Jeff Platts is a Christian singer/songwriter in southern Idaho. Louder Than The Music chatted with him to discuss his original Christmas song 'The Lights', his thoughts on Christmas music, and the progress he's making recording his new album.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
From a a very young age I knew I would be a songwriter. My mom always had the radio on around the house and I would hear a song and think to myself "I can do that". I got a $12.00 guitar for Christmas when I was 13 and that helped me move forward.
Tell us about your single 'The Lights' and what the inspiration behind it was?
My spirits have always been lifted in the Christmas season, I loved all the decorations and the way people got a little nicer and I wanted to write a song about it. As a writer of Christian songs it was important to me that Jesus and Christianity should be in the forefront. But it literally took me years to write The Lights, because I couldn't make up my mind if it should be a happy song about the lights going up or a sad song about the lights being taken down. Finally it dawned on me that it could be about both. So I wrote a bridge that joined the 2 ideas together.
What do you think the key ingredients are for the perfect Christmas song?
I know that there are a lot of Christmas songs that don't even mention Jesus or anything to do with him. But for me a great Christmas song is a blend of traditional things like Christmas trees, gifts, decorations, along with a recognition that the true reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ the Messiah.
Some people argue that Christmas has become far too commercial these days, what are your thoughts?
The commercial side of Christmas is okay with me as long as celebrating the birth of Jesus is included. To me it's sad that so many people only know the commercial version of Christmas and don't understand that Jesus gave his life to pay for their sins and that eternal life is theirs if they want it.
You're planning to release a new album next year, what more can you tell us about that?
My new album is in the works. 4 tracks are finished with about 6 to go. All of the songs were written by me and performed/recorded by me and a few other musicians. The album will be called Please Don't Let Them and is named after the title track. I'm hoping to have it finished by the spring or early summer of 2022.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
The message that consistently threads through my songs is that believing in the salvation that comes from believing in Jesus isn't all that complicated, as some would have you think. Also, the concept that Christian believers shouldn't fear anything, including death is prominent in my songs. The importance of trusting God with everything, the result of which is peace of mind, is also a huge part of my music.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
There are so many that it's hard to choose. But I really admire Vince Gill as a songwriter, musician and vocalist and he seems like a very nice guy, so he would be a good choice.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
For me it's not about money or fame, but more about having my songs touch people's hearts. If only one person turned to Jesus because of hearing one of my songs that would be the greatest success I could hope to achieve.
What is your favorite album of all time?
That's an easy one, Traveling Wilburys, Volume 1.
What does the next year hold for you?
In 2022, God willing, I will release my new album. I also hope God will present me with more opportunities for doing live performances. I am also the congregational president of a new church in Kuna, Idaho, which is a suburb of Boise. We are a church-plant and 2022 will be our 2nd year in existence. We currently hold our worship services in a local high school, but we have purchased a 5 acre lot and construction will be starting soon.