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Tag Archives: Sanctus Real

  • Francesca Battistelli - A Girl. A Voice. A Mission.

    Posted on January 6, 2014 by Dan Hubka



    "The more you walk in relationship with the Lord, the more you learn to trust him. I'm learning not to focus so much on the issues I think are so big right now—our bus has broken down, or someone said something that frustrated me. I'm learning to slowly let things roll off my back, to say, 'Hey, God knew about this before it happened and He's got a way out or a plan better than mine.' I've learned to stop freaking out and just trust that God knows what he's doing. He's not going to leave me in a bad place because He never has before."

    Such it is with Francesca Battistelli. Honest. Simple. Beautiful. Intentional.

    We have all been exposed to her music. Starting with "I'm Letting Go," or "Free to Be Me." "This is the Stuff" or "Strangely Dim." It doesn't matter. For every time that "Franny" opens her mouth to sing, she is opening her heart.

    There is a vulnerable side to this young lady. And if you didn't know it already, you will be able to hear it by reading the interview below. Franny came to our corporate Christmas party to bring encouragement and holiday greetings. After I sat down with her, I was reminded again about her passion.

    Dan:                Is there anything you can tell us about the new album?

    Francesca:     Yes. It will be out April 22nd hopefully, and it's called If We're Honest. It's going to be amazing. I'm so excited about it. It's my favorite one yet. I think that's probably normal, but I really feel like these songs are just right and the timing is right for them. There's just a lot of energy on this record which I feel like the last one lacked even though I love it. I think it's going to be really good and a whole new season.

    Dan:                If we're honest.  What does that mean?  At least on this particular record.

    Francesca:     Well, it's the title of my favorite song on the record which is just a very honest song about really just that.  If we were truly authentic with each other and honest with each other all the time and kind of not tried to hide behind the facade of everything's fine and I'm perfect and life is great.  I feel like that is sort of what the enemy wants us to do to isolate ourselves and keep us from true community and truly being the body of Christ.

    It just came from some experiences where I felt like the song is personal because I really feel like that's just all too prevalent not just in this industry but in Christianity especially in America of just everything's fine, and I'm not really going to be myself with you.  I'm not going to let you know really any of my junk, but you can't get healed of anything unless you confess and kind of are out there.  It's sort of a heavy song on a very lighter record, but it's needed I think in it's truths.

    Dan:                Absolutely.  I've found that it can be a very scary thing to reveal those things, but what evil wants us to believe is that we're alone and that nobody is going to relate to those things if we're honest so a very relevant topic.

    Francesca:     Totally, because I think when you are honest that's when you are sort of just real with whatever is going on in your life.  That's when grace comes in.  We naturally want to give grace and support and encouragement to someone who says, "This is the truth.  This is what I'm going through."  But, yeah, you're right.  The enemy tries to tell us the opposite.  "They're going to hate you." Which is not true.

    Dan:                You said something that I didn't think any artist was allowed to say which was, "My favorite song on this record is ..."  I thought people weren't allowed to say their favorite songs, but you actually have favorites.

    Francesca:     I do.  I always have favorites.  Yeah.  I love every song on this record.  I'm so excited about it, but this one from the moment we started writing it, I just knew this was going to be the one that was my favorite and it is.

    Dan:                Was the recording process different for you at all this time around?

    Francesca:     Yeah, it actually was. The last two records if you do count Christmas, we lived in Atlanta instead of Nashville and I was pregnant for both of those recording processes. It was just a lot more stressful and I felt a lot more pressure to sort of get it right and get it done quickly especially with Hundred More Years. That was a follow-up to a record that sort of exceeded everyone's expectations so I thought I got to do it again. I think you can sort of sabotage yourself by getting too inside your head.

    This time I just didn't feel any of that. We had just moved back to Nashville. It was the summertime. I had plenty of time and I just wrote three or four days a week which again has just not been the truth for the past couple of records. It's been really just fun and relaxing and for me it's always been my favorite part of the process, of the creative process because I'm sort of an introvert and artsy type. This was the first time since I think the first record that I really felt like this is fun again. Like this isn't just busyness and work. This is actually really awesome. I'm excited to share.

    Dan:                Have you noticed your audience transition at all?  From my perspective, those first couple records your audience was younger girls and now you're transitioning into a new stage in your life with the role of being a mom.  What I've heard from your music, it relates at different levels now and different areas.  Are you experiencing that transition of a wider audience because I think that your music still does speak to a younger demographic, but now you're capturing the hearts of moms and more.

    Francesca:     For sure.

    Dan:                Are you noticing that now?

    Francesca:     Yeah. It really is. It's interesting and every tour is a little bit different. I feel like that's where I see that the most. There's definitely still so many young girls, and I love that. There is something cool whenever I'm at the table and a girl comes up to me and she goes, "I love your music," and I sign her thing and her mom says, "I really love it too." It's like their little secret. I think that that's awesome. I love to be something that a mom and a daughter can listen to together and older sister can too. Hopefully, that audience is growing. I think this record will do that for them.

    Dan:                Is there a time that you can come to where you have seen your faith in action?  Or a time where you've felt a call that you needed to respond to?

    Francesca:     Is this the stories that you ... Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I have a great story to answer that question. Funny you should ask. Back this past summer we got an email from a little girl who, she is 13 now, but when she was 11 she started an organization called Project Jesus that ministers to girls and women in Uganda. She wrote this email and said basically, "Everyone's telling me that I'm crazy for writing you that you're too busy and you'll never write back, but I have this organization," kind of laid it all out and said, "And I'm hosting a benefit concert, or I'd like it to be a concert. It's a benefit luncheon on Orphan Sunday and I would love Francesca to be there. I totally understand if she can't. You'll probably not write me back, but maybe she could just send a signed CD or something."

    I remember just reading these words or I think my husband was reading them to me, and I was just so struck by her faith because she said, "Even though everyone's telling me that I'm crazy, the one thing I've learned over these past two years," I mean she's 13 years old, "Is that when we step out in faith, God does fix things." I was just so blown away by that because how many of us say that, but to actually believe it and act on it and sort of live that crazy faith life that she was living at 13 years old just blew me away. I kind of wanted to tell those naysayers that they were crazy and they were wrong. We just really felt like we needed to ... I felt like I needed to say yes.

    Actually I had a couple of other things that week that I just said, "We need to put these off. I want to be there for this girl." What ended up happening is a couple of days after I got that email, I was in the studio writing with a couple of friends and I was telling them that story and then they said, "What do you want to write about today?" I said, "I want to write about that. I want to write about Mallory." We wrote this song called Giant's Fall which is a song about Mallory. It's really just a song about don't be afraid of giants in your way. That whatever obstacles are facing you, God is with you and it doesn't matter if what you have seems like a little, he can turn it into a lot.

    I wrote this song for her, but didn't tell her. We've since recorded it and it's going to be on the record and back a couple months ago when we went to sing at the benefit we were nearing the end of the afternoon and I started explaining that I wrote this song, I just saw her mom crying, and she's crying and I'm crying. I got to play the song for this roomful of people the first time I ever played it. It was just a really powerful moment and just reminded me that when we're obedient, God does amazing things. That goes for Mallory. That goes for me writing the song. Being there, I think that if nothing else, I think she'll be able to look back and say, "That was one thing that I asked God for that He did." He's done many things like that for her, but how cool to be just like a tangible answer to prayer for someone even though it was little and I just showed up and sang a couple songs. It was cool.

    Dan:                The last time we talked, your label was circling in on trying to figure out which one of nine songs may be the first one to release to radio. Do you know which one has been selected for that?

    Francesca:     We do.  Yes.

    Dan:                Can you share it?

    Francesca:     Yes. It is called Write Your Story. They have already ... It doesn't go officially out for us until January where it's already been picked up by a couple of networks. It's amazing to see just the response to it. I think somebody up at The Fish heard it over the phone and said, "Okay, we're going to add it." That's just amazing to me and just sort of that affirmation that, "Okay, I think you picked the right song, and you're going in the right direction." I'm just so excited and people are already hearing it, but I haven't really announced it so I don't know what to say on Twitter except, "Thanks. I'm glad you like it," when people hear it. I can't wait for January and it's official.

    Dan:                Can you give us an idea what the song is about or what was behind it?

    Francesca:     Yeah, absolutely. It's funny because I didn't even realize it until somebody said something in passing after we had written the song that it was sort of like a follow-up to My Paper Heart which is "I've never been the same since you wrote your name on my paper heart." This song is just about basically saying, "God, I am an open book. I am just here, willing, available to do whatever it is that you call me to do. I want you to write your story on my heart." I think it will speak to so many different people I think to the girl who is waiting for her husband and saying, "God, write your love story for me." To the people who are just saying, "Okay, God, I know that you have something for my life and I don't know what it is, but I want to be open to whatever."

    Even for me, doing what I'm doing, it looks like you've got this path laid in front of you, but if God says, "No, I want you to stop all that and go do something else," I want to be able to hear His voice. I want His story at the end of my life to look back and say, "God, you wrote it. I just was there for the ride." It's a really fun song, but that's sort of the message or the story.

    Dan:                You're on your fourth record. You've established a career. I was talking to a co-worker of mine of what does it feel like as you transition from a place where you're an artist and you're trying to make it and you go from wanting people to hear your music and doing everything you can to get people to hear your music, to the place where now you're requested to come play music for them?  But they're now asking you instead of you asking them.  What is that journey like?

    Francesca:     Yeah.  It has been so interesting for me because at the beginning there it was like, "Okay, I don't know what this is going to look like."  Like you said, just playing for everybody, and then for even me it just all sort of took off really fast and I didn't know what to do and was just sort of saying yes to everything and then sort of slowed down again and I'm sort of I feel like just now finding my feet and like, "Okay, those past five, six years have been a little bit of a blur.  Now what do we really want to do?"  God has made it so that my husband is able to play drums for me and manage me and just be very focused and very intentional.

    I feel like for the first time this year it's like we're finding our legs.  But, yeah, it is amazing.  Anytime someone asks it's still like, "Oh, really?  We didn't have to call them to play a concert like they want us to come?"  It's always scary still.  It's just an honor and crazy when I think about it because there were so many years that were goodness gracious it was a very a awkward time.

    Dan:                Can you say who you're touring with yet?

    Francesca:     I think so.  Yeah.    We're doing the Hands of God tour with Sanctus Real in early spring and Hands of God is a song that I wrote with Matt Hammitt from Sanctus.  We're excited to take them out and do that tour.  I love those guys.  Then like five days after that ends, we go out on "The Bible: Son of God" tour, which we're really excited about and that is basically The Bible Miniseries was seen by millions of people.  It was mind-blowing.

    So Mark Burnett and his company have sort of said, "We want to take this experience into churches and venues around the country and sort of turn it into this interactive experience with the film, and with the artists, and with sets and all sorts of things that I'm not really even sure what the scale is like yet because it's the first year, but I'm really excited about that.  That will run up until, I guess, right before Easter, right before the record comes out.  We're really excited and it's going to be a busy year, but I'm ready for it.

    Dan:                Did you write that song?

    Francesca:     I didn't write it.  No.  I just sang on it and it's very beautiful.  So they've talked about things I know they're doing like an inspired by project, but beyond that, who knows?  Maybe it will make it to the live show.

    Dan:                Thank you so much for your time.

    Francesca:     Yeah.  Thank you.  It was fun.

    So, about her new album? Well, as stated above, Francesca returns with her brand new release, If We’re Honest.  Featuring the radio hit “Write Your Story,” this new CD perfects the soulful pop sound that began with her gold-certified debut, My Paper Heart, and its best-selling follow-up, Hundred More Years.  If We’re Honest is full of bright, upbeat songs and personal, thought-provoking ballads that will inspire, encourage and challenge you in your daily walk with God, and ultimately point you toward the hope that’s only found in Him.


    This post was posted in Music, Interviews and was tagged with Featured, Francesca Battistelli, Sanctus Real, Bible MiniSeries, The Bible, Mark Burnett

  • New Video from Sanctus Real - Pray

    Posted on August 28, 2013 by Family Christian

    Rather than simply glossing over struggles, Sanctus Real has never been afraid to shine a light on challenges and hardships. On the band’s sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real have written songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times. Through both their struggles and victories, the guys in Sanctus Real have come to realize there’s only one place to run, and that’s into God's arms, and to his word and promises.

    The band continues to build on their best-selling and 2010 Grammy nominated album, Pieces of a Real Heart, that carried the breakthrough song of their career. “‘Lead Me’ was a cry from the heart that resounded with families everywhere. We've devoted the better part of our lives writing songs that we pray will matter. Hearing countless stories of how God can use a song has been both humbling and inspiring,” says frontman Matt Hammitt.

    Rather than glossing over their struggles, Sanctus Real is never afraid to shine a light on their challenges and hardships. On the band’s sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real presents songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times.

    Songs like the first single from Run, "Pray," will find you exactly where you are, sharing the struggles and victories that make up the life story of a band that wears its heart on its sleeve.

    Watch the video here:

    What do you think?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Sanctus Real

  • Sanctus Real's Song "Pray" Featured with National Day of Prayer

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Family Christian



    It has been announced that GRAMMY-nominated and Dove award-winning band Sanctus Real is featured in this year's National Day of Prayer campaign with their single "Pray," a song from their latest project Run (Sparrow Records). The song is currently being used to further promote The 2013 National Day of Prayer, which is this Thursday, May 2nd.

    Explaining the message behind "Pray," Sanctus Real's Matt Hammitt recently shared, "We wrote the song 'Pray' because these are anxious times and the awareness that we’re just one thumb tap away from another shocking headline can be stressful. Sometimes it’s not world news that leaves me anxious, but parts of my own little world that seem to be falling apart. The pressure of holding it all together is daunting when I get to thinking it’s on my own shoulders. Sometimes I find myself tossing my hands up in the air and asking in an exasperated tone, 'What in the world is going on?'"

    Hammitt continues, "Every public headline and personal challenge is a reminder, as well as a call, not to lift our hands in despair but rather to continue lifting our hands and voices in prayer. We are longing to see a move of God in our nation, amongst its people and leaders, and we are excited to partner with National Day of Prayer in an effort to urge and inspire people to pray. Will you answer the call?"

    A list of videos from the members of Sanctus Real promoting the National Day of Prayer is now available. There is a video already posted of the band sharing about the importance of prayer and in the days to follow, a video from each of the four band members talking about prayer will post.

    Sanctus Real - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Matt) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Mark) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Pete) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Chris) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real - Pray (lyric video)

    “PRAY”
    I bow my head to pray, I don’t know what to say
    I’m not sure how to fix the things I’m dealing with
    I’m in a desperate place, I need to share the weight
    But I just don’t know how to let it all pour out
    And though I’m silent, my heart is crying ‘cause I was made to come to You

    SO I PRAY GOD, I NEED YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY
    RIGHT HERE IN THIS MOMENT YOU KNOW MY HEART
    YOU KNOW MY NEED YOU KNOW EVERY PART OF ME
    SO EVEN IF IT’S JUST TO SPEAK YOUR NAME I’M GONNA PRAY

    I’ve failed to find the time, but You’ve been calling out
    I let the days go by as if I could live without
    But it’s gotta be here and now I won’t be pulled away ‘cause it’s just You and I
    So let the world around us fade
    Father, will You meet me here right now
    Father, I surrender, lay it down
    Father, and every time I close my eyes
    I know that I was made to lift my hands and pray
    I lift my hands and pray You know my heart
    You know my need You know every single part of me
    More than words You want my life
    Take it as an offering

    Written by Matt Hammitt, Chris Rohman, and Christopher Stevens
    © 2013 Birdwing Music / Toledo Tomorrow Music / 1012 Rosedale Music (ASCAP) / Meaux Mercy / Chriscendo Music (BMI) (Admin. at EMICMGPublishing.com)


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Sanctus Real, Prayer, National Day of Prayer

  • Sanctus Real - The Story Behind "Pray"

    Posted on April 24, 2013 by Family Christian

    The new single from Sanctus Real, Pray is now spinning on radio stations. Have you heard it yet? Listen to a snippet here.

    Here is the story behind the song.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Sanctus Real, Prayer

  • A Q&A With Finding Favour

    Posted on March 22, 2013 by John van der Veen

    Gotee Records signed the south-Georgia band, Finding Favour. On their new ep, they  collaborated with acclaimed producers Rob Hawkins (Building 429), Christopher Stevens (tobyMac, Sanctus Real, Mandisa) and Dustin Burnett (Kingsfoil) to produce the six-track release.

    1 - What is your background? Where did you guys grow up? What made you interested in music?

    My background is similar to what I do right now actually. I'm from a place called Vidalia, GA (the sweet onion capital of the world!) and I grew up singing in the church with my family. We traveled almost every weekend singing southern gospel music and that's where my love for music and ministry started.

    2 - What are your biggest influencers? Musically and spiritually?

    Spiritually some of our biggest influencers have been our families and pastors. We're actually pretty careful about letting any and everyone point us in a thousand different directions. In all things we try to be led by the Holy Spirit for our decisions and actions. Musically our influences range from Collective Soul to Chris Tomlin with everything else thrown in the middle!

    3 - What does your live show look like?

    Our live show are always a work in progress. We try to bring energy and honesty to the platform every single night with stories, songs and a corny joke here and there.

    4 - Coffee or Mountain Dew?

    Definitely coffee!

     
    Slip On By (lyric video)


    This post was posted in Music, Interviews and was tagged with TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Sanctus Real, Mandisa, Finding Favour, Building 429, fea

  • Delivering Hope for Those in Crisis -- An Interview with Matt Hammitt from Sanctus Real

    Posted on September 21, 2011 by Family Christian

    Family Christian Stores: Matt, God has used your song, ”Lead Me,” with Sanctus Real, to touch and heal many lives. Now, over the last year, it seems there is another chapter in your story. Can you share with us how your new solo project, Every Falling Tear, was birthed?

    Matt Hammitt: When I wrote “Lead Me,” I had no idea that God was preparing me to lead my family through a season of great adversity. It was only a month after Pieces of a Real Heart was released that my wife, Sarah, and I found out that our son had a severe, life-threatening heart defect. They told us five months before he was born that we had a long and hard road ahead of us. That’s when I started writing the songs that ended up becoming the album Every Falling Tear. I was writing songs because I needed them, songs about trusting God in difficult circumstances. We listened to the songs while we were in the hospital for both of Bowen’s open heart surgeries.

    FCS: Many people have been following the story of Baby Bowen. How is he doing? Are there some specific ways we can pray for you and your family as you continue on this journey?

    Matt: Bowen’s cardiologist is pleased with his progress. They’re telling us that he won’t need another surgery for two years. We welcome prayers for healing, but also know that our story is part of God’s sovereign design. Please pray for perseverance as we continue on this path with Bowen.

    FCS: We understand that each of the songs has a specific story behind it. Will you tell us about one of your favorites, and what it means for you to have it on this album?

    Matt: One of my favorite songs from the album is “Holding You.” We were told by some friends and doctors to prepare ourselves to not to be able to hold Bowen for, potentially, weeks after his surgery. A few days later, I heard our guitar player Pete playing a riff on the bus. I began to think about Sarah, and what it would be like to be a mother watching her child in pain, not being able to hold him. Within an hour, I had almost all of the lyrics written.

    FCS: How have you been able to “Consider it pure Joy when you face trials”? Has there been “joy” in the midst of this storm for you?

    Matt: Seeing the way that God has been faithful to work what appears to be a tragedy for our good and His glory has been the greatest source of joy and comfort. The gift of a son is pretty amazing as well.

    FCS: Is there a specific Scripture verse the Lord has given you and your family as you have walked through this last year?

    Matt: 2 Corinthians 4:16–18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

    FCS: That’s beautiful. You and your wife have found a way to bring hope to many families facing a similar situation. What has the Lord led the two of you to do in this regard?

    Matt: Sarah and I have started the Whole Hearts Foundation to support families with children suffering from heart defects. We’re still in our infancy, but some exciting things are on the horizon. We believe Whole Hearts will be assisting families by the end of the year.

    FCS: What are some things we can do to help in our communities?

    Matt: Serve your neighbors (like your next-door neighbors). It's a good way to get to know them better and show them what Jesus is about.

    FCS: Matt, thank you for sharing your heart with us. It’s our privilege to partner with you. May God continue to bless your family and your music ministry.

    ____________________________________________________

    NEW Every Falling Tear

    Matt Hammitt

    Delivering hope for those in crisis, Every Falling Tear shares the heart of Sanctus Real’s lead vocalist Matt Hammitt. Sparked by the joy of a new baby and the pain of learning his son would be born with a heart defect, this heartfelt solo debut chronicles his journey with deeply personal songs that claim God’s faithfulness.


    This post was posted in Music, Interviews and was tagged with 2 Corinthians, Sanctus Real, Matt Hammitt, Hope

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