Contemporary Christian singer Matthew West's music tells stories of real lives

Contemporary Christian recording artist Matthew West, one of the featured performers on the 2013 Winter Jam Tour set for March 2 in Oklahoma City, said he continues to tell stories of real people and real life in his latest album, “Into the Light.”
by Carla Hinton Modified: February 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm •  Published: February 23, 2013
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Q: What response has the song received?

A: It continues to be a humbling experience. I've made five albums, and this was my first album that was nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Contemporary Christian Music Album), as far as like an album in its entirety. We didn't win but it was really awesome to be nominated. Obviously more important than stuff like that is the people's stories that they send to me. I have a song on the CD called “Forgiveness” that was the first radio single, so all across the country, this message of forgiveness has been pumping through the radio all because of this lady in Florida who wrote to me about how her daughter was killed by a drunken driver. She wrote to me about her journey and how she really found freedom in learning how to forgive the young man who was imprisoned — just how it changed not only her life but the young man who was in prison. ... It's been pretty neat to hear how a song about forgiveness has helped people resolve a conflict with a family member or helped them set free a grudge they've been holding onto against somebody for a long time. ... These songs, they're not just fun little pop songs. They're actually kind of making a statement about different things that are going on in society.

Q: Talk about your nonprofit organization, Population We.

A: We're just getting it started. ... It has a mission to cultivate a community of storytellers — to encourage people to recognize the power that lies within their own story. ... The website is going to have many of these stories that I share on my record. Maybe people will be inspired by a song or they will be touched by a story that they've heard and want to get help. They can reach out to our nonprofit because we are making the commitment to help connect them to the resources that guide them onto a new road for their story.

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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