Grammy Award-winning group Hillsong Worship released their latest studio album Awake, and the popular band hopes listeners will have their own “awakening” with God.
Hillsong church was founded by Brian Houston and his wife, Bobbie, in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, in 1983. It has now grown from a single church to an international ministry that has houses of worship in 21 countries on six continents, including: London, England; Paris, France; Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Tel Aviv, Israel; and three cities in the United States.
The church has an average global attendance approaching 130,000 weekly.
In the U.S., Hillsong is recognized for its thriving congregations in New York City, Los Angeles and Phoenix, with services frequently attended by A-list celebrities.
Hillsong Worship has led the global ministry in congregational music for more than 30 years with a goal to serve the church by equipping believers worldwide with songs of praise. Their new release, Awake, aims to do the same. Featuring the vocals of Brooke Ligertwood, Joel Houston, Taya, and Aodhan King, the album is comprised of 12 new tracks that they hope will help listeners participate in a deeper exchange with God.
Hillsong Worship is widely known for their world-renowned songs, including “Shout to the Lord” and “Oceans. Below is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with lead singer Ligertwood who discusses the church’s fame, how they create their music, and the group’s aim of reflecting their heart for God in everything they produce.
Christian Post: What’s the underlying theme of the album, Awake?
Ligertwood: The underlying theme that undergirds all of the songs, to me, is invitation. Invitation into awakening, which simply means invitation into more revelation, basically, more revelation of who God is, more revelation of what’s available to us as children of God, and more revelation about what and who we’re called to be as the Church of Jesus on the Earth right now.
That’s what I would like to think undergirds the sound and undergirds the lyrics. It’s that invitation, Come and see what the Lord has done. Come and see what the Lord says about you. Come and see the things He wants to show you, the things He wants to show us.
CP: What are some practical things your team does to host the presence of God which helps you to receive revelation for the music you create?
Ligertwood: This happens in two parts, both personally and in community. So certainly when it came to making this album we were really conscious as a community and as a team that we wanted God to have His way completely. What that required from us was, great faith and also constant inquiry. Whenever I read about the life of King David, even though he was a really skilled military commander and he was very able and capable within the gifts God had given him, he constantly inquired of the Lord, he constantly stopped to say, Lord, what do you say or Lord, what should I do? Lord, what would you have me do here?
I think that was a really important thing that we established right from the onset was that we would constantly inquire of the Lord. Especially this being a studio album rather than a live album, which is what we’ve kind of traditionally done for all these years. We wanted to constantly ask, God, “What is the sound that you hear? Please help us to hear what you hear and create that.” Rather than just do what we think is good or what we think is cool. “Help us to hear what you hear.” That was a really key cornerstone for us in making this project.
CP: Musically, Hillsong Worship combines known worship sounds with modern sounds. Are there styles that you avoid to keep the authenticity of what you do and what you believe is God’s heartbeat for what He’s called you to do?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law