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Hope Chapel Speaks of the Heart Behind "Hear My Cry"

Hope Chapel

The Hermosa Beach-based worship team, Hope Chapel is proud to release their 2nd album on DREAM Worship titled, Hear My Cry; their 20th album overall. The group produced a hopeful, progressive and spirit-led worship experience through 10 beautiful tracks.

This album explores the concept of the phrase, Hear My Cry from two distinct perspectives. One from the view of the lost, tired or downtrodden crying out to God in times of need. The other from one praising God in adulation, admiration and thanksgiving for His faithfulness and steadfast love.

"The Hope Chapel team is excited to share our latest record with Christians locally and globally! We are thankful for another opportunity to create music that glorifies our Lord and lifts His name above all others. May you be encouraged as we worship God together," says Worship Pastor, Alan Kisaka.

Q: Thanks so much for your time. Let's start with yourself, who is Hope Chapel?

Hope Chapel is a team of dedicated worship leaders, songwriters and musicians who serve in the Worship Ministry at Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach, CA. The church has a rich legacy of producing original music for worship. This current project, our 20th album, is a collaborative effort with Sam Kisaka (one of the worship leaders) taking the lead producer role alongside some of the other members of the worship band from our Tuesday Night young adults service. For more info go to www.hopechapelworship.com or http://hopechapel.org/worship

Q: Why did you name the album "Hear My Cry"?

While we were writing for this album, we were taking a lot of inspiration from the Psalms, and one thing that stuck out as we were studying them, was the raw honesty of the Psalmists. Just as they were unashamed to give God glory and praise Him for everything He was doing, they were equally unafraid to express frustration, anguish, anger, and even doubt in their writings. That's a huge part of what makes the Psalms so relatable to us thousands of years later. A full range of human emotion is captured within the Psalms, and that inspired us to try and emulate that in our songs. So, we took a simple phrase, "hear my cry", and explored the concept of saying that to God from two, polar-opposite emotional states.

One state being the meek cry of the lost or discouraged, seeking God in their time of need, and the other being the adulant cry of the encouraged and hopeful, giving praise to God. In every circumstance, God is constant. Our emotions and actions, on the other hand, are not, and this album is our attempt to address the, sometimes difficult, dynamic that exists within us fallible humans, trying to wrap our minds around what it means to fully trust a perfect, all-knowing God. Faith is not always an easy road, and we wanted to acknowledge that just as the Psalmists did thousands of years ago.

Q: I absolutely love the cover of your new album "Hear My Cry." What's the significance of the cover?

The cover was inspired by the album title, "Hear My Cry". We wanted to visually convey the turmoil within a heart struggling to fully trust an invisible God in good times and in uncertain times. The two faces, one looking toward the heavens, and the other cast downwards, were purposely kept void of expression so that it is up to the viewer to decide what they're feeling. Perhaps the face is looking up is doing so in hope? Or maybe it's adoration? Is the downcast face harboring grief? Or is that doubt? That is entirely up to the listener. The important thing is that, in the midst of any circumstance, our God is always there, unchanging in His grace, goodness, and mercy. That's a promise we must remember to hold onto every single day.

Q: Did you approach the making of this album any different from your previous record?

Yes, the last album, "Whatever May Come", consisted, primarily, of songs that had already been written during the couple of years prior to us starting production, and because of that, we already had a set vision for how they should be produced. For this record, we really wanted to try and capture the essence of the band and bring the artistic leanings of each member into the songwriting process. So, at the very beginning of the creative process, we got everyone together in the studio, and we just played whatever we felt like playing. We did this every week or so for a couple of months, and many of the songs on Hear My Cry were born during that process. We feel like that process really shaped the tone of the album, and made the entire production process a lot more collaborative.

Q: What were some highlights in putting this record together?

I would say the biggest highlights we had were our encounters with what we call "happy mistakes". We made so many mistakes over the course of making this record, but some of the best moments were when those mistakes inspired a great hook or took the song in a whole different direction that we wouldn't have thought to go if we hadn't made that mistake. Those moments helped us learn to embrace the whole journey and not get discouraged when we hit a bump in the road.

Q: I love the fact that most of the songs are so Christ centered. I especially love "Alpha Omega." How did this song come about?

"Alpha Omega" is actually one of those happy mistakes we mentioned earlier. One of our worship leaders, Justin Kalama, had written some verses and a chorus and recorded them on his phone, and our producer, Sam Kisaka, had created a track without hearing Justin's idea. The lyrics, melody, and track ended up fitting together perfectly, and just like that, we had ourselves a solid song for the album. When we're writing any one of the songs on this record, we were constantly trying to balance the lyrics so that they were, overall, Christ-focused and Christ-glorifying, while being introspective at the same time. Alpha Omega is a good example of that balance coming across well. The verses and chorus primarily deal with who God is, and the pre-chorus and bridge address how we respond to that reality.

Q: One of the songs that really made me stop and listen is "Heaven's Wonder." The song just left me speechless. What's the story behind this song?

"Heaven's Wonder" started as a collection of verses that Sam had written down awhile ago, but had never written a chorus to. They were written during a time of reflection on current events and all the depravity this world has to offer, and how, even in the face of that, nothing can put a dent in the eternal hope we have in our Savior and the promise of eternal life and fellowship with Him one day. "Heaven's Wonder" is a song that dreams and longs for that day, when sin no longer holds us, and pain and suffering is no more.

Q: Many of our readers are worship leaders, where can they go to get your sheet music if they choose to sing your songs in their churches?

We are in the process of getting them up on our website. For now just send an email request for any of the songs to justin.kalama@hopechapel.org 

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