10 Questions with ... Matt Redman
January 6, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 1993 Wake Up My Soul
- 1995 Passion for Your Name
- 1997 The Friendship and the Fear
- 1998 Intimacy (UK)
- 1998 The Heart Of Worship (USA)
- 2000 The Father's Song
- 2002 Where Angels Fear to Tread
- 2004 Facedown
- 2006 Beautiful News
- 2009 We Shall Not Be Shaken
- 2011 10,000 Reasons
- 2013 Your Grace Finds Me
1. Brief history/Synopsis
I was born in Watford, England - just north of London. I attended Watford Grammar School, the last few years of which I'd started getting into music and worship leading. I never realized I could end up doing it as a full-time occupation and am grateful that I get to do this. I now live near Brighton, UK.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
Every week is different. Last week I was songwriting morning to night with friends from the USA and Sweden in a tiny chapel here in our little village in England.
The week before that I was in London for a BBC recording. The week prior to that I was on a songwriting retreat in beautiful surroundings in rural Scotland. The week before that my wife was away in the USA so I had all five kids for the week - so never a dull moment, and lots of variety!
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
Probably 'The River" by Garth Brooks. Country music wasn't big in the UK when I was growing up so I kind of missed out on artists like this. My friend, Chris Tomlin, starting playing this old song to me in a songwriting session recently - it's so well crafted, and I love the emotion in it.
4. How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home? How much do you travel, what are the challenges?
I don't travel a crazy amount - and I've tried to learn to follow a busy travel season with lots of time at home. One of the best things is when we get to go together and see the world together.
5. What's the biggest "God moment" that you've ever experienced, personal or professional?
Last year I got to sing at the bedside of a friend who was in her last couple of weeks of terminal cancer. It moved me profoundly because though her physical strength was slowly fading away, her heart was so alive and so devoted to God. That moment also reminded me why I write songs. It's not ultimately for albums, and it's definitely not for accolades. I write songs because God is great and people are fragile.
6. What's the last book you read?
'Man's Search for Meaning' by Victor Frankl. He was a professional psychologist imprisoned in a concentration camp during the Second World War. It's such a well-written insight into that terror, but along the way he draws out so much of what makes us human. He teaches that even in our toughest moments we are not simply a 'plaything of our circumstances' - we can choose a response. It's such a powerful and thought-provoking read.
7. How did you become a believer. What caused you to want to serve God in full time ministry?
I became a Christian at age 10, though I don't remember a time I didn't talk to God.
I got into music because I could see how much of an effect it seemed to have on people's lives. And when I started songwriting, I saw how a song can travel to the deepest places of a person's heart and carry hope and truth there.
8. Take us thru 2-3 songs on your latest project "Your Grace Finds Me".
The title track is a song about how the undeserved goodness and kindness of God shows up in our lives everyday, in a multitude of ways. The song also mentions that you can find God's heart in our confusing or tough moments too.
The song "Mercy" is a celebration of the cross of Christ. This song has connected really quickly when we've led it live. I don't think I'll ever run out of things to say about the cross - what happened in that place is so utterly epic - and there are so many different angles from which you can journey to that place.
The song "Benediction" is the last song on the record. It's taken from an ancient blessing in the Old Testament of the Bible. I love that I could sing this over all kinds of people, in all kinds of circumstances, as a simple prayer of blessing.
9. If you could go back and change any events/decisions in your life, what would they be, and why?
I don't tend to think like that! But I do sometimes wonder if it would have been smart to learn to play piano. I'm about the only one of my songwriting mates who doesn't play at all.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question
Perhaps the politician and activist William Wilberforce or the hymn writer Charles Wesley.