As an independent worship songwriter, I’m always looking for ways to get my songs heard by other worship leaders. The reality is, even if I make a really cool sounding CD, unless I’m Chris Tomlin or Paul Baloche, or in my early 20’s and in skinny jeans, chances are I won’t ever get distributed or make it to radio… even if I did write a song that made it into the Top 100 CCLI list. So how do new worship songwriters get heard?
The vision of Worshipsong.com is simple: provide a way for worshippers to hear a complete song and download a free chart so they can teach the song to their church, bible study or play it during personal times of worship. Worshipsong.com was born out of a conversation between myself and Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, who said: “My sermons are free, why can’t worship songs be?”
I received an unexpected call from an A&R guy recently who asked me about a song I wrote called “I Will Stand.” I asked why he was calling. He said the song went from the 800’s to the 300’s on CCLI over one reporting period and he wanted to hear it. The only place the song was promoted was on Worshipsong.com.
Worship teams started requesting MP3s from the site to distribute to their worship teams. I felt a free chord chart was a reasonable request, but when worship teams were asking for the actual MP3s, I felt that it was only fair to make the MP3s available for sale. After all, there are usually production dollars involved in making a recording. In order to accommodate this, Worshipsong.com launched an online store, but it can also distribute into iTunes and 500 Christian bookstores via on-demand kiosks with selected songs from Worshipsong.com
The site allows you to make playlists—a way for worshippers to pre-program their times of worship by selecting their favorite songs. The playlists can also be used as a set list for worship, and emailed to your worship team.
We are also launching a Worshipsong band app, which allows worship songwriters to upload stems of their original songs to be used in a live worship setting like Band In Hand. That means you can create set lists, mute channels (say your bass player shows up), lead worship with a full band (when you’re just on guitar) or whatever. With the Worshipsong band app, original compositions can be used, and the open format allows you to create custom tracks. We’re expecting that independent producers will start creating their versions of the Top 100 CCLI songs for the app.
Currently we’ve been given permission from Vineyard UK, Bethel Music, Christ For The Nations, Sound Truth Publishing and Calvary Chapel Music to include their music on Worshipsong.com. Since the launch of the site, approximately 1000 songs are heard every day. Upload yours and let’s make it 1001.
Holland Davis is a worship leader, conference speaker, composer of the award winning song Let It Rise and the author of “Let It Rise: A Manual For Worship.” He is the Senior Pastor of Worship Life Calvary Chapel in San Clemente and CEO of Worshipsong.com. Email Holland@hollanddavis.com Twitter @hollanddavis