Influencers will drop a brand new album Just The Cross on May 17. The 13 track live collection's aligns with the name of their viral single which is nearing a million streams worldwide. Born out of experiences in both Haiti and the U.S., "† (just the cross)" was two years in the making and has been uplifted by popular Spotify Playlists "WorshipNow" and "Christian Mix", as well as significant placements on Apple Music's biggest Christian & Gospel playlists including "Praise & Worship" and "Breaking Christian."
Q: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Tell us about Influencers Church --- do you guys have campuses in both the US and Australia?
Thank you for having us! We sure do, we have 6 campuses in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia and since moving to Atlanta, GA in 2012 we've planted 4 campuses stateside.
Q: Who makes up Influencers Worship?
Influencers Worship is made up of a collective tribe of musicians, worship leaders and songwriters from Influencers Church across our campuses in Australia and the USA!
Q: There are countless worship bands out there, what do you think is unique about your style of worship music?
Danae: So far all of our songs have come from collaboration within our own team, and while there's nothing wrong with bringing in outside writers, our songs are intentionally written for our church and by our Church. Being spread out across the world also means we have a super diverse team from all walks of life and we love that everyone brings their own experiences and perspectives to the table when we come together - it feels like family and looks like heaven!
Q: I have read the songs on your new album were born in many different places, including Haiti. Tell us more about where some of these songs were written.
Chloe: Our songs have been written in so many different places! The great part about having a writing team that is spread out across the world means that many of our songs carry interesting stories as to where and when the conception took place!
Mark: We actually first started discussing the concept for our single † (just the cross) under a tree in Haiti while our camera batteries were cooling! It was a very hot day and we clearly weren't prepared, but God used that moment to spark a conversation that led to the song being written.
Chloe: "Father's Love" is another song that came about in a foreign location. Mark first had the inspiration for the message of the song while he was driving to one of our Atlanta campuses to speak one Sunday morning but it was left as a chorus for over a year. It ended up being just a few weeks before our Live Recording when we decided to complete the song for the album!
Mark and I were on our way to Mexico at the time, sitting in different rows on the plane, so Mark set our goal that by the end of the flight we would have completed the lyrics to the song. The aim was to record a demo ASAP and send to the rest of the team back in Atlanta to start practicing for the Recording. Because the heart of the song had been in us for so long, we just had to actually put pen to paper.
When we landed in Mexico, we recorded the demo and Father's Love was born. The bridge of "Further" was also written in Mexico! We were on a family trip to unwind and refuel before our 2017 Conference and were in the middle of writing "Further", which was the heart of what God was speaking to our leaders about and consequently the theme of our Conference... Remembering these stories makes me think we should take more trips to Mexico! Haha!
Q: Writing your own music, how do you narrow down the songs for your new album?
Chloe: As a Church, our heart is to write songs that unite our congregations and become anthems that they gather around. Our goal is for our songs to open up people's hearts to God and help to foster open atmospheres where people can meet with God. Because we write with a clear objective, it is helpful in narrowing down songs selections for albums. If Mark and our senior leaders believe a song is in line with this vision, then we want it on our album for our people to sing.
Q: Your song "+ (just the cross)" is slowly become a worship staple in many churches. How did the song come about?
Mark: The journey of writing † (just the cross) started in Haiti and ended in a cabin in Clayton, North GA! Our camera batteries were overheating and we stopped to take a break under the shade of a tree on a Summer's day in Haiti. I began to talk to the team about the concept of the song. Our driver took us that week to visit a burial site in Haiti where mass destruction had left the ground absolutely barren apart from a singular metal structure: a cross standing upon a hill overlooking the land. We hung a flag that had the name of Jesus painted on it over that cross (that photo was actually our imaginations single cover, before the single had been written) and knew it was a significant moment for us as a team.
Fast forward a couple of years to a writing retreat in Clayton, North GA, and we took a quick break from our writing to drive down to Walmart and re-stock. As night fell, we looked up to the mountain-side and a brilliantly lit cross was glowing, almost suspended in mid-air. We couldn't believe the parallel between this cross and the Haiti experience and again we began talking about this song concept of the cross being enough. We could clearly sense God's hand upon this song and it felt like we were discovering it as we were writing it; like it had already been written! The writing process was so grace-filled; it was finished in a matter of hours there on that retreat.
Sometimes we try and add extra to the Gospel and extra to this and that, but really the raw true real message of the gospel is simple - that God so loved the world that He sent His son to die on a cross for you and I that whoever believe in him shall not perish without eternal life - that what this song is about. It's the core of the victory message - just the cross, it's enough.
Q: What is the story behind your new single "Believe Again"?
Danae: Believe Again is a song that has actually taken a 9 year journey from the first chorus draft to release, which is crazy to think about! I wrote the chorus in my final year of High School in Australia during a pretty tough season of life. Final exam pressure collided with a family breakdown and I found myself writing out these declarative words about God being in control and on the throne, because I knew that's what I needed to sing at the time. I actually finished that song, titled it 'I know' and moved on, but when I was writing in 2017 I felt like that original chorus fit really well with this new song and I began to work on that with my friend Misha Kopeikin. The Believe Again title and inspiration for the bridge came through a dream I had one night, and it began to shape as a song for people to sing in seasons of discouragement or disappointment. Not every song has this long of an incubation process (thankfully ha), but this one is pretty close to my heart and the backstory will always remind me to never throw away song sections, no matter how old they are!
Q: How do you wish these songs would impact God's church and beyond?
Mark: If you listen closely you can hear thousands of prayers we recorded all throughout the album process. It sounds like rain at times. Our hope for this album is that as people hear these songs, whether in church or in their car, the prayers of thousands would be like rain to a weary soul. That it would be more than just music; it would be healing and a powerful encounter with Jesus.
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