Highlands Worship, based out of Birmingham, Alabama, released their latest single Heaven Is My Home along with an accompanying video as part of a focus on writing songs in line with what was being taught Sunday mornings at their home church, ‘Church of the Highlands.’
Chris Griffin, co-writer and producer of the track, said the church, founded in 2001, has grown to 23 locations, 60,000 attendees and over 1,000 worship team members. With this large of a base, Griffin noted the group is seeking to “get out of their bubble,” with this new track, video and future projects.
“We have a plethora of fantastic musicians and writers,” Griffin said. “Out of that we’ve been writing a lot of music for over 10 years, but have gotten serious about getting outside of our bubble in the last four or five years.”
Griffin noted the group has already released multiple albums. Heaven Is My Home was written to communicate the heart behind a recent Sunday morning message from their pastor where he encouraged listeners to take heart, because “earth is not our final home, heaven is.”
“We’re ready listeners…and so that came into the song,” Griffin explained.
The approach to writing a song specifically for a congregational worship setting, versus a personal, artistic atmosphere, is quite different, according to Griffin.
The group will often debut new songs on Sunday mornings to evaluate how well they connect to church attendees, in order to help decide if the song warrants production and release.
Video, Griffin continued, is three times more likely to attract listeners than simply an audio track. Taking a close look at marketing metrics is helpful for release strategy as a church worship group, Griffin said, especially as new music is currently surrounded by so much other noise, competing for attention.
It is important to trust the finished, written song, Griffin emphasized, and from that focal point, dive deeper into the lyrics, the touch points, and the way the track encourages specific people in their unique, life moments.
“It’s an interesting time in history. It’s fun for independent artists to learn all aspects of their craft, including songwriting,” Griffin said. “We’ve been writing songs for a long time, but I don’t know how far we’ve dug down into the layers of why we’re writing the song.”
Is the piece simply coming from another commonplace session, only because songwriting had to happen or is the writing motivated by seeking to resonate with the audience and tap into the emotion of the culture?, Griffin asked.
“We’re trying to really ask the ‘why’ questions and then dive into deeper layers.”