my interview with local-born muso nick groves continues…

Q:In the one track i listened to i’m pretty sure i heard some white-man-rap? guest artist or mister nick groves branching out? and where’d that come from? [i was secretly pretty impressed]

A: πŸ™‚ …I’ve always enjoyed poetry – mostly at high school – song writing flows out of that but rap is the modern day poem. (After all – it an abbreviation for Rhythm And Poetry). What got me exited about rap recently was that it allows you the ability to express and explore an issue or theme in a deeper way than songwriting, I think the rhyme and the space gives the hearer a feeling like he is going on a journey, and thats why I think its one of the most popular genres out there, and it doesn’t have to be all “GANGSTA” to be rap. Think of Eminem’s “lose yourself” or some Lily Allen, JayZ, Linkin Park- it really allows you to feel whats being said- its almost like a good preach that has the ability to transport you to a new emotion or thought.

The song you have in mind is probably the track “Rise”- I got into a rap groove as I had a week earlier done my first rap song for fun, and that song just came out of me.

For me that song was really personal – I’ve been going through a really difficult time lately- probably the worst time of my life. My dad is currently lying in Hospice, in the last stages of bone cancer; I tried to help out a dude who was in need and got burnt; and I decided to look at the perseverance of Jesus for some inspiration. I might do some more sometime- the song gave me a good way to get everything off my chest. It’s my first shot at it, watch this space.

Q:what are your thoughts/feelings when it comes to worship music? quite a general question but i imagine when someone hears ‘worship music’ they think ‘ah the 30 minute music time in the church’ – do you think it’s bigger than that at all? what makes music worship-full?

A: Well I think its fair to equate “worship music” with church music, but it is bigger than that and like you say – the big question is: “Is this worship-full?” I think generally worship music will always help us in the cause of making God bigger and ourselves smaller in our hearts and minds – the whole John the Baptist thing “He must increase, I must decrease”. The call of scripture is “O magnify the Lord”. So I would say real “worship-full” worship music always will help us aim in this direction. The biggest factor for me is the work of The Holy Spirit – He enables us to worship God, He loves to help us exalt Jesus. The bible says “No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by The Spirit”- we need to depend on Him to help us to make our worship to God authentic and powerful, enabling us to get caught up with who God is, no matter what situation we are in.

Q:And when it comes to your music, what would you say is the groven factor? what sets your music apart from other peoples – ie why should people listen to yours? or what aspect of it do you think or hope will appeal to people?

A: At the moment, Im still jumping around into different genres- from the worship stuff to the rap and more recently the instrumentals. So in that regard, I haven’t really stuck into one type of style yet, and I’m far from doing my best work. But I hope my “X factor” its will be that what I create influences people in a positive way, and at best – brings people into a fresh perspective of who God is. I hope that what I create will always be honest about life and God’s involvement in it. Someone said once that a friend is made when you end up saying, “what, you too? I thought I was the only one!” and sometimes, when musicians are honest in their work, that kind of connection can be made with the listener.

Q:two more questions, one music related, who or what would you say your influences are when it comes to writing a new song? other bands or experiences?

A: I would say its more important as a musician to write from experience simply because its always going to make your art more “younique” and thats what people want to hear- but at the same time, I always get inspiration from what guys are doing – from the creativity of a 3 piece band like “Future of Forestry” to the musical genius of “MuteMath”. I always look for something honest and excellent that leaves you feeling what the artist is saying.

In a church setting, the creativity and expression of a guy like Matt Redman has been massive on my life. He is still one of my greatest heros. Lyrically a guy like Matt Kearney is huge, Mute Math are also great lyrically.
But the real beauty is releasing something beautiful through a personal experience. Nothing can top that. We are all originals and limited editions. Thats where the real creativity lies.

Q:and then lastly, what is your understanding of the church? and where do you see the role of music as a part of that, if at all?

A: Friedrich Nietzsche, a pioneer of atheism was quoted saying: “They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer”β€” Its always stuck with me.

I think the church (when I say this, I mean something bigger than a Sunday gathering) has yet to come into a place of prominence in creativity in the world where people can peer in and see amazing creativity reflecting who God is- the most creative being in the world. We’ve seen it here and ther (a lot of American christian artists like Kari Jobe/Jesus Culture are now topping even secular charts!) Guys like Phil Keaggy have been pointed to as the the greatest guitarist in the world. There must be more on the way.

Its sad to think that Nietzsche wrote off Christianity based on the lack of creativity he saw. Imagine what the world would have been like if he saw something different.

And when it comes to Sundays: if the lyrics and music doesn’t point to the excellence and wonder of God, then its time to gather all the creative people and ask God to revive us again that we might reflect the beauty of the one who made everything, and loves everyone.

[thankx so much Nick – to hear the music behind the man head over to www.facebook.com/pages/nick-groves/28272426239 and please pass the link on]