Philip Hamrick Opens Up About Turning from Rock Music to His New Worship Album
DREAM Records is proud to announce the release of Philip Hamrick's debut, Getting Stronger. The album which features 10 brand new songs was produced by Grammy Award winning producer, Glenn Tabor. The record features strong pop and worship tracks mixed with thoughtful lyrics sure to assure the soul with the confidence of our lives in Christ.
"I am extremely excited to share this music with the world! These songs are deeply personal to me and my prayer is that people will be able to use this music to connect with God. My song, "The War," encapsulates my journey as a believer. I sometimes feel like there is a war inside me, and I have felt doubt that is overwhelming. But I believe that there is a living Savior, and in the end, Jesus wins." - Philip Hamrick
Q: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Prior to Christian music, you were part of a rock band. Tell us more about your involvement with secular music then.
I was in a band called Miles Apart from 2004-08. We played shows all over the Southeast, mostly in college towns. The guys in the band were amazing musicians, and they pushed me both musically and as a songwriter. We could never quite take the next step and fizzled out before bands that had similar sounds (Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons) became popular. It was a great time though, and I love those guys so much.
I made a solo rock record in 2011 called, "The Ceiling." After being a worship leader and playing in churches for a few years, I found myself back in some of the same music venues playing my new record. It was cool to use the music to start conversations about my faith after shows.
Q: What made you decide to be a worship leader and how did you start singing worship songs?
In 2006 I was sitting in a church service and I couldn't focus on the message at all because I felt so strongly that God was telling me to go and help...To get out of the seats and to use what He had given me for His purpose. I went up to the worship leader and introduced myself. My wife and I joined the church and we auditioned for the worship team shortly after that. We started a service at The Cove called "Remix." It was for the younger crowd, but we found quickly that it was for anyone who just wanted something different in a worship experience. I had never led worship before, and I had no clue at first what I was doing as a spiritual leader on a stage. But I think that God honored my obedience and helped me grow and shape me into the leader He needed me to be.
Singing worship songs is different than performance music. If you do it right, it's not "Look at me," it's "Look at Him."
Q: You are also the worship leader of the Cove. Tell us more about your church and your involvement there.
The Cove Church is based out of Mooresville, NC. It was started in 1998 by Mike Madding. We currently have 5 campuses and around 5000 weekly attendees.
I started out as a volunteer and moved into a staff position in 2008. I have had the honor of working in several different roles within our worship staff. At each level and experience, my passion has been to invest in the people around me musically and spiritually. Our church is volunteer driven, and God has blessed me with some of the best friendships through this ministry. I've seen so many lives changed through worship. It has been truly amazing.
Q: Congratulations on the release of "Getting Stronger" with Dream Records. How did you get to work with Dream Records?
Thank you! Dream contacted me after hearing some of the music I released with Cove Worship. I felt like 2016 was going to the year for my next project, and they were very supportive of my ideas for a solo worship record. They connected me with my producer, Glenn Tabor and everything moved pretty quickly after that.
Q: How would you describe the sound of "Getting Stronger"?
It's a worship record that doesn't sound like a typical worship record. It doesn't have the "worship sound." That is by design. I don't want to be a copy of what God has created someone else to be, but I am influenced by many different genres of music. It's a little bit rock, pop, soul and singer-songwriter. I hear 60's soul influences as well as 80's synth pop when I listen back to it. It was fun to make.
Q: Being a songwriter and having written the whole album, what makes a good worship song for you?
I like worship songs that are musically interesting and have a good melody line that gets stuck in my head. Lyrically, I feel like they need to be built upon good theology and rooted in scripture. I think it's the hardest genre to write for because it's difficult to say something that hasn't already been said the same way a thousand times. That pushes me to try harder. The best songs are honest about our position in relation to who God is what He has done.
Q: Lead single "War" is indeed a powerful song. For the sake of our readers who have not heard it, what's the song about? And how did you come to write it?
This song is a prayer where I am just being honest with God about what is going on in my mind and in my heart. I have my doubt and struggles. There is spiritual warfare going on every day. And I have come to this conclusion that whatever I am facing, Jesus has already fought the battle for me. The wars I am fighting, He has already won.
I had the idea come to me while I was doing some yard work. I finished it later that week when I had time to tighten up the lyrics. I knew it needed a big ending, and my friend, Jon, gave me the idea to just sing "Hallelujah, Jesus wins" at the end. It's such a powerful, yet simple statement.
Q: How do you wish this record will impact the lives of your listeners and the kingdom of God?
I want this record to draw you in both musically and lyrically. I want listeners to enjoy the music and find themselves connecting to God through these lyrics throughout the day. My hope is that people who have never listened to worship music will find this music interesting and thought-provoking.
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