Steven Curtis Chapman: ‘I Want To Make Art Illuminated By’ the Gospel
By Movieguide® Staff
Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman recently revealed his God-centered approach to writing music.
The Grammy-winning artist said that while he often bases his songs on real-life events, his decision to write a song comes after prayer and a calling from God.
“I don’t wake up and say, ‘Hey, I need to go to work and write a song today.’ I find myself moved by something – something I’m reading something, something that starts breaking my heart, something that’s encouraging my heart,” Chapman told Christian Headlines in a recent interview. “And my response to it is to sit down with a guitar or a piano and say: I want to respond to this in a way that hopefully will speak life into other people as well and encouragement in others.”
Chapman took this approach with his latest album, Still, which features the hopeful song, ‘Don’t Lose Heart.’
Despite 18 Grammy nominations and five wins, Chapman said that his confidence comes from the Lord.
After over 30 years in the industry, Chapman said that he saw artists sing without doing the hard work of planning to honor the Lord through their craft.
“I grew up in a culture where a lot of times people would get up and sing out in the country, and they’d say, ‘We didn’t really practice, [so] pray for us as we sing. We don’t really know what we’re doing.’ And you’re kind of back there going, ‘Then, don’t do it.’
“Because if we’re going to do something for the glory of God, it ought to be excellent,” Chapman said. “It ought to be beautiful. It ought to be praiseworthy. And I think what I’ve seen, thankfully, happening in Christian music is that that has happened more and more over the years. I’ve watched more and more creative people honing their craft and expanding in all different areas and genres, and styles of music. But still with that heartbeat, to say, as a person of faith, as a person who the Gospel has not only impacted my life but has given me life, I want to make art that’s illuminated by that.”
Chapman added that lyrics do not have to be explicitly Christian to bring glory to God; pointing to his son’s band, Colony House, as an example.
“My boys are in a band called Colony House, which is an alternative rock band,” Chapman said. “And they weave their faith into their music, but they make great art. So that people look at it and go, ‘Wow, that’s really good.’ And then they lean in and go, ‘Why is it so good?’ And hopefully, they go, ‘Because there’s something, there’s a light in that’ – there’s something that’s drawing them to it.”
“Hopefully what we’re doing is making music in God’s name, and the world is seeing it and going, ‘Wow, that’s really, really good,'” Chapman said.
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