Derek Charles Johnson has released a brand new album. Seeing For The First Time is an original 7-song offering that features an upbeat, pop-infused style with lyrical hooks finding their basis in Biblical truths; all challenging the listener to take a deeper look at their own faith and dependence upon God.
Often ranging in comparison to Mac Powell (Third Day), Jeremy Camp, or Bebo Norman, Derek's vocals are soothing yet commanding all at once. Each song takes the listener on a journey and is unique in its own right, featuring diversity from track to track and in one theme to the next. Still, the overall message of the project is that of dependence and reliance upon God despite the highs and lows of life.
Whether it's the honest declaration of "Pray" ("I have prayed full of faith but somedays you don't answer like I think you should"), the absolute trust in the Psalm-like "Watch Over Me," or the call to follow after Jesus despite not knowing all the answers ("The Jesus Dare"), each song makes a statement that stands on its own. More overt worship-themes are found on tracks "God of All" and "My Hope Is In The Cross," each lending themselves to corporate offerings. Rounding out the album, title track "Seeing For The First Time" and "Doing Something New" both incorporate synth and pop sounds while featuring uncompromising lyrics and truths.
These new songs have been the result of a collaboration with producer Jay Speight (Bottle Rockit Productions) and feature co-writes with Jay, Ross King, Cooper Bascom, Brian Yak as well as songs written by Kenna Turner West and Aaron Cox. "I know every artist says this, but I believe these new songs are the best work I've done and I've asked God to bring about His perfect will throughout this process. I cannot wait to release these songs and am excited about the doors God is opening."
Raised in Northern Minnesota, Derek was a kid who grew up in hey-day of modern Contemporary Christian Music. As a youth group teen in the 90s and onto his college years in the early 2000s, he soaked up any and every "youth pastor-approved" CD he could grab. A quick playlist at the time would have included such artists and bands as Michael W. Smith, Matt Redman, Petra, Delirious and of course, DC Talk.
It was those influences and many more that led him to develop a deep love for Christian music. That love, coupled with a passion for worship ministry, led Derek to pursue a degree in worship leading. This came later in life, several years after finishing school to become a pharmacist.
"After working in healthcare for many years, I realized God had placed a call on my life that was to go back and be in ministry. I wrestled with it for quite some time but couldn't shake this desire which I believe was God-given."
As a worship pastor, he spent 7 years on staff in a local church in South Dakota. He was blessed to be part of a thriving ministry that grew by leaps and bounds all due to God's blessing. During this time, he recorded his first full-length project titled Carry On with producer Tommee Proffitt (Capitol CMG). Carry On helped to open many doors including several concert billings and worship leading opportunities. Having been a part of line-ups featuring such artists as Casting Crowns, Newsboys, and MercyMe, Derek has come full-circle in seeing his early love for CCM and worship become more than a hobby; it is now a calling upon his life.