Interview: Noel Robinson

Jun 24 2013

Seven years since the release of his last album, worship leader Noel Robinson is back with a diverse new album. From soul to gospel, drum and bass meets reggae, and rock to pop, 'Devoted' showcases Noel's unique talents. LTTM caught up with the singer/songwriter to find out more about the story behind the music.

Tell us a little bit about your new album 'Devoted' and what the inspiration behind it was?

The inspiration behind the album is my life's journey. Like many people, I have experienced the twists and turns, ups and downs that life brings, but in looking at how worship and the presence of God have impacted me during those times I found that the firm foundation was my devotion to God, and His devotion to me. So the album really reflects that one constant when everything else was changing.

The album is a mixture of songs to God, about God, and some about what He was saying to me at a certain point in time. Each of the fifteen songs is an important part of the story. 'Freedom' is a really uplifting song because its speaks of deliverance and breakthrough. 'I Believe in You' is a strong personal confession of my faith and 'You Loved Me' is a very personal song about God's devotion to me. 'Rain' is a great song that I co-wrote with my good friend Donna Akodu and has gone to places we'd never have imagined and blessed loads of people. 'Let the People Say' was a really great experience writing with Grammy Award winner Israel Houghton. I love 'You are Holy' because I got to sing it with another good friend of mine Tim Hughes. Likewise it was a real honour to sing the reggae infused 'We Cry Hosanna' with Chevelle Franklyn, 'Unity' with Guvna B and 'One Hope One Faith' with Faye Simpson. Of course I have to mention the title track 'Devoted' aswell, as it's the song that really sums up my journey, and I really loved writing it with Nick Herbert.

DevotedWhat's your song writing process?

I don't stick with any one particular formula when I'm writing. On this project I really enjoyed the collaborations with Israel Houghton, Nick Herbert and Donna Akodu which brought out some new things in me both lyrically and musically. I'm always looking for that place of authenticity in how I create the music to really house the content of the song.

If you could work with any song writer, who would it be and why?

If I could have worked with John Wesley it would have been amazing to see his creativity in action. His hymns and lyrical content are so inspiring. There are loads of people today who inspire me with their ability to write and encourage a generation to see the power of Christ activated in their lives, people like; Matt Redman, Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Jonas Myrie, Darlene S, Lara Martin, Bishop John Francis and Mark Beswick.

Who are your musical influences?

I have so many, especially guitarists from Jimmy Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Bob Marley, Santana and The Beatles. I love Chopin and Bach, Country and Blues, Rock and Pop (U2 & Coldplay), Jazz (Joe Pass & The Yellow Jackets), R&B and Motown (Earth, Wind and Fire) and of course loads of Gospel, everything from choirs to CCM (Israel Houghton & Fred Hammond).

How would you define success in your career?

I think success to me is defined by positively impacting the people and place I have been called to.

In your opinion, what makes the perfect worship song?

I think that it's a song that activates the spirit and soul in a man and connects with God.A song that captures the voice of the Spirit in a moment and aptly conveys a vision of heaven, capturing the sound and mission of heaven here in the earth.

What advice would you give to any aspiring worship leaders or songwriters out there?

Love God, love the people you serve and practice being in the presence of God.
Serve the place you are called to with diligence.
Practice your gifting, and develop skills that bring you closer to the knowledge of God.

You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?

At this very moment it would be a hard choice to make between 'Devoted' and '10,000 Reasons'

What does the next year hold for Noel Robinson?

I hope to continue to impact the church through promoting unity, and to help prepare a generation to live for Jesus through The Renewal music and worship encounters.

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