Writing & Releasing Songs w/ Matt Maher

If you are writing worship songs, it can be tempting to jump in and try to write a song that is the next big hit. Matt McCoy with Loop Community sat down with artist Matt Maher to hear his story and how he started writing songs. He shared a ton of wisdom about not writing with the intention of releasing the songs, how to write good songs and more!

Write good songs

If you are writing songs, how do you get them heard by other people?

Matt Maher: “The best way to get your songs heard, is to write a good song. If you wrote a song that you think is as good as a popular song, is it just the same as that song? Don’t say the same thing as another song. Push yourself. Worship music is not a musically driven format. It’s a lyrically driven format. It’s about the text. That’s what makes hymns so incredible. The thing that drives the music of the people of God is “What are we saying?” Central to the church is the Word. The music will follow, but if you don’t have a great lyric that isn’t saying something new and compelling, that’s the difference maker.”

Don’t obsess over the numbers

If you want to become a better songwriter, Matt shared that it’s important to not focus on the number of listeners or followers you have.

Matt Maher: “My advice to anyone is don’t get a YouTube page. Don’t spend money on Instagram. Root yourself in your local church and get lost in the presence of God. Do the hard work of prayer and being a songwriter. It’s really hard to work on being a songwriter if you’re obsessed with your numbers of who’s listening, who’s watching, etc. Because, when someone writes a great song it has wings built into it. It will get around. There’s an element of surrender, not just to the Gospel, but to the Gospel way of life.”

Should you release your songs?

If you want to be an artist as a songwriter, how do you know when it’s time to release songs on an album?

Matt Maher: “If you’re in a local church, you should be looking primarily at your gift as a way to serve the local church. Not the whole world. When I first started I wasn’t thinking about the whole world singing it. I was thinking about specific people that I knew. Trying out your songs in the local church and letting those songs become what that church body rallies around will benefit you in the long run. The first project I ever made I only made 3,000 copies and sold it out of the back of my car. And it was because people were asking me to. The barometer I set was, when every week after church someone was asking when are you going to make a CD, that was when it was time.”

If you want to hear more from Matt Maher, watch the full interview below!

Be sure to listen to his latest song Leaning wherever you stream music.