I was pleasantly surprised by Shea Johnson. When I first looked at his project I thought… gospel R&B. What I found was a gifted songwriter who takes the passion of gospel and marries it with the modern styling of indie worship. We caught up with Shea at his home in Atlanta Georgia.
HD: How did you make the transition from leading worship in a church to becoming a worship “artist”?
SJ: I first started leading worship at a college bible study. From the relationship I built at that study, I was invited to lead worship at a couple local churches. Maybe I did this backwards, from the beginning I had the opportunity to play at various churches. It wasn’t until later that I started to lead worship at one church consistently. So the transition to travel and make an album was natural for me. In some ways it was what I had been doing from the beginning. I love being able to visit different churches because it broadens my view of how worship can look. It helps me not get stuck in one box or idea of what worship has to look like.
HD: What would you say is your most memorable time of worship?
SJ: The most memorable moment for me was maybe a series of moments. I was the worship leader for a week-long mission trip to Mexico. Through a missions organization, several churches were placed to work together that week. We had a large city, charismatic catholic church, a small town, rural Baptist church both worshiping at a Mexican Presbyterian church. The first night I led worship and all the different styles of worship came out. The charismatic church was doing things the Baptist had never seen before. The charismatic church wanted to be free to worship. The Baptist church wanted proof this was biblical. There were a lot of questions, misunderstandings, more questions, and faith being challenged. By the end of the week everyone was worshiping arm in arm. It was really a beautiful thing to see people with such differences putting themselves aside for the common goal of worshiping Jesus.
HD: What is your most current project?
SJ: “Dreams of Tomorrow.” I released it February 2009. I have been in the studio some this winter, but that is all I’m going to say about the next project for now.
HD: I always like to ask what is inspiring worship leaders in their own private life. Can you share some of the songs that are inspiring you right now?
SJ: There are many, but off the top of my head the top three are as follows: Rita Springer, “In this Forever”; Ricardo Sanchez, “Moving Forward”; Micheal Gungor “Say So.”
FEATURED INDEPENDENT SONG – “ROMANCE” by SHEA
>font size=”2″>This issue we are featuring a new song from SHEA, a brand new independent worship writer from Atlanta, Georgia entitled ROMANCE. Imagine David Crowder meets Switchfoot. In Shea’s words…
I wrote it right after I saw the movie “One Night with the King” – the story of Esther. The visual picture of Esther and the King in that movie challenged me and my relationship with God. I had never seen a relationship that looked like that before. I was so moved, that I sat down with the guitar and wrote it all in one sitting.
“Romance” is featured on Shea’s 2009 release entitled Dreams Of Tomorrow produced by Brandon Thomas who played electric guitar and co-authored another song on the project.
“Romance” can be found on iTunes or from Shea’s website… www.sheamusic.com
If you like to be featured as an independent worship artist, please contact Holland Davis@hollanddavis@gmail