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The Art of Songwriting

Ben Hastings and Matt Crocker

00:48:27 · Songwriting

It’s important that you are confident in a writing session to be able to just sing out.

Q: Tell us the story of oceans.

A: The whole way through the process of making our album Zion, we weren’t sure about oceans. It was the first idea we presented and the last song to get finished. Oceans didn’t rise to the top until the end. We pulled in a photographer/videographer to weigh in on this song Oceans. We went down to a creek to write the song all the way. We gave Taya a lot of creative liberty with the song, even though it was her first album to sing on. 

There’s something about the songs that weren’t born out of striving. 

Q: So will I song story

A: It took about a year to write the song. It was completely different song. When we brought it to Joel he took it and played around with it. We left it on the shelf for a while. In the middle of worshipping with the song someone sang a lyric incorrectly and it sounded like “So Will I” and that’s how they ended up using that line in the chorus. As soon as you start pulling back the layers of God you kind of can’t stop, there are so many lyrics that never made it. 

“People will do the work of learning something out of the box if it moves them” -amanda cook

This song is different, the chorus changes lyrics, but it works. I never thought that anyone would sing it.

There’s such a mandate on us as writers that you have to give everything. If it’s not good enough it’s not good enough. 

Q: What about I Surrender

A: I was looking over the youth ministry worship team and the youth pastor said they needed a song for their youth conference. I had a verse 24 hours before the conference started. Nothing was falling into place but I worked all night. The next day I continued to work on the song. I finished it 2 or 3 minutes before the rehearsal. I feel like God breathed on it, even though it was such a struggle to get it out. I took something that someone asked me to do and worked hard. If you put your hand to the plow God will show up. 

It’s important that you are confident in a writing session to be able to just sing out. 

Q: Praise the Name

Praise the name, we were trying to write a song that people could get behind and that would do well on CCLI and we tried and it sucked. We went to dinner and Marty started talking about hymns and we got so pumped. So we decided to write a hymn. It sat on the shelf for nine months before it was completely finished. The chorus came out very easily.