Three-time GRAMMY-nominated artist Crowder kicked off the new year at Passion 2022, performing to a sold-out crowd at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter, he hit the road with TobyMac to serve as direct support on the Hits Deep 2022 Tour with over 30 stops through the spring. Meanwhile, his current single “In The House” is climbing the Christian radio charts and Crowder is set to release an 18-track Milk & Honey (Deluxe) album on March 4. The new collection features the brand-new song, “King,” an electronic-infused remix of “Milk & Honey,” live versions of “God Really Loves Us (from Passion 2022)” and “In The House” and more! In this TCB Exclusive, Crowder talks about what inspired the Deluxe release, the message behind his new song “King” and what it’s been like being back on the road.
Congratulations on the release of the Milk & Honey (Deluxe) album! What prompted this decision and did you have it in mind when you first released Milk & Honey in June of 2021?
When you are making an album, a lot of stuff gets left on the floor. For me, it was a little different. The record came out and I just kept writing. It happens more than me, as a consumer, thinks about. A lot of artists will then ask themselves if they put it out now or if they are working on their next record. So that’s part of it. At the same time too, we were in a bunch of different settings and hitting the record button in these live outings. We did a ‘Milk & Honey Tour’ and had a few moments at Passion when cameras were rolling. So we were capturing moments from this album and I wanted people to see that and be a part of it. So I kept writing and we captured some deeper experiences from the initial release of ‘Milk & Honey’. So that part was super fun. In the past, a deluxe album meant that it was songs that hadn’t made the first cut, but this was different, as it all came just after. I got wound up and was still in this journey in space and time, and we captured some stuff that will resonate with listeners in the same way it resonates with me.
“In The House” is currently seeing continued success on the charts. From listener feedback, is there a recurring theme for why this is speaking to others?
For one, it’s a song I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. There aren’t a ton of songs that I keep chipping away at because I want a song that says such and such. I’ve been trying to write a song with Psalm 122:1. I’ve learned it as a kid in Sunday School at age four. I’ve been trying to write this song for a long time. So it’s been great to get it out and after my journey with Christ and all the twists and turns that means something different to me as an adult than it did as a kid. I think that you can’t sing enough, I know I can’t, that grace is so extensive and so extravagant that it exceeds our failures.
This album contains a new track, “King.” How does this track speak to you personally?
That would be one where we just kept writing. I wish I would have come to it sooner. The song just floors me. I’m glad that it will have a life sitting alongside these others songs. It seems to fit tonally and thematically.
You participated in Passion 2022 to kick off this year, and include a live version of “God Really Loves Us” from that night. What stood out to you to make this Passion experience unique compared to previous years?
Rewind a year and we’re doing the whole conference on the Internet. I don’t want to say it wasn’t great, but it didn’t feel like the past. So to be back at Mercedes Benz stadium at the first of this year, even though there was so much still afoot, and we didn’t know if it was going to happen. So the energy level of just our physical presence near to one another gathered around the reign and supremacy of God, was pretty phenomenal. Much less getting on the stage in the middle of it singing songs that announce that. It will hang in my head and heart for the rest of my life. I’m confident of that.
Is there a track on the album that means something different to you now than when you first released it?
Songs tend to morph and are different as you encounter them, but it’s easy for this album. “Anchor” is the last song on the album. I didn’t see it coming, but we started the whole show with it on the ‘Milk & Honey Tour.’ It’s not a hype song – it’s chill and basically piano and some vocals. I wouldn’t see that as how I would choose to blow off the roof. It has resonated with people in a way I had not expected. I thought it was a great closer for the album, and never saw it as the redundantly appropriate starter for a show. “Anchor” is everything the album is trying to say, and people resonate with that message. When you are in a time and space where everything is fluid and it’s difficult to know where you stand, to be able to know that you’re on the rock that is immovable – it’s a truth that unexpectedly became really resonant with people.
How are you looking to define success for this project?
What I love about what we have collected are the live moments where we can see – it’s important to me to see people singing songs that are true. I’m looking at their eyes and seeing they believe, and are totally swept up in this moment. That part is important for me. People will again, resonate, with what I believe we are singing that’s truthful.
You’re currently in the middle of touring with TobyMac on the Hits Deep 2022 tour. Is there a portion of the night that you consistently look forward to?
It’s all hype – the song is called “Higher Power.” The whole front end of the set, we blaze through four songs and I’m headbanging the whole time. By the time we get to “Higher”, JR our bass player and MD who takes over my microphone and starts rapping. That’s my favorite part of the whole set – I finally get to catch my breath and take a drink of water. I literally just get to stand kind of in the dark – I’ve found my place on stage away from the lights – and I get to just look out at people’s faces. It’s just the best to see people singing along and together. We’re back together – that’s the best part.
What are you most expectant for in 2022?
I’m looking forward to summertime. I plan on getting my share of vitamin D. I’m very excited for that window of time. I got super lazy doing Zoom calls and wearing soft clothes, so I’m looking forward to wearing soft clothes and getting a lot of vitamin D in that time coming up.