With his new worship project, We Cry Out, set to release on August 24th, Jeremy Camp realigns his published music with his heart's desire - pure praise to the God he loves. An ordained minister and one of Christian music's top artists, Camp is fully committed to sharing his faith through worship songs on the new album, such as "Jesus Saves", "Overcome", "The Way", and more.
Recently, the Dove Award winner spoke with Praise.com about We Cry Out, sharing how it's the most spiritually refreshing project he's ever done.
Tell us a little bit about We Cry Out.
This is one of those albums that I feel like God was just laying in my heart to do again, which for me has been so refreshing because it was just that season in my life right now. That’s what I wanted to do, no formula, no like person saying, “Why did decide to do this, and what was the thought behind it?” I’m like, there wasn’t a lot of thought; it was like I felt God was laying on my heart do songs that I’ve done live, like “Mighty to Save”.
And God started giving me fresh songs, and then I wrote with some worship leaders, like Brenton Brown, Reuben Morgan, Matt Maher, which was different than I usually do. So for me, I was able to step back in this record, and not have a formulated reasoning like, “OK, this is what we’re going to do, here’s the singles.” It was just one like, man, I just wanted to sing these songs that have ministered in my heart, you know? And then write some new songs that are just more of that vertical lifted up songs. And man, it has refreshed me more than I can even tell you.
How has this songwriting and record producing process been refreshing?
It’s hard to describe really because there is no reasoning. This is really what I felt like. People have been asking me since I did Carried Me: The Worship Project, “When are you going to do another worship project?” And that’s my favorite one. I remember listening to that and just putting on these praise songs and just driving; and I just wanted to make sure it was something that the Lord was laying on my heart, not because the record company wanted me to sing it, not because it was the next thing I should do. It literally was just the right timing, and it’s been powerful in my life.
I’m probably more excited than I ever have about doing what I’m doing. When I first started, it was just that refreshing like, “you’re new, it’s ahh”! I feel like I’m full circle, back to that just kind of purity of everything, excitement of everything, even though I’ve always been excited about every record and every season, but kind of going back to literally the start of why I’m doing what I’m doing, just to lift up His name and just to go out and minister purely. And full circle but with a little bit more maturity. And so I think that there’s a depth to that. So I’m refreshed.
“Overcome” is a powerful song on the new album. And you’ve got a story to match it, so we’ve heard.
Oh, my goodness. Oh, wow. I remember I was in the studio, and there’s a part in the song, “we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and everyone overcome…” I know a lot of people that have been through a lot of things in their life. I’ve been through a lot of things in my life. And there was something to that song because of New Life Christian Fellowship. Jon Egan who went there, after the shootings wrote that song. It was just a song God gave him of healing and restoration for the church.
When I started singing that part, it sunk in as I’m singing it, even though when I heard it I felt it, I was like, “Man something’s special about this song.” When I started singing it and I’m recording it, I started saying it and knowing it, not just saying it as words but saying it and believing it and knowing it as I’m singing it. I started getting really emotional and my producer, I look up as I’m feeling really emotional, and just like, “Oh, my goodness,” and just singing it with my whole heart. He’s raising his hands up. My dad who was sitting down…stood up, and I just lost it. I started crying, and we were all like, “Did you feel that?” “Yeah, oh my goodness,” and the Holy Spirit just went [explode] in that room.
I feel like it just translated even when the choir sang it. I told them about it and told them the song, and I felt like it just translated; they got it. There’s something to that I don’t think I’ve experienced in a studio before. It feels more like I’m with a bunch of people and we’re all singing together to the Lord, and there’s just me in the room. This is before even the choir sang. It was just me in the room, and I was like I’m with a bunch of people just singing to the Lord.
It makes sense that it would be that way, because it’s worship to God. Why don’t we sense Him more in our worship?
Yeah, exactly. I heard that sometimes and it’s like, worship is our duty. “Here’s one we can give to the Lord.” I’m like wait. So if you’re sitting there going, “OK, I don’t feel like worshipping today, but I’m just going because that’s what I need to do.” I think that’s where you need to go, “wait, why am I not satisfied with my relationship with the Lord? Why do I not want to worship?” It’s not I’m just going to do it out of obedience, because I used to even say that, and there is a point of that, I understand that. You still thank Him and worship Him no matter what you go through. But if you’re saying I just don’t feel like it today, but I’m just going to do it, you need to check and see why is me serving Him not satisfying me… obviously means I’m distracted or I’m something. So it’s a heart search, really, if you think about it. It’s like if you’re not feeling it, then search your heart and see why you’re not feeling it, because He should be your everything, and you should be able to be like “ahh!”
Are we all guilty? Yeah, we’re all guilty. I’m guilty. But I think that scripture, “search me, Oh, God, try me and see if there be any wicked way in me”, and I think it’s like “search me, Oh, Lord, I don’t know why, Lord maybe I’m putting my eyes on things of this world, or I’m kind of just blah, not content with this”, and that can dictate why we’re not being satisfied. Being satisfied is not like, “oh, Lord I need you to make me feel good.” It’s I’m responding to, “oh, my goodness, who You are and what You’ve done.” We all should be responding, because He’s doing something every single day in our lives and being faithful every single day.
Besides “Overcome”, is there another favorite one that has been ministering to you?
I would say “The Way.” I love it…it’s one of those very simple songs that just declares, “shine bright, let your glory fill this land.” It’s kind of like a call, like you’re saying God show yourself, you are everything. You’ve shown yourself in everything. You’re shining bright, not just like, “Oh, we want to see you.” He’s here! You’re shining bright. Let your Word fill this place…. You’re the only way and the truth and the life basically is what it’s saying, and I think it’s just one of those pointed purposes. Shine bright. You are the way. I’m serving you.
An African choir sang on the song and it really brought kind of that worldwide feel to it, where it’s like, let your glory fill this land. It translates not just like over here. It just kind of translates to this kind of worldwide feeling which is amazing, so when I sing it, it’s just like, “Ahh!” Kind of this chant of like . . . .
The earth is His.
Yeah, and everything in it. You know what I mean? So, it’s been too good.
“Jesus Saves” …
That was a Tim Hughes song that I heard, and I was like, this is a continuation of kind of what I was speaking on before, kind of what I’ve been talking about, just like singing out so that all the world knows that “Jesus saves, raise a shout, let all the world know that Jesus saves”…. The reason why it affected me, why I wanted to do it, is because for one, it’s been my proclamation that I’ve been declaring, and always done anyway.
I think the whole point of it is... because the bridge goes, “You save, You heal, restore, reveal, your Father’s heart to us. You rose to raise us from the grave. Your Spirit lives in us in us,” it’s the understanding of this is what He’s done for us. He’s saved us. It’s what He’s done for us, the depth of what He’s done for us. And I was thinking last night that our response should be, “I want to let the world know what Jesus has done, and Jesus saved, that He’s done this.” And I think that’s why the song has impacted me, and why I want to do it is because it’s been my heart. It’s been what I’ve desired, and it declares it in a way that it reacts to me, and I want to share it with those, and I was thinking it seems foreign, so yeah it’s definite…
Yeah. I’m not ashamed of the Gospel. This is what it’s all about. So it’s been really refreshing… I’ve always been bold, and this kind of brings it out even more.
It’s a good place to be.
Yeah, it is. So I’m excited.