Elevation Worship is the worship ministry of Elevation Church, a multi-site church based in Charlotte, NC, led by Pastor Steven Furtick. Their most recent album, There Is A Cloud, released to critical acclaim in March 2017 and now the Elevation team is back with an exciting new project. Evidence by Elevation Collective is a collaborative effort re-imaging some Elevation favorites with an all-star cast of talent including the likes of Israel Houghton, Travis Greene, and Tasha Cobbs Leonard, just to name a few. TCB recently caught up with Elevation Worship's Chris Brown to discuss his excitement for the new release, the challenges of the creative process and additional plans for 2018.
The release of Evidence by Elevation Collective is a collaborative project with some greats in the industry. Can you tell us how/when the idea for this project came about and how the collective effort unfolded?
Last summer, our pastor, Steven Furtick, had this wild idea: what if we got Israel, who’s been a friend of our ministry for years, to help reimagine some of our songs with a few of our favorite artists. That text exchange turned into a lot of dreaming and a lot of fun last fall watching the project come to life.
Can you describe what the atmosphere was like in the recording sessions for this album?
FUN!!! When you’re creating with friends, old and new, it’s a blast in the studio. And at the same time, there were plenty of moments throughout the process of arranging the songs and into recording them that were extremely special where the power of God showed up leaving us just sitting there speechless for a while. When Tasha was recording "Here As In Heaven," the presence of God was so powerful during that session. It's something I’ll never forget.
How did you all decide what songs to include on this record?
Most of the songs were pretty easy decisions - Israel had a pretty strong opinion on which ones he’d already felt work well in new arrangements. We also had a good idea of which ones we wanted to hear certain artists on too. For instance, Travis carrying “Do It Again” was a must! I’d seen him leading that song at different events and he did what only Travis Greene can do with it! It soared!
Is there a certain track you are most excited for listeners to hear and why?
"Here As In Heaven" is a favorite for sure. The voice that Tasha gives this song gives it another level of anointing and power. The Walls Group are another favorite on "Resurrecting” too!
Were there any songs that were particularly challenging to record on this new album?
"Unstoppable God" probably had the biggest face lift from the original recording. But when we decided for Tye to be on it, the right vibe surfaced and made perfect sense. Love the energy in this arrangement and what Tye brings to it.
"O Come To The Altar" continues to reach new heights. Can you talk about your personal reaction to the widespread success and impact of this song?
It’s funny to think that song almost got thrown away in the writing process. Months went by and it just wasn’t coming together. Then one day things began to unlock for it and the message the song was meant to carry. I think the power is in its simplicity and gospel message. None of us are worthy. We’re all in the same boat. All have mistakes, failures, areas in our lives that are messy. But when we acknowledge that those things don’t intimidate our Father, and He welcomes us into his presence exactly as we are because of the finished work of Jesus, then that’s something I believe we can all be reminded of over and over. And declaring that truth with God’s Church never gets old.
Can you share with us some plans/goals for Elevation Worship for this new year?
We’re working on new original music right now and will be releasing that album later this year! We’ll be traveling in support of that album. And we’re headed back out on Outcry in April with some amazing other artists. It’s going to be a full year. Excited for what God’s going to do!