Matthew West is releasing a new album called Live Forever. We had the honor of interviewing Matthew.
Family Christian: What was your main goal as you were making this album, Live Forever? Take us through a little bit of the process.
Matthew West: Six years ago I had the idea to write some songs inspired by peoples’ true stories and see what God might do with it. Six years, 40,000 stories and now 3 records later, I’m blown away by what an amazing experience this has been! Live Forever is my third project inspired by the testimonies that people have sent to me. In the last couple records, I wrote songs that covered a number of different types of chapters that many of us have in our stories. This record looks forward at the chapters of our stories that we are writing write now, and the chapters that are still to come.
Each song on the record is inspired by someone’s true story. So these songs mean a lot to me, because when I sing them, I’m thinking of that one person who shared their testimony and I’m amazed by how God can use all of our stories if we will choose to let him.
Family Christian: How do you think your latest release, Live Forever, speaks to listeners? What do you hope listeners think and feel after listening to your album?
Matthew West: I hope listeners get so fired up by the messages on this record! This is a victory album. A reminder that God’s mercy is new every single morning. A reminder that our best days are not behind us, they are in front of us. Even musically, my aim was to move forward. I didn’t want to make the same style of music. I wanted to move forward in my sound and in the lyrics. Starting over, starting now…
Family Christian: What does the title of your new album mean? How was it chosen and what significance does it have?
Matthew West: This record carries a message that in many ways flies in the face of the message the world sends to us. This world tells us things like YOLO—You Only Live Once. That sounds real good, but it’s an empty thought. The world lives like our legacy ends the day we die and so the emphasis is on making these moments last forever. But we know this life is temporary. And we also know that for those who choose to follow Jesus, there is the ultimate hope that we can live forever. The songs and stories on this record all point to the reminder that between the day we are born and the day we die, there is a dash. God offers us a way to live our dash, our story in such a way that it leaves a legacy behind us and secures an eternity in front of us. That is how we live forever.
Family Christian: Who was Matthew West when your first album came out? Who is Matthew West now?
Matthew West: That’s a good question. I was a young songwriter with a calling on my life that I was going to be part of a new generation of voices telling the world about Jesus through song. I guess not much has changed on that front. But I have changed, and hopefully I have grown in many other ways. I think it’s so amazing how God does have a calling placed on each one of our lives, and the more we follow him into his plan for our lives, the more layers he peels back, and the more we begin to see and understand what God had planned all along. Today, I feel like I’m in my sweet spot in many ways. God has blessed me with an amazing wife and two incredible children. He has combined my passion for story with a platform to tell the world how God is the author of redemption in all of our lives.
Family Christian: To expand on the previous question, How have you changed over the years when it comes to songwriting, recording and producing music? Do you have the same goals?
Matthew West: Well, for starters, I used to use songwriting as a vehicle to tell my story to the world. Now, I’ve found fulfillment in sharing that spotlight with thousands of people who are brave enough to believe that God can speak through their stories. I’d like to think I have continued to push boundaries musically and also topically. I guess I used to write songs with the masses in mind. These days, I find myself reading someone’s story and thinking, “I want to write a song for this one person.” It’s amazing that with such a finite focus, I’ve been writing songs that have been pretty universally relatable. I guess that’s how God works.