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Speaking with Christian Headlines about his music process, Steven Curtis Chapman stated every song he writes has to start with a prompting from God. “I don’t wake up and say, ‘Hey, I need to go to work and write a song today,’” he said. “I find myself moved by something – something I’m reading something, something that starts breaking my heart, something that’s encouraging my heart. 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 has released his latest album, Still, featuring the song “Don’t Lose Heart,” which has spent 20 weeks on Billboard’s Christian Airplay Chart and 18 weeks on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs list. He was also one of the featured artists during the Country Music Award’s annual “CMA Country Christmas,” where he sang his 1995 song, “Precious Promise.” In speaking with Outreach Magazine in November about what drives his music, he said, “I still am compelled to write and create art that’s illuminated by my faith.” 

He stated that the pandemic inspired him to write Still as it reminded him of tragedy and heartbreak. “Not only personally in my family—14 years ago losing our daughter,” he said, “but then this pandemic sorta brought a lot of that back to the surface, some of the scabs of loss and grief for us because we were touched by it with our family and friends and world. And while it isolated us, it also, in so many ways, stirred so much in my heart, and I just started writing songs about it. That’s the way I process and the way I wrestle through things is with music.” Chapman tragically lost his 5-year-old daughter, Maria, 14 years ago when she was struck by a car driven by her brother. 

Chapman emphasized the importance of Christian music seeking excellence in order to draw in people to the beauty of God. “Because if we’re going to do something for the glory of God, it ought to be excellent. 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.” He noted that his own sons are following that path, saying, “My boys are in a band called Colony House, which is an alternative rock band. 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.”

Chapman himself was recently highlighted by Spotify as one of the top Christian artists in its Top Christian & Gospel list. Chapman thanked the music streaming service on Twitter, writing, “Thank you, @spotify, for the Top Christian & Gospel cover feature!” He was also wearing a shirt that supported St. Jude. 

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