Matthew West: Finding His Own Story
Through The Stories Of Others
If you've never understood just how powerfully one man's life can influence another's, Matthew West, can, undoubtedly, explain it to you. Matthew West is a "worldchanger." Stands to reason why one of the most catchy songs on his newest cd "Live Forever" is, in fact, called "World Changer," now doesn't it?
This voice of positive change has spent the entirety of his unprecedented singer-songwriter career sharing the stories, experiences, and wisdom of others through lyrics and melodies -- every one of them meant to inspire, strengthen, and move his audience towards lives of happiness, helpfulness, and the fulfillment of the soul. No doubt, there is a great deal to learn from the footsteps of others and Matthew is enormously committed to helping his listeners, and more, realize this in ways that span well past his music, alone.
A father of two who is keenly aware of the critical connection each person has to the other, Matthew remains a tireless advocate for peace, both at home and across the world. And even when he, himself, feels a bit overwhelmed or discouraged by the “plights of the many,” Matthew relies upon his strong faith and the insights of others to help him find the right words to help transform today into a better tomorrow.
Suffice-it-to-say, it’s “high time” for the entire nation to familiarize itself with the stories and sounds of Matthew West. The incredible “take away” is widely needed, I assure you. Just listen to the news each day given you require any additional convincing.
If you have ever purported to be a world changer yourself, this is the interview for you! Enjoy getting to know Matthew West below:
What is your personal mantra?
My personal mantra is, "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me." (Philippians 4:13)
My father was the person in my life who instilled this belief in me more than any other person. I’ve clung to it during the toughest points in my life and in doing so, I found my life’s purpose - to move people in ways that bring joy, fulfillment, and peace to their lives and the world, overall.
Did you grow up in a religious family?
Yes. I grew up in Illinois where my father ministered over the same church for twenty-eight years. He, has since, left and joined me on the road, whereby he continues to counsel those in need. My mother remains also very involved in my father’s current ministry. My wife and two daughters travel with us as well. We “homeschool” our children, which gives us the flexibility to be together while I am touring.
It was the combination of a lesson I learned from Reverend Billy Graham (who cited his biggest regret as being “away from his own children too much throughout his career”) and the strain that same reality was having on my own life that led me and my wife to decide to homeschool. Sometimes, human beings - in our noble pursuits - forget how noble being an involved parent truly is. Luckily, that realization came early in my life.
What type of singer-songwriter do you consider yourself to be?
"Pop" mostly, although, I have also written a number of country songs for many well-known country vocalists.
Did you begin your career seeking to become a household name in the Christian music industry?
I began my career - and continue through to this day - committed to being “authentic.” It just so happens that my authenticity arises from my faith. My songs are “positive message” driven -- soundtracks for hope and healing. That I am designated as a “Christian artist” speaks to the perception of society as to what defines one type of music from another.
You are an advocate for active and positive change. What is one of the biggest changes you feel the world needs today?
More light needs to be shone on those who are doing good and inspiring others to do good too. We need positive examples for others to follow and we need to raise the awareness around them NOW more than ever.
Describe your newest cd "Live Forever" in three words or less. Explain what you want to accomplish with this cd.
“Full of life.” I wanted to write anthems to help people understand that life is short and to live it, not feeling defeated, but in victory -- that our best days lie ahead.
I say "God," you say?
What was the biggest surprise in your career?
My vocal chord surgery in 2007. My second biggest surprise was my unlikely recovery that became very likely, after-the-fact.
Having faced one of the worst moments (and greatest fears) of my life - in possibly never singing again and then overcoming those odds - my gratitude in having my voice restored comes out in all that I am and all that I do as a human being and a performer. I am eternally thankful, humbled, and inspired all at the same time.
What is one thing about Matthew West most don't know?
As a father to two girls, I spend a heck of a lot of time at the American Girl store. If a fan ever wants to run into me to say “hello,” his or her best bet would be there.
Are you associated with any social organization or foundation?
As much of my work has been impacted or derived from the storytelling of others, I see a great deal of value in sharing those stories beyond my music and concerts. As a result, I have recently launched a nonprofit organization and website that will allow fans to share their stories online. The hope is that “Through each story, we all will grow -- in strength, encouragement, inspiration, and faith.”
Called Popwe and underscored by my song “My Own Little World,” the ultimate goal of this organization and website is to remind each of us that we are not alone. Few things give us as much hope as realizing that we live in a community of like.
How do you want to be remembered?
Somebody who is authentic. Someone who didn’t just talk about changing the world but lived life lending a hand in doing so and moving others to do the same. No, I’m not perfect but if I inspired any “hope” in others along the way, I’d call my life a success.
Last but not least, as the enormous baseball fan that you are, who are your favorite teams?
Having grown up in Illinois, I have to say, the Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals.
You’ve inspired “hope” in me, Matthew. Add one more loyal listener to the millions of fans of whom’s spirits you lift, days you brighten, and hearts you ignite in faith and future. And keep those songs coming as we need every one of them.
Thank you Matthew West and Merge PR for making this interview possible.