Artist Spotlight: Pastor William Murphy Talks New Album, "God Chaser"
When "Praise is What I Do" dropped in 2001, it became an international praise and worship anthem almost instantly, catapulting pastor William Murphy, the song's writer and lead singer, to the forefront of gospel music's stage.
Interestingly, before Murphy allowed the song to be recorded by Shekinah Glory Ministry, he intended for it to be added it to his own album- a project-in-the-making that he borrowed $15,000 from his grandfather to produce. Instead, though, he graciously relinquished it.
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It was a decision that demonstrated Murphy's generosity and faithfulness, and he was rewarded quite handsomely as he traveled around the world, witnessing the impact of his words and gifts. "That recording was something that God had called me to do," says Murphy. "But never in a million years would we have thought that the song would have as much success as it has."
Yesterday, Murphy released his latest album, God Chaser (his first on RCA Inspiration), and in the spirit of his rich praise and worship tradition, it is full of Divinely inspired tracks that will have listeners lifting their hands to the heavens in no time.
The album's lead single, "You Reign," has been well received by radio and churches across the country, but Murphy cites "It's Working," God Chaser's second single, as his favorite. The power ballad is a bold declaration of expectation for God's blessings and favor. "This is my season for grace, for favor," he sings. "This is my season to reap what I have sown."
"It's extremely personal for me," explains Murphy of his affinity for the track. "I've been faithful for a long time - I served my grandad's ministry, I served my dad's ministry, I served Bishop Morton - and now I find myself in a situation where I'm still a son, but now I have spiritual sons and daughters who are coming after me."
On the uptempo side, "Higher" is a standout. Set against staccato piano melodies and acrobatic drum beats, Murphy proclaims, "No more hesitation, I'mma seize the moment - our God is here. He's here to elevate you, just lift your hands and take it, that's all you do." And on the chorus: "I am going higher, aint gon' let nothing stop me now. The devil is a liar, I'mma get what God has for me anyhow."
Murphy actually penned the song's lyrics some time ago and indefinitely shelved them. Then, in a moment of worship at his church, they came rushing back.
"Anybody who knows me knows that it takes me a minute to learn the lyrics to my songs," says Murphy. "I wrote this song 13 years ago, and the lyrics came immediately back to me. It was different music - different everything - but I started singing it and I said, 'This has got to go on the record."
That is, in fact, how Murphy pens many of his songs: in church, in the middle of prayer and devotion, knee-deep in the presence of God. And that prophetic anointing, that extra touch from God on each of God Chaser's tracks, is precisely why he encourages fans to buy the album.
"The moment you hear [the songs], it's almost like somebody grabbed you by the hand and brought you into God's presence," says Murphy. "Do yourself a favor. If you like good music, if you're serious about your relationship with God, God Chaser is the record you need to get."
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