongside GRAMMY®-acclaimed producers Ben Glover (for KING & COUNTRY, Mandisa) and Tedd T (for KING & COUNTRY, Stacie Orrico).
Riley vulnerably shares her open faith along with her stunning vocals and sunny personality. Yet if there’s one thing Riley hopes listeners will take from her debut single, it is what a growing process it’s been for her. “Stepping into who I am as a young woman and a child of God and finding my own identity through that is really the core of all the songs I’ve written,” she says. “I’m excited for people to hear that, and I hope it will help them find comfort in their own journey and in their own personal growth. We all have ‘Broken Prayers,’ but my hope is that this song will help others find comfort in the midst of their own brokenness.”
Amidst so much heaviness consuming events of today’s world, Rend Collective is sharing good news as a response to that brokenness. The Ireland-hailing Rend Collective is harkening back to their roots-y, unique sound - originally birthed out of Bangor, Ireland – for their sixth studio album, Good News, releasing January 19. Taking on the moniker “Purveyors of Good News,” Rend Collective is barreling down the road of authenticity, and simple old-fashioned Gospel. Grown away from industry or formula, each song from Good News is deeply connected to the band’s roots in missional community - a group of people, or extended family, who are united through Christian community around a common service and witness to a particular neighborhood or network of relationships – much like the band themselves.
The title track and lead single, “Rescuer (Good News),” speaks to the band’s desire to shed light in the dark places. In a society that seems to continually face bad news, the lyrics point to the good news found in Jesus for every season and circumstance. “There's a lot of bad news out there, but no matter what we have good news, and that good news has a name: Jesus Christ. Today there is nothing more powerful we can do in the darkness, in the bleakness, than proclaim the good news, than proclaim the gospel, and that’s why we wrote this song," says bandleader member Gareth Gilkeson. Writing “Counting Every Blessing” was a personal and vulnerable process for the band. Birthed out of a period of downheartedness, the band made a conscious effort to practice ‘counting blessings’ in lieu of comparison. “Sometimes we spend so much of our time looking at what we don’t have rather than being thankful for what we do have,” shares Gilkeson. “Our time on social media, comparing our lives to others, steals our joy and leaves us empty. God has given us so much and we must discipline our minds to think on our blessings rather than letting them fester on what we think we lack.” Good News is marked with joy and celebration from beginning to end, but it doesn’t shy away from hardship.
Each of the 15-tracks on the album speak to the struggle we all experience in light of the good news we’ve been invited to share in. “All of us make mistakes and hit the ground feeling like we can’t get up again, that our failure is too overwhelming,” Gilkeson shares about the song, “Resurrection Day.” He continues, “But Romans 8 says that ‘The power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of our mortal bodies’. That means resurrection flows in our veins and if Jesus can rise from the dead, we can get up off the floor again, declaring ‘this is my resurrection day.’” With Good News, Rend Collective has chosen not to shy away from the brokenness and suffering, but rather through music and lyric that continues to push boundaries in the band’s own unique way, brings light to the darkness. This album is an invitation to all of us – to lament, to remember, and to share in the good news that belongs to all of us.
Best known as one of the primary singer/songwriters for the band Housefires, Pat Barrett is a worship leader at Grace Midtown in Atlanta, GA. With songs such as “Build My Life” and “Good Good Father,” Barrett is a key songwriter and artist in the broader worship community. He is the first signing on Chris Tomlin’s new label imprint, Bowyer & Bow, in partnership with Capitol CMG.
On October 6, GRAMMY®-nominated singer, songwriter and storyteller Jeremy Camp released THE ANSWER, his 15th career album in 15 years. Since his debut album, 2002’s STAY, Camp has established himself with numerous landmark accolades, including four RIAA-certified Gold albums, more than 4.5 million albums sold, a GRAMMY nomination, three American Music Awards nominations, multiple ASCAP awards, 41 radio No. 1’s, a Gold digital single (“There Will Be A Day”), and a multi-Platinum DVD. He has also toured the world, sharing his music in more than 36 countries, and his organization, Speaking Louder Ministries, has allowed him to travel to Brazil, Guatemala, Ukraine, Japan and Kyrgyzstan. Now, with his latest album ready to debut and a headlining tour this fall is almost underway, Camp finds himself, more than ever before in his life, truly living in the moment.
“What’s been amazing about The Answer is that all of the songs were inspired by just being present,” Camp shares. “There was no song where I was sitting there and had this epiphany when I was writing. In every writing session, any idea literally just came in the moment. I was praying the whole time, ‘Lord, give me opportunities to combine these things that You are doing in our hearts.”
Camp co-wrote the ten songs on the album with a plethora of well-respected songwriters, from Ed Cash and Scott Cash, Colby Wedgeworth and Ethan Hulse, as well as Josh Silverberg and Jess Cates. Writing sessions began by just talking - no purposeful agenda or topic was allowed. The goal was to hang out, to share what’s going on in their lives. Camp explains, “The conversations that would come out of these writing sessions were the most incredible conversations I’ve had in a long time. I went in intentionally asking, ‘What’s God teaching you? What’s going on in your life right now?’ I wanted to have a real discussion every time, and many of these conversations turned into deep prayer times where we were literally on the floor, weeping and praying for each other. We had true holy spirit moments.”
The album’s first single, “Word Of Life,” came from one of those sessions. “I thought about the Scripture in John 6:60-68 when we were writing this song,” he explains. “When Jesus asked His disciples if they are willing to go through what it takes to follow Him, they left because they didn’t like what Jesus was saying. But it was Peter who said, “Where else am I going to go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Camp continues, “When things get tough our first initial reaction is to say, ‘I don’t know if I can handle this.’ I can just tell you there is nowhere else to run. We can turn our backs on the Lord, but that’s where the problems are. There is pain and there is hurt, and Jesus literally offers peace, He offers hope and joy, and He offers the words of eternal life. This song is to encourage others to stick to the only true source of life who gives us all we need - Jesus Christ.”
With the anthemic “The Answer,” “God just dropped these words on us,” Camp exclaims. “We literally had no agenda, we just wanted to write songs that are going to be impactful for this generation, and the timing of this song and what’s going on in the world right now is just perfect.”
“My Defender” shares about God as our Shield and our Refuge. “When we were writing this song, I thought about all the times in Scripture when it talks about Him as our Defender. I love that word, and I’m so thankful that He fights our battles, that he is our Protector, and thankful that greater is He that is in us than He is in the world.”
Camp concludes, “My first record (Stay) came from things I’d been through and I just wrote it out. Now 15 years with The Answer, it’s the same. I just wrote about this season of life. Our kids [with wife Adrienne and their three children: Bella-13, Aerie-12, and Egan-6] are growing up like crazy, one’s a teenager, and I’m looking at the world right now and everything that’s going on, and God just gave us these songs. I’m so thankful.”
From his rural Texas roots, cutting his chops on his father’s Country-Western record collection, to the small Baptist church where he was first compelled by congregational singing, and now in his current position as the definitive worship leader for the worldwide church, Chris Tomlin has always been motivated to provide spiritual seekers a voice to talk with God through music. “Even as a kid, when I played at church, I loved the sound of people singing,” Chris says, remembering his first impressions of hearing his home congregation raise the roof in praise. “I had no clue I would become a worship leader. I just loved to play music that people could sing with, and I loved it when people would sing to God.”
Fast-forward thirty years and the artist whose humble demeanor suggests music is as much his heart’s calling as a heady career has sold millions of albums, streamed billions of tracks, spawned 16 #1 radio singles and been awarded with multiple RIAA Gold and Platinum certifications, and a list of Grammy, Dove, Billboard Music and American Music Awards.
Touted by TIME Magazine as “the most often sung artist anywhere,” on any given Sunday tens of millions of people in churches across the globe sing songs from Chris’ rich, worship-focused catalog. Consistently ranking in the Top 20 of the CCLI Top 100 chart years after initial release, his benchmark anthems include “At the Cross (Love Ran Red),” “Our God” and “How Great is our God” – one of the fastest rising modern day hymns in CCLI chart history. His latest #1 single-turned-corporately sung staple, “Good, Good Father,” was RIAA certified Gold after spending 15 weeks atop the Billboard Top Christian Tracks Chart.
Further cementing the profound impact of his widely sung songs, Chris joined Garth Brooks, Justin Timberlake and Pitbull as the fourth artist in digital music history to receive the prestigious Sound Exchange Digital Radio Award for over 1 billion digital radio streams.
Affirming his lifetime calling to “write songs that help people worship God,” Chris continues to evolve in his musical leadership role for the nation with the recent inauguration of Worship Night in America events – unifying the church through an evening of worship through music and prayer. Over the last few years, live Worship Night in America events have sold out historic venues like New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and last year’s nationwide theatricast sold over 60,000 tickets to viewings on more than 440 screens. “The church has been leading with politics for too long,” Chris opines. “The church’s place in the world is to lead with prayer. And one of music’s roles is to help us see more clearly through the fogginess of current events.”
Amy Grant has built a long, successful career on music that matters. Ever since she burst on the scene as a fresh-faced teenager bringing contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, the Nashville native gained a reputation for creating potent songs that examined life’s complexities with an open heart and keen eye. She became the first artist in Christian music to have a platinum record and went on to become a crossover sensation, her musical gifts transcending genre boundaries to make her a household name.
She’s earned six Grammy Awards and numerous Gospel Music Association Dove Awards as well as three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums. She’s achieved 10 Top 40 pop singles and placed 17 hits on the Top 40 Adult Contemporary chart as well as scoring numerous hits on the contemporary Christian charts. A longtime and active Nashville resident,Grant is as well known for her philanthropy as her music. She and husband, Vince Gill, are tireless in their efforts to aid worthy causes.
Mack Brock has been a worship leader for over 15 years and landed three songs in the Top 50 of the CCLI Chart, co-writing “O Come To The Altar,” “Resurrecting,” “Here As In Heaven,” and “Do It Again” – all songs which have had a significant impact on the church worldwide. “O Come To The Altar” was a multi-week Top 5 hit at both Billboard AC Monitored and National Christian Audience charts. Mack Brock’s greatest passion is to lead people into a heightened awareness of the presence of God and to see individuals experience the breakthrough God has for them through worship. Brock, who has led thousands in worship in arenas and auditoriums all across the United States, resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two children.
It’s said for everything there is a season. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. One by one, we experience these seasons throughout our lives. Our souls grow dark and weary in the thick of winter, and just when we think we can’t endure another cold night, we recognize the first signs of spring. Slow and unexpected, welcome shades of green break through the frozen ground. Sometimes our Creator uses His own creation to remind us that even amidst winter’s chill He is always at work. For it’s in the unseen where life’s most beautiful moments take shape. Worship leader Kari Jobe knows this to be true in her own life, and on her fourth album, The Garden (Capitol CMG), she invites listeners to drink of the wellspring of hope she’s found in the midst of unimaginable tragedy.
The Garden planted the songwriter back in the studio following 2014’s critically-acclaimed live recording, Majestic—which won a GMA Dove Award for Praise and Worship Album of the Year—the new album is also rooted in a series of personal transition and remarkable grief for the singer and her family. In the past two years, Jobe married her husband Cody Carnes and moved from her hometown of Dallas, Texas, to Nashville, where the couple bought their first home and had a baby. With due dates three months apart, Jobe and her sister, Kris, were excited to be pregnant at the same time. Yet, in the midst of happy life changes, heartbreak struck. Seven-and-a-half months into her pregnancy, Kris gave birth to a stillborn daughter, James Ivy. Jobe, four months pregnant with her son at the time, was devastated.
“It just shattered my heart. It was so, so hard,” Jobe shares. “It wrecked me—just the weight of unanswered prayers. I was trying to walk in peace when I didn’t feel peaceful and find my rest when my spirit didn’t feel rested.”
Aching for her sister, Jobe was simultaneously anxious for the safety of her own child. On February 18, 2016, a healthy Canyon Carnes entered the world. “It’s hard to celebrate life, but to be grieving with your sister,” Jobe admits, adding that knowing Canyon’s name ahead of time gave her strength through the remainder of her pregnancy after the loss of her niece. “God gave us his name even before this whole thing took place,” she says. “Canyon means a deep ravine for water to flow through. Canyons are formed through storms, so the fact that God gave me his name was so peaceful to me… I was thankful He gave me his name for that season.”
While the birth of her son was undoubtedly a milestone to celebrate, her sister’s loss weighed heavy on her heart. Yet, a reminder of God’s kindness came in a surprising way. As Jobe held Canyon in her arms, she stood looking out the kitchen window of her new home. And there in her backyard, she glimpsed the first signs of spring. When she and her husband purchased the house, a garden that resided on the property was overgrown; and though they knew it needed to be tended, they were advised to wait and see what it produced. The result was a breathtaking bounty of harvest. That day, Jobe made her way through the garden—a stark reminder of God’s faithfulness in all circumstances. Looking up, interwoven in the archway, she couldn’t help but smile as she saw what only God could produce: thick, green ivy lacing its way overhead, immediately reminding her of her niece’s namesake.
“Ivy is the most resilient plant there is. It can grow in the harshest of climates; it can grow in the harshest of situations,” Jobe explains, adding, “I’m standing in this garden. There’s ivy growing, and I just started to realize, ‘God, You’re moving in a way that is different than what I asked for, but You are moving.’ He’s at work and doing things we can’t see.”
The experience yielded the title track for Jobe’s new album and fresh healing for her soul. “Those seeds were planted years ago for it to be the way that it was that day for me, because it wasn’t just last year that they planted all this beautiful ivy. That took years,” she observes. “Something in my spirit started to rustle. Life was coming back. What felt dead in my heart was starting to wake up. It was like I’d been in this place of being numb in my walk with the Lord, but something just started blooming in my heart.”
Her unanswered questions began to grow into songs. As Jobe declared God’s goodness over her own circumstances, He began to transform her heart. “These raw things were coming out of my mouth, so I just started writing,” she shares. “I Will Sing,” written while she was still pregnant, became the first song she penned for this album. Jobe spent the next several months pouring out her emotions one track at a time, collaborating with friends, and eventually recording half of the album in Redding, California, and the other half in Nashville. She and her husband wrote together frequently, and Cody adds vocals on numerous tracks. In addition, Jobe co-wrote with acclaimed songwriters, including Jacob and Amanda Cook of Bethel Music, Brooke Fraser Ligertwood, Ben Fielding, Jason Ingram, Mia Fieldes, Martin Smith, Henry Seeley and Josh Silverburg, among others. In addition, she covered two songs that she claimed in the midst of loss: Jesus Culture’s “Miracles” and Elevation Church’s “Here As In Heaven.” Jeremy Edwardson (Jesus Culture, Bryan and Katie Torwalt), who helmed Majestic, produced the project.
While songs like “Fall Afresh,” “Heal Our Land” and “Closer to Your Heart” reveal congregational anthems like many of the offerings that have defined Jobe’s career, most of The Garden’s 14 tracks speak to hope in the midst of loss, peace in the midst of uncertainty and God’s presence in the midst of pain. “Oh The Power” vividly recalls another garden where suffering took place, the Garden of Gethsemane. “Jesus went to a garden in His last moments to have intimacy with the Father. It was like He wanted to be surrounded with something that reminded Him of when there was no sin and there was no separation from God,” Jobe says, referencing the garden where mankind began—in Eden. It’s a heavenly space she hopes to invite listeners into with her new album, which, on a sonic level, feels like an overarching narrative backed by a sweeping cinematic score, meant to be savored from start to finish.
“The garden is true intimacy with the Father, and it’s a place where He intended for us as humankind to be surrounded with His creation. There’s life in things that He’s created,” she offers. “I want to lead people into intimacy with the Father. It’s something that’s so important as we walk through stuff in our lives.”
Today, Jobe and her family continue to discover restoration through glimpses of God’s goodness. “The healing that He’s been bringing to my family and the way that He’s met us in our pain, it’s made me realize how many people are going through really intense pain and disappointments and trials,” Jobe offers. “There’s a lot of people who have lost babies or family members out of traumatic experiences. My eyes have been opened to that in a whole new way.”
She’s also viewing her platform in a new light since giving birth to Canyon. “I feel more of a maternal instinct now in my worship leading, even declaring things over people,” she shares, adding, “At the end of the day, my favorite thing now is just to be on the floor playing with blocks and reading books. Nothing else really matters. If I just became his momma and a wife, I’m fine with that. I just feel more settled than I’ve ever felt in my life.”
In the time leading up to The Garden, Jobe has experienced both indescribable joy and unimaginable pain. Life and death, side by side. Yet, through it all, she’s found God to be inextricably faithful because she’s learned to trust the Gardner and the beautiful, unseen ways He tends to our hearts.
“Everyone who’s seen something grow out of the dust realizes God was up to something in the midst of pain and questions. He never promised that it would be easy or that it would be pain-free, but that He would never leave us or forsake us,” Jobe offers, adding, “I’m more aware of His presence than I think I’ve ever been. God has surrounded us with things that will be life-giving if we take a moment to realize it. God’s always at work in our lives. He truly does go before us and prepares the way for the journey ahead.”