Nineteen year-old singer-songwriter Sam Hibbard from Aberdeen, Scotland, is releasing his debut studio EP 'Higher Ground' on 25th August. The songs were the fruit of Hibbard's training with Worship Central Academy. On this project, Hibbard got to work with music stalwarts such as Jonny Bird from Army of Bones, David Henderson Designs, Grant McGregor and Lewis Catto.
We are honored to catch up with Sam Hibbard for this exclusive interview.
Q: Sam thank you for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself, tell us a little abut yourself.
A: I am a 19 year old independent singer-songwriter based in Scotland. I am extremely passionate about music and God, and for the past three years I have been on a journey of discovering the process of making a recorded from the initial idea to completing a record. Putting vision into action is one of my favourite things to do. I just love pursing and learning new things.
Q: Are you currently serving as a worship leader in church? Are you in school? What made you want to be a singer and songwriter?
A: I have just finished my studying music at college and my training with Worship Central. For the past two years I have been gigging regularly in and around my home city, playing a range of gigs in cocktail bars to muddy outdoor festivals. I have also had the privilege of leading worship and playing drums in my local church for the past five years. The reason I got into sharing my music with others was simply because I wanted to express what I believe God has given me. I believe we should always be looking to display our gifts in a way that will hopefully encourage, bless and lift up others.
Q: How would you describe your style of music? Which artists would you say influence you on your sound?
A: I think I'm yet to discover "my sound" and to be honest I think that will always evolve and change moving forward. Although right now I would say I am a fusion of electronic and acoustic. My latest record "Higher Ground" I would describe as vibrant sounding. I take influence from a range of people such as Phil Wickham, Hillsong, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.
Q: I first came to know about your music via your song "In the Waiting." The song touched me deeply. Was this the first song you released? How did the song come about?
A: Back in 2013 when I was 15 years old I released a single called "Stepping Out" and a year after a five track EP called "Wholeheartedly". I was done on zero budget and with the help of folk at my church. I would say "In The Waiting" felt like a first proper release for me where I had a better understanding of songwriting, producing, recording, distribution and releasing. I wrote the song during a time where I didn't felt God was present or active in my life but I was drawn back to Romans 8:28. God reminded me that he's always working for our good as long as we give our lives in loving surrender to him. "In The Waiting" was the overflow of this revelation.
Q: How did you come to record your new EP "Higher Ground"?
A: The songs were a fruit of my training with Worship Central so back in April 2017 I launched a crowdfunding page to raise money to make this record happen. As an independent artist everything is backed by what I have in my hands and the resources around me so this was a great way to engage people in the project and raise the funds to do it well. In two weeks we smashed the target and soon enough everything started falling into place. I had some talented people input in the project which I wouldn't of completed it without them. The project was done in less than five months from the launched of the crowdfunding page.
Q: What are some of the highlights for you in the making of this EP?
A: Overall highlight for me is simply creating something completely new and seeing it through to completion. I loved working with some incredible people which was a highlight for me. With a focus and vison plus lots of hard work it all happened to fast. I am thankful and recognise God's favour and grace throughout the whole process.
Q: Who were some of the people involved with you in the making of this EP?
A: I wrote all the songs myself, my good friend Grant McGregor produced the tracks, Jonny Bird mixed and mastered all the songs, Lewis Catto took charged of all the album artwork, my cousin Ross Brooks did all the photography and David Henderson Design created the promo videos.
Q: How do you wish these songs would impact your listeners and God's kingdom?
A: My hope is that these songs will simply encourage people that are already on the faith journey but ultimately I want these songs to impact people out with the walls of the church. The people that don't know Jesus. I truly hope these songs reach people that maybe have no experience of God or church, those that have fallen away from God and those that go to church but maybe have no intimacy with God. My prayer as that these songs will plant a seed of faith and will call the prodigals home. Moving forward I feel strongly called to creating music and writing songs that will reach people out with the walls of the church.