With a movie about his life shut down and a tour put on indefinite hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jeremy had a lot of free time on his hands. Rather than wallow in these professional setbacks, he and wife Adrienne sought God for direction.
Feeling the quiet urge of the Holy Spirit, they began performing some songs they had written in quarantine on Facebook Live. These simple arrangements performed with the aid of just an acoustic guitar led to millions of views on social media.
Inspired by these sessions, the Camps have released a new EP called The Worship Project. Consisting of six songs, the album is the first musical project Jeremy and Adrienne have released as a duo.
I recently spoke with Jeremy and Adrienne about how God has been leading them in this season of life, why they opted to release a musical project in the middle of a pandemic, and how this music is different from anything they have previously recorded as solo artists.
Did The Worship Project evolve from you two doing those mini-Facebook concerts back at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic?
Adrienne Camp: Yeah, absolutely. Jeremy and I have done worship (music) together, from time to time and then for a couple of events. But that’s definitely where the idea came in. It was early during COVID that the Lord just laid on our hearts to have these nights of worship. The truth is we needed the comfort. And so it was kind of like you comfort others with what you’ve been comforted. We just had these really sweet, very organic and natural times of worship together. It was from that, that we kind of looked at each other and Jeremy said, ‘I really think we need to do a worship album.’
Jeremy Camp: It really started when I woke up one morning during this whole thing (COVID-19), really just down and bummed out because of everything happening in our life being shut down. Everyone was dealing with it. For us, it was a movie and a tour. So, the situation is shut down, but also people’s lives are shut down. It was rough. And so, I woke up one morning and I felt like the Lord laid on my heart to go write a song. So, I went to write the song. I asked Adrienne to come and sing. I said, hey, why don’t we just say I don’t know what to say and I’m feeling down. I don’t have the words to say, but music, a lot of times can articulate how I feel.
So, we pushed play on the phone and then posted (the recording) on Instagram and Facebook. About a week later, we were looking on Facebook and all of a sudden we discovered 7 million people had viewed the song. And I thought, what in the world is this? We had no intention of anything to be honest. That was the thing about this record. It was very organic. It was not over-thought. We just had songs that God kept giving to us. That was the start of us going, ‘Oh my word, we’re doing worship together. God is giving us songs. Let’s just put out an album during this time and the songs that God’s given us.’ We really felt like the songs were very timely as well. If you listen to the lyrics and the content, we felt like it was definitely Holy Spirit driven. I think that’s why we felt so passionate about doing it. We thought, ‘Hey, if we can encourage people to love Jesus and to put their eyes on Him during this time, that’s what we want to do. That’s the whole reason why we’re put here.’
You mentioned that the two of you have performed here and there on an informal basis over the years, but is this the first time you’ve officially stepped out together as a duo on a project?
Jeremy Camp: We’ve done things and done worship together as a couple, but not to step in and say, let’s do an actual project and put it out. To be honest, it was a pretty smooth process.
Adrienne Camp: It just felt really natural. It was just a very organic response between the two of us and really just coming together. We want to encourage people as well in this season. Music has just been such an incredible ministry tool. We had fun with it. It was awesome.
Jeremy Camp: To hear each other’s heart during this and to hear lyrics that she had written for some of the songs and then hearing Adrienne sing the songs and putting her heart into it, I think it just translated massively on this record.
As I have mentioned, you both have long careers in music, each of you with a distinct sound. How is this new music different from what you have previously done as individual performers?
Adrienne Camp: I think for both of us, it wasn’t as complicated as the projects we’ve done in the past. There was sort of a simplicity about this. It was refreshing for us and we really didn’t want to overthink it. We don’t want to try to break all the creative molds. We wanted it just to be the simple kind of prayer of just going, God, we need you right now as a country, as people, we need you. We just want to keep the main things, the main things. And that was just fixing our eyes on the Lord and not to say anything against overthinking creativity, because we’ve both been a part of projects. We’ve done that as well. In this, we just wanted to keep it simple.
Jeremy Camp: Simple, basic instruments … piano, guitars, some keyboards, drums and a bass. It’s not complicated, and I think that is why we were able to separate. It wasn’t like we weren’t creative. I just felt like we weren’t supposed to bring in too many extra things. And actually I’m really glad because I just felt like there was such a simplistic purity about it. I think it was refreshing for both of us.
If you don’t mind, I would like to open up a couple of the songs from the EP and have you share where the inspiration for each came from, the meaning of it, and why you chose to put it on The Worship Project? Let’s start with “We Turn Our Eyes (You Speak to My Fear)”?
Adrienne Camp: That’s one of my favorites. It was really sort of inspired by the old hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, full in His wonderful face. And the things of the earth will grow stroke strangely dim. And the light of His glory and grace’. With the absolute chaos of 2020, so many polarizing opinions, and just the highly emotional feelings all around on so many different issues, it was one of those things where we felt so strongly that the message was for us and what we’ve been trying to pour into our kids. It’s hard. It’s kind of like a juggling act or a balancing act, where it’s easy to get distracted. This song is really about the importance of just making the declaration of, we need to turn our eyes upon Jesus. There’s a Scripture (Isaiah 50:7) that says, “Set your face like flint (solid rock) that’s just firm and immovable. That’s where our gaze needs to be. And so it was just really putting Jesus in His rightful place. When Jesus is in his rightful place, our fears and anxieties get dealt with so naturally as refocusing on Him and not the circumstances around us.
How about “Whatever May Come”?
Jeremy Camp: That was the first song I had written during this. I woke up on a Monday morning, about two days after everything got shut down. It was one of those songs where I started by just talking (it out). Whatever I face, whatever the fear, whatever the cost, I’ve got you. I know you’re here. It almost conversationally came out. I responded with, ‘And I will call upon you. Whatever I face, you are with me. I will call, I will call. Every heartbreak you will hold me.’ And it just was this beautiful way of saying, ‘Okay, God, I’m saying right now that no matter what may come, no matter what kind of pain, what kind of fear, what kind of worry, what kind of doubt, I’m going to call upon you.’ When Jesus was walking on the water and Peter wanted to come out, he hops in the water and at first he’s looking at Jesus and things were fine. He was actually walking on water, but he turned his eyes away from Jesus and saw his circumstances. He saw his surroundings in the storm, became afraid, and started sinking. And then of course, Jesus pulls him back up and says, ‘Ye of little faith, why are you so afraid? I’m right here.’ And I think that is us in my cry to sing, ‘I’m going to call upon you no matter what I’m going through or facing, because you were with me every step of the way. I’m going to fall on my knees. And for every heartbreak you will hold me every single time.’ We recorded and posted it and saw the reaction. We realized people are really hungry for that simple message. That made us step into this even more.
What has God been teaching you lately through this project and in your lives in general?
Adrienne Camp: That I want to live in the fullness of what God has for me in that relationship with Him. Jeremy and I have been having so many discussions about, as Christians, that it’s not about what we do that makes us important in a sense. It’s about who we are in our relationship with the Lord. It’s about knowing Jesus first and then making Him known. And I think sometimes, we want to do all the things to sort of establish how important the Church is and how important we might be as people, that we miss out on really knowing the intimacy of God’s heart and having that intimate relationship with Him. That’s part of that purification process. It’s being close to Jesus, to know Him first, before we make Him known.
Jeremy Camp: That’s good, honey. I don’t know what to say now because that was so good. It’s hard for me to complain or to talk about, ‘Oh, our movie got shut down or our tour got shut down when there’s crazy things happening. But we all are dealing with disappointment. And I think sometimes people think, ‘God, where are you? You promised all these things that I felt like we were supposed to have, or that we should be doing.’ And Adrienne was the one who came up to me and said, ‘Honey, I just want to tell you that God never broke His promise. He didn’t promise anything with the movie or with your tour this year. He didn’t promise anything like the movie is going to go great. Or the tour is going to be amazing. He didn’t promise those things. He never broke His promise.’ You look at His Word, His truth, and who He is, and He stands firm on His truth, His Word and His promises.
After people have listened to The Worship Project, as artists what would you like audiences to get out of the experience? What is your greatest hope for the record?
Jeremy Camp: I want people to walk away going, ‘God purify my heart. God, show me what me what you want to change in me. I want to literally keep my eyes fixed upon you and all my circumstances. I want to fall in love with you more.’ That’s really what we want. And that’s what I want my whole life to be in everything that I do. I want people to walk away and be more in love with Jesus or desire to know Him more, or be repentant, whatever it may be. That’s what you want, drawing people closer to Jesus. And that really is our heart’s desire. Truly and honestly, we want people to love Jesus more.
Watch a music video for “Whatever May Come” from The Worship Project: