The Christian artist shares the uplifting message behind his latest album and why he thought he'd never make another Christmas record.
- Posted on Dec 11, 2015
Christian singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin is grateful—and it’s easy to understand why.
The man whose songs are sung by roughly 30 million churchgoers every Sunday is having a big year. Guideposts.org caught him a day after he learned that his critically acclaimed 2014 album Love Ran Red earned him a Grammy Award nomination in the Contemporary Christian Music category. It’s not his first time being recognized by the Academy of Recording Arts, but it’s a shock, all the same.
“I don’t know if you ever expect those things, but I surely wasn’t [expecting a nomination] this time around,” Tomlin tells Guideposts.org.
He’s also fresh from his debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry’s original home, the Ryman, a venue on most musicians' bucket lists, especially a good ol’ Southern boy with a love for country music like Tomlin. His performance there came on the heels of spring and fall tours across the country with some of the biggest names in Christian music.
Now, the artist is back on the road, this time performing songs off of his latest Christmas record, Adore.
A follow-up to his 2009 hit Christmas album, Glory in the Highest, Adore was an unexpected project for the singer.
“[Glory in the Highest] was so special, the way people responded to it, that I thought, ‘Well, that’s my one Christmas record,’” Tomlin admits.
But the urge to create music for the season just kept coming. After some friends sent him a song titled “Adore,” Tomlin knew he’d have to get back into the studio and craft more seasonal tunes and he had no problem choosing old favorites and penning new hits for the latest record.
“We’ve remixed a lot,” the artist says. “We have a lot of those songs that people have come to love on there – ‘Silent Night,’ ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ ‘Away in A Manger’ -- just in a different way.”
There’s also new Christmas fare on the record. Tomlin recruited worship music duo All Sons & Daughters, Irish singer Kristyn Getty and newcomer Lauren Daigle to help him give the originals life. Daigle, who also received a Grammy nod this week, is currently touring with Tomlin and her song on the record, "Noel," is his favorite.
“It’s my favorite because I’m not singing it! I don’t like to listen to myself sing,” Tomlin jokes before describing how Daigle’s performance of the song leaves him and the audience in chills every night.
It’s just another reminder of why the artist loves composing this kind of music.
“It’s hit me recently,” Tomlin says. “Christmas is really the only holiday that has its own genre of music. All of these seasons and holidays of the year, but there’s something about Christmas. What is that? I think it’s because it’s the greatest news the world has ever heard. The good news of Jesus being born, whether they know it or not, whether they know the reason or not, it makes the whole world sing. It’s so special to make music around this time.”
For Tomlin, the holidays are even more special now that he has children of his own to celebrate with. His eldest daughter is four and youngest is a year old and it’s the first Christmas for the family of four.
“Every morning is ‘Is it Christmas?’ That’s all they ask,” Tomlin says laughing. His youngest recently had her first encounter with a mall Santa while Tomlin was home from the road. "It’s just that unbelievable moment as parents where you’re just torturing your child," the singer joked of the experience. "When would you ever put your one year old in the arms of some weird looking guy dressed in red with a big white beard? That didn’t go to well."
Still, he's enjoying seeing the holiday in a new light thanks to his children.
“I’m very grateful for this moment in life," Tomlin says. "There’s so much joy and fun in the house.”
It’s a joy he hopes to share with others through his music.
“There’s a lyric in a song on the record called ‘Noel’ that says, ‘Come and see what God has done,’” Tomlin shares. ‘I hope people can take this record as an invitation to once again come and see what God has done. We think about Jesus in a manger and the wise men, the shepherd and Mary, but the bigger story is what God has done for the world. That’s powerful.”