On July 28, songwriter and worship leader Corey Voss will release his brand new EP for Integrity Music Songs of Heaven & Earth: Volume 1. Voss, who serves as worship pastor of Gateway Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee, is the writer behind the songs "Praise The King," and "I Will Call," both featured on the Jaci Velasquez album Trust, as well as the new Selah single, "I Got Saved." In addition, his co-writes with Paul Baloche, "Psalm 92" and "We Come To You, Jesus," were featured on Baloche's album Your Mercy.
A Southeastern University alum who majored in Church Ministry, Voss is a member of the All About Worship community and was previously featured on AAW's critically acclaimed album My Pursuit along with his own independent album How Great. His new 5-track EP, Songs of Heaven & Earth: Volume 1, is produced by Kyle Lee (Leeland, Michael W. Smith, Dustin Smith) and features three new songs from Voss along with two from fellow Integrity writers.
Voss' Songs of Heaven & Earth: Volume 1 will be released globally through all major digital service providers and streaming platforms with additional details to come. Information on Voss' music and ministry can be found at http://www.coreyvoss.com or by following him on Twitter @coreyvoss.
Q: Corey, thanks for doing this interview with us. You have written songs for Paul Baloche, Selah, Jaci Velasquez, All About Worship, and others. How did you start writing songs?
A: Thank you for asking me! I started writing songs while I was in college. I wrote a 6/8 anthem song about the return of the Lord called "Coming To Save Us." I only led the song one time in a chapel service and not long after I discovered that other students were leading the song I had written. That was a season where I really felt the Lord calling me to write for His Church.
Q: Many people are skeptical about today's contemporary worship songs because of their superficiality. How do you write songs that are easy for congregants to sing yet profound and scriptural?
A: I think that honesty and authenticity are so important in songwriting, especially in congregational worship. In my writing, I always try to filter lyrics and melodies with my home church in mind. I believe that in worship when we sing songs, we are actually releasing prayers, scriptures and songs of praise that actually shift and fill the atmosphere with God's presence. So I like to ask the Lord "What do Your people need to be singing?" when I'm writing.
Q: Let's talk about your new EP "Songs of Heaven and Earth Vol. 1." Why did you call it songs of heaven and earth?
A: Several years ago, I was on staff at church in Lakeland, Florida, and a good friend of mine shared a prophetic word that God had given her for me. This word was really meaningful and timely for me. She said that the Lord had called me a Forerunner and that He had called me to "execute something from heaven that would be new in the earth." This word has stayed in my heart all these years and fast forward to when it came time to record a new project-this became full circle. My friend and co-writer on the EP, Rhyan Shirley, was praying for me and out of the blue said "Corey, you should call your next project Songs of Heaven & Earth. It was really cool to see God speak through some of my best friends. So it just seemed perfect to title the project "Songs of Heaven & Earth Vol.1."
Q: I notice that many of the songs reference nature. "The King is Here" speaks of earth, mountains and oceans. Besides the titular, "Canyons" also talks about a rushing waterfall. Then you have "God Who Moves the Mountains." Do you spend a lot of time in nature? And how does nature inspire us to worship?
A: I do spend a lot of time outdoors. Living in Tennessee there are tons of hiking trails and places to discover. I really connect with God and my soul is refreshed when I'm out hiking in nature. So during the writing for this project a lot of that imagery was floating around in my heart and mind. I just think it's so amazing to look at all that God has created and to see how intricate it is. It's engaging to our senses. I think worship is so much more than singing songs. It's an experience of His presence and goodness. All through the bible there are nature references to declare God's glory so I wanted this to be a consistent theme for my record.
Q: Why did you choose to cover "God Who Moves the Mountains" which has already been done by Dustin Smith and recently by Jaci Velasquez?
A: I had the honor and privilege of singing "God Who Moves The Mountains" on Dustin Smith's first healing project "Reach Out Your Hand," and since I first had heard this song, it has increased my faith for miracles in knowing that God can move any mountain. When it came time to choose songs for this EP, this song just felt like the right decision. Every time I sing this song, it's a powerful experience in God's presence.
Q: "Don't Ever Let Me Go" finds you co-writing with Melanie Tierce and Jennie Lee Riddle. I love the songs written by Riddle especially her "Revelation Song" (performed by Kari Jobe). What was it like co-writing with her?
A: Jennie is not only an incredible songwriter and mentor whom I've always looked up to, she is a dear friend of mine. Her internship program with People & Songs / The Emerging Sound is actually now based in the same county I grew up in, La Porte, Indiana. Jennie is one of my favorite people to write with and some of my favorite songs on this project are songs that she has written. She carries an authority and confidence to empower the people around her in their writing.
Q: "Vol.1." in your album title suggests that you have another volume coming out. When will Vol. 2 be released? Any hints yet as to what we can expect from the second volume?
A: YES! There will be a Volume 2 releasing sometime at the beginning of 2018. There will be 5 more songs that were recorded live at my home church included on this EP. One of them, I Got Saved, is currently being carried by the artist, Selah. There is also a new version of Praise the King, previously recorded on my first project and recently recorded by Jaci Velasquez.