How I Formed a Choir with My Fanbase

I wanted to form a choir to sing on my upcoming album, but I didn’t know how. Then it occurred to me that I could just ask my fanbase if they wanted to sing. And it actually worked.

People signed up and I sent them the music and instructions. They recorded themselves in their own DIY vocal booths (clothes closets ) using their smartphones. Then they emailed me their recordings and I arranged them at my studio here in Nashvhille.

We had a total of 49 singers.

19 women
29 men
One 7-year old girl (for the win!)

Here’s a map of where everyone sang from. You can click on the map to have a more detailed look.

Here’s what it looked like once I combined their recordings together.
Color code:
Pink – soprano
Purple – alto
Orange – harmony
Green – tenor
Blue – bass
* The different shades of each color represent voices similar in tone.

And here’s how they looked recording themselves in their DIY vocal booths (quite a good looking bunch, if I do say so myself).

Yes, I know you want to hear how it sounds, but I can’t share that QUITE yet. All I can say is that it’s sounding really cool, and you’ll be the first to know once it’s ready.


P.S. If you’re interested in singing in the next Digital Choir, just subscribe below in the footer and check the box next to “Digital Choir.” I’ll let you know when the next session starts.

Want to Walk Out to My Studio with Me?

After I’ve taken Silas to school, after I’ve talked with Heidi about the day, while August is still sleeping and Lorentz is eating, I walk to my studio in the backyard.

Come walk with me (and see if I spill the coffee)….




The Infancy of My Most Popular Song

Inspiration seems to hit at the worst times.

You’re sitting there minding your own business, but then you have a thought and a feeling, and a moment to react before continuing to, let’s say, brush your teeth.

For the past several years I’ve made a habit of at least trying to grab inspiration by its sleeve with my iPhone. Here’s an example (thankfully I was near a guitar).


What you’re hearing is the exact moment right after I had the idea for what would eventually become “Making All Things New,” my most popular song.

As of right now, it has been streamed on Spotify over 30 million times. I don’t say that to brag; I say that because, based on the iPhone recording, you wouldn’t have predicted that.

What would have happened if I hadn’t recorded that snippet of gibberish?

Nothing. Certainly not 30 million listens.

I’m hoping that knowing this encourages you to tag inspiration in your own way the next time you brush up against it. Whether for a song, novel, dessert recipe, business — whatever it is, write it down, record it on your phone. Just somehow get it out of your head onto something tangible, so you can take a look at it and figure out the next step.


That Time I Used PowerPoint to Design My First Album Cover

I bet you didn’t know that I created my first album artwork in Microsoft PowerPoint, did you?I bring this up to say I didn’t know what I was doing. I also didn’t have any money in my Wells Fargo checking account to hire a graphic designer.I did, though, have one of those old white Macbooks installed with Microsoft Office.So I just started trying different colors, filters, fonts (Helvetica Neue Ultralight) until I ended up with what would be, if you now think about it, the start of my visual identity as an artist.

On the one hand it seems silly, maybe even irresponsible. After all, I’d just spent a LOT of money recording the music, so why would I suddenly get cheap on the packaging?

But on the other hand, I was just too excited and close to the finish line to know any better. And if I’ve learned anything in life as a working artist, it’s that done is often better than perfect, as they say.

Even though you might look at the “My Whole Life” cover art differently now, my hope is that it reminds you that you don’t have to know everything to get started on whatever it is you’ve been holding out on, just because you don’t think you have enough money, skill, knowledge, etc.

Look around you (and inside yourself). Whatever you have will work just fine. And remember that the only reason you know my music or are even reading this is because at one point I decided to do the same.


P.S. This was almost the album cover…yikes.