Singer/songwriter Jason Whitehorn has just independently released his solo worship album 'As Long As I Have Breath'. LTTM caught up with him to find out a little more.
Tell us a little bit about this new album of yours As Long As I Have Breath?
“As Long As I Have Breath” was an album that came out of a dry spell of writing. I went through a few years of not being able to write anything and a bought of depression after losing my mother suddenly in death. God started downloading some really cool songs to me that helped me to process. I realized that these songs of worship even in dark times could be the spark that others may need. All too often people are coming to church out of despair and we are asking them to sing songs they aren’t ready for. How do they sing songs that proclaim “God you are so amazing!” when they are still at a stage of asking “God, why?” This album allows worship accepting sovereignty while giving the freedom to ask a few questions.
Which is your favourite track on the album and why?
I’d probably say the title track. It literally came during a time when I had laryngitis. I could barely even sing or say a word. I wanted to hear just how bad my voice was and if I could sing for the coming weekend. I picked up my guitar and played a few chords. When my mouth opened the words I uttered were “what if I could no longer sing…who would sing your praises, Lord?” The rest of the song came from a memory playing with Matt Maher one time. He was urging me to sing a particular song we were doing down a key or two. I was pompous and told him “I can handle it.”. He told me (paraphrased) “I’m just looking out for your voice longterm. Singing in a lower key will save wear and tear.. Its up to you.. As we speak, the stars in the heavens are declaring His praises. They will contine to do it with or without us.” From a more selfish side of the song I absolutely love the Hammond B3 organ that Scotty Wilbanks from Third Day added to the track. It just makes it special.
For people who don't know, tell us a little bit more about yourself?
My first love before music is to be a pastor. It’s what I do in my normal vocation. It’s what I will likely be doing when I die. I’m a simple guy. I’m a husband to an amazing wife. A father to two great kids. I’m a child of a God who calls me His. Aside from that I don’t know what more identity I could need.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
That list is fairly long. One of those guys is Benji Cowart. Thankfully, we are going to be writing together very soon, though. My all-time wish is to write with one of my favorite mentors Paul Baloche. Paul is a great guy and has a depth of insight that most don’t.
Do you prefer playing live or working in the studio?
I prefer worshiping with others. I prefer letting a room full of people champion and petition songs up to our Creator. It is a beautiful thing to worship in community. It is also a very lost art to worship in private. I relish those opportunities to just get alone with God and sing prayers to Him.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I really can’t describe it. I would hope that it would simply be described as “sung prayers that God is pleased with”. Otherwise, I’m not sure what I’m doing or why, you know? Stylistically from a musical perspective it changes with seasons it seems. I’m influenced by everyone from Matt Maher to John Mayer to Frank Sinatra. I don’t know that I land anywhere.
How would you define success in your career?
If people are worshipping and connecting to God and growing closer that is success. I can’t tell you how much it blesses me to hear stories from people about a song of mine that has impacted them. How in the world a simple guy can be used by God to write a song…by simply singing a prayer…and have it used in a funeral one minute, a wedding the next, a baby’s birth the next just amazes me. I am beyond blessed.
What is your favorite album of all time?
That’s a hard one. Probably a toss between Steven Curtis Chapman’s Real Life Conversations or his More To This Life simply because those were the two albums that got me into CCM. Pretty cool to come full circle and have Brent Milligan who has produced many of SCC’s albums and tours with SCC play on this album with me and co-write one of the songs as well.
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?
'We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are' by Rich Mullins.
What does the next year hold for Jason Whitehorn?
Hopefully a great year in ministry. God has done a pretty good job on His schedule so far.