Tony Cummings reports on singer, songwriter, actor, studio owner, MATTHEW WEST and his February release 'Brand New'
As any follower of US CCM will tell you, Matthew West is one of the most talented singer/songwriters to emerge in the last decade. He was nominated for five Dove Awards in 2005 and since then his classic Cross Rhythms hits - such as "Family Tree", "Moved By Mercy" and "All The Broken Pieces" - have made him almost a fixture of Cross Rhythms radio programming.
Matthew will be releasing his first album with Provident Label Group/Sony Music on 14th February 2020. Talking about the 'Brand New' project, the singer/songwriter said, "The title 'Brand New' does represent where I find myself these days. Signing with a new label, starting my own management company, building a new songwriting house and studio called The Story House, and with that, a flood of new songs. But the title really has an even deeper meaning than just a representation of where I'm at in my career. 'Brand New' is actually inspired by the idea of looking back, or what's more, going back. In many ways this is an album about returning to the days when I was a new Christian, and my faith felt fresh and alive."
The album cover to 'Brand New' will feature an old polaroid picture of
Matthew West sitting
on a blue couch, which has significant meaning to him, as well as to
the overarching theme of the project.
"I was 13 years old, sitting on a blue couch in my childhood home when I stumbled across a Billy Graham crusade on television, and my life changed," he shared. "For the first time, something clicked. I realised what my parents had been teaching me was true: that God desired a personal relationship with me. I remember my heart pounding as I heard Billy Graham inviting a stadium full of people to find freedom in God's love and forgiveness. I prayed that day with my mom and gave my life to Christ."
With 'Brand New', West has written a collection of songs that were inspired by him wanting to get back to that closeness he felt when he was young in his faith with God. "I feel like God helps me go back to that blue couch moment in my mind and my heart returns to this powerful reminder: God is just as real to me now as he was back then. God still loves me today just as much as he did back then. God still has plans for my life. He still forgives me. He still calls me his child. He's still working on me. And I'm still a new creation in his eyes."
In addition to sharing his own story on the album, West will continue in his long-established practice of presenting songs based on the stories and testimonies of other people's lives that have been sent to him. On 'Brand New', two tracks that were inspired by others' stories are "Walking Miracles" and "Too Young Too Soon", which touches on the difficult subject of teen suicide.
Leading up to the February 2020 release West has already released the singles "The God Who Stays" in July, followed by "What If" in September and "Truth Be Told" in October. He has also released a brand new Christmas single, "Winter Wonderland".The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.