Chris Tomlin Shares How His New Album With Florida Georgia Line Glorifies God
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
Worship leader and Grammy winner Chris Tomlin says the recent collaborative project with Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard was ‘God-ordained’ and is an opportunity to share the Gospel with a broader audience.
Although the two artists met for the first time at a gym while on separate vacations, Tomlin remembers Hubbard recalling how he listened to Tomlin’s music growing up. Their friendship and relationship grew after this meeting and eventually led to Hubbard’s appearance on Tomlin’s newest release, Chris Tomlin & Friends.
“In May of last year, Tyler and I were both at the same vacation spot in Florida and happened to meet at the gym,” the multi-Platinum singer-songwriter told The Christian Post. “He told me how much my music meant to him and his wife, and I was floored. I mean, he’s a huge country superstar.”
According to The Christian Post, Hubbard sang Tomlin’s songs growing up in church and even attended a Passion Conference where Tomlin led worship. Tomlin said that many of the people he collaborated with and has met through his friendship with Hubbard made him realize how interested and invested country artists are in loving God.
“Tyler and [bandmate] Brian actually started out as a worship duo because of that conference before launching into country, and the rest is history,” Tomlin said. “He said that meeting me felt like a musical full circle.”
“So many of these people grew up singing in church, and I know they have the same heart of faith and love of God that I do,” Tomlin added. “They all said they would love to be a part of the album. It’s been so beautiful to see this whole thing come together. It’s an album born organically out of friendships and relationships.”
Movieguide® previously reported on how Tomlin’s album was born out of relationships as the different artists wrote as a “family”:
The project started with his relationships with the other artists but turned into something bigger, Tomlin said.
“I think these friendships that have happened with all these new guys, [are] so good and [I’m] so blown away by these guys who are behind the scenes,” Tomlin said. “Their heart for their family, their heart for God and their heart for people is just beautiful to see.”
Tomlin said that an album was not on his radar at first. However, after friendships grew between the many talented artists, the album became a reality.
“We started writing songs and realized that, ‘Wow, this is really different, really fun,'” Tomlin said. “It really felt God-ordained, because we weren’t looking to make an album, but that’s exactly what we did.”
Similar to Hubbard, Tomlin felt a strong connection to country music while he was growing up and said that, “It was beautiful to see the smashing up of all our different worlds and what that sounded like—of country and the Christian worship genre coming together.
“I grew up in the country,” Tomlin shared. “Country and Christian really have the same audience, yet I don’t think there’s anything like this where it’s really a collaboration of getting them in the room and writing songs together, making an entire record of original brand-new songs.”
As an artist, Tomlin’s goal is to glorify God and said that it is no different with his new collaborative album.
“They all wanted to bring glory to God and share their faith and express their heart in a way that was really cool,” Tomlin said.
“I love that faith is just being able to infiltrate any genre. It’s right there in the midst of the conversation,” he continued. “And that’s the way it should be. It shouldn’t be in its own box and bubble.”
Although Tomlin said he received some backlash from audiences over his new album, he assured his fans that his goal is solely to bring God glory through his music.
“At first, I was concerned about judgment and criticism — and I’ve gotten some of it, and I’m sure more is coming. But when God presents an opportunity to share my music and glorify Him to a new audience, that’s what it’s all about. It made it very easy to walk into this,” Tomlin said.
“For me, it will always be worship music,” Tomlin added. “I love writing, and when I sit down, worship music is just what comes out. I love making songs that give glory to God. That’s the heart of even an opportunity like this.”
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