Q&A With Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp is no stranger to success. The 35 year-old Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter is one of the most popular artists in the industry, and he has a truckload of awards and recognitions to his credit - including 17 number-one songs.
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Even still, life beckoned, and Camp took an extended hiatus from the studio to write a book, release a greatest hits compilation, spend some time with his wife and three kids and worship with hungry Christians around the country. Now he's back with a new album, and he's ready to challenge everyone to get Reckless for God.
It's been five years since your last studio album. What was the experience like this time around? Was there anything different about your approach to recording?
God has done so much in my life and in my heart the last few years, and to be able to translate that into an album was amazing. I had the opportunity to work on this record with my friend and co-producer, Andy Dodd. When we started writing for the album, we were on the same page in terms of what God was doing in our lives. He understood what was on my heart, and helped me better explain what the Lord was doing in my life through these songs. Musically and vocally, it's more raw - but in a good way.
Like with "Reckless" [the title track], rather than bringing in heavy guitar for the chorus, we cranked up the keys and let the piano do that rock part. We also focused a lot on the lyrics. We were over-thinking it in a good way, going back and forth with each other always asking, "What impacts most?" We really put our blood, sweat, and tears into this!
You've won the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award four times, as well as the ASCAP Song of the Year Award. How do you balance writing a hit song that people will enjoy with writing a song that will really touch souls? Is one aspect more important?
On this album, I really focused on what God has placed in my heart during this season of my life. Writing with Andy was huge in the fact that I think we were able to effectively communicate what God has been teaching me and wanting me to share. The truth is, you don't know exactly how a song is going to make an impact until it's released, but there are many different aspects that go into each one - lyrics, groove, melody, structure, instrumentation, tone, and much more. Working with Andy helped to creatively determine what's best for each song on the record, and I think it turned out almost better than I expected!
You've had quite a bit of crossover success in your career. What is the one thing that you want all fans - regardless of religious affiliation - to take away from your music, particularly on this new album?
This album shows what God has been doing in my life and in my heart. He has been teaching me complete surrender - that aspect of being "reckless" for Him. My hope is that Reckless encourages people to step into the fullness of what God has called them to do, and take action. The album is meant to encourage all of us to go out, not just me. If we can all work together and be in the same place spiritually, that body of Christ working together can fuel a passion that is truly great. There is power in numbers!
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