Story Worship

worship

By Jessica Situ

Singer-songwriter duo Jesse and Deborah Du are a part of a band called “Story Worship.” The duo released a song each month for a whole year, which led to their first album, Year One. Story’s music was featured on The Good Christian Music Blog and a Swiss radio station, Life Channel. Their album, Year One, features 11 songs, each of which is followed with a devotional explaining the meaning behind the song. Unlike traditional albums, Story released all their music for free. I had the chance to sit down with Jesse and Deborah to talk about the challenges of writing their first album, where they find their inspiration, and how they faced different challenges through the process.

What inspired you to make music together?

Deborah: We both write and make music so it seemed like a very natural thing for us to do. We were writing music about the same, and for the same group of people, which is our church family. So, I think we are always inspired by our relationship with each other, with God, and with the people that we go to church with.


When you were writing Year One, you had a deadline to produce a song every month, how did it feel?

Jesse: Rough. It was a grind every weekend. Since we both worked full time, every weekend was dedicated to writing music or recording music, [or] filming. But at the same time, it was very rewarding because with an expectation to release something every month, I really sought after God and sought after inspiration and it’s oftentimes in the seeking that you find that.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

Deborah: I think our biggest challenge is just finding the time and the resources to dedicate enough to the music. Like Jesse said before, we both work full time, we have a lot of other priorities in our lives so this isn’t our main hustle and this isn’t really what we focus all our time and energy on. We also don’t really have producers, a consistent band, or people that we play with. So, I think we’re still trying to figure out where this band fits into all the different priorities in our lives and how much energy and resources to pour into it.

Out of all the songs in the album, do you guys have a personal favorite? Why?

Deborah: One of my favorites is All of My Love. That one, Jesse wrote independently and recorded it Everything about that song brings me to a place where I feel like God is speaking to me. His love is very—it’s almost hard to explain—it brings me to this place of feeling like I’m in a room with God alone and He’s just telling me “I love you and all of this love is for you.”

Jesse: My personal favorite is I Know You’re Good because I think that’s the only song in the album that came out of necessity. One of the members of the church got into a skiing accident and she was almost brain dead. A lot of us—our church—during these five days when she was in the hospital, got together and were praying for her. We hoped for her to get better and we were on our knees and crying and the song came out of that time. There’s a line in the song that goes, “It’s not if you are able. It’s only if you will. But even if you don’t, God I will trust you still.” Meaning, through the good times and the bad times, whatever happens, it’s not that God is not powerful enough to change the situation, but it’s only if He wills it to happen. The girl ended up passing away. But out of it birthed this song of, “Even though I don’t believe it, I know I need to sing. I know you’re good. You have to be a good God.”

What is your songwriting process like?

Jesse: Oftentimes what happens is, I’m looking for a song to sing for church based on a certain topic or a certain feeling, and I can’t find one. So, I decide I should probably write one myself. So, it starts with a theme, a feel, and a vibe. From that, we experiment with chords and melodies, things like that. But, the goal is always set to create a vibe with a specific theme and then from there let the pieces fall into place. I mean, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes it takes months to write. Other songs like All of My Love was written in like 30 minutes.

How do you experience God through your songs?

Deborah: I think that sometimes, there are elements of spirituality and faith that can be very abstract. It’s like you want to understand it but there’s a disconnect sometimes about the physical between what I can see and feel right now and what’s around me and sort of the spiritual aspect of my life. So, I think the songs are like a connection because music is very spiritual but it’s also very physical. You hear it. You feel it. Experience it. So, for me, it’s almost like it helps me to anchor what I know in my head about God and it reaffirms certain truths and helps me to bring those truths into my current situations.

Are there any Christian artists that inspires you?

Deborah: I think musically we don’t really have a very distinct sound. Where like, “Oh yeah, you guys sound like this band.” I think that, because each song is different, we try to create a different vibe for each song. I really look up to Amanda Cook and Kari Jobe. I think they’re both singers and songwriters that can convey a very deep sense of emotion. The emotion is not like depressing, but more of a feeling of having hope even in the darkest of times. That emotion comes out when they sing the songs that they sing. I’ve always wanted to not just sing about sad things because it’s easy, but be able to look at the sad things and sing hope at them.

Story Worship plans on releasing their second album, Year Two, later this year.

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