Two-time GRAMMY® nominee Matthew West is set to follow up his critically acclaimed 2010 album, The Story of Your Life, with the release of a collection of brand-new songs titled Into The Light on September 25, 2012. The new studio album, produced by Pete Kipley, features 12 tracks inspired by letters submitted by the thousands after West invited people to send him their stories. The songs making up this sixth studio project from West were written mostly while he was on tour this spring with Casting Crowns.
After receiving over 10,000 personal stories from all over the globe for his 2010 project, The Story of Your Life, the acclaimed singer-songwriter, who has been forever impacted by the outpouring of stories, felt as though there was even more for others to say during this season of his music. West collected stories for this new project through the end of March. The tracks comprising Into the Light were inspired by stories touching on everything from drug addiction, the rejection of apathy, abusive relationships and the faith we find in the waiting.
“There is power in a story,” says West. “And we all have a story to tell. Over the last few years, I have had the honor of reading over 20,000 stories from people all over the world who have answered my invitation to share the story of their lives. The songs on Into the Light are inspired by these amazing, real-life stories. Each one has had a profound impact on my life, and I can’t wait to share these stories and songs with the world. I believe the stories told on this record will challenge all who hear to discover the hope, healing and freedom that can only be found when we step out of the darkness and into the light.”
The lead single from Into The Light
is quickly gaining ground at radio, with it claiming the No. 10 spot on the National Audience Chart, No. 15 at Christian AC Monitored, No. 11 at AC Indicator and No. 24 at CHR this week. In addition to already charting in the Top 10 on the National Christian Audience chart, the single garnered over 5 million audience impressions this week. “Forgiveness” has been in the Top 10 on the iTunes® Christian & Gospel
Songs chart since its release earlier this month.
West penned the powerful track after hearing the story of Renee Napier, whose 20-year-old daughter, Megan, was killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver, Eric Smallridge, over Mother’s Day weekend in 2001. Smallridge was convicted of DUI manslaughter and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. However, Napier has not only forgiven the man responsible for her daughter’s death—she even thinks of him like a son. In fact, she actually petitioned the court, which agreed to cut Smallridge’s 22-year sentence in half; he will be released from prison this fall. After hearing this story, West felt compelled to not only write a song inspired by Napier’s courageous and humbling act of forgiveness, but he also felt convicted to give her story a voice to reach those who may not have the chance to hear it otherwise. Thus, West’s song “Forgiveness” sets the stage for the 11 other gripping stories which are Into The Light.
The video for the story behind “Forgiveness” is one of the most-watched on the popular video site GodTube, totaling over 50,000 views within just a few days of posting. To view the video, visit GodTube’s site here
Earlier this year, West joined Casting Crowns on the nationwide “Come to the Well Tour,” which visited around 40 markets from February through May. West will hit the road again this fall for a headlining tour, beginning in Dallas on September 20. Joined by MIKESCHAIR, Lindsay McCaul and Everfound, “The Into The Light Tour” will visit major markets including Chicago, Denver and Tampa, among many others. For additional information, please visitwww.matthewwest.com
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About Matthew West:
Lauded by The New York Times as “a vivid and compelling songwriter with impressive approaches to the familiar,” two-time GRAMMY® nominee Matthew West’s discography includes acclaimed releases: Happy (2003), History (2005) and Something to Say (2008). His 2010 studio album, The Story of Your Life, was inspired by 10,000 stories from every state in the U.S. and 20 countries. The album released on October 5, 2010, and garnered attention from CNN Online, Fox News, Billboard, Country Weekly, American Songwriter and more. The Story of Your Life gave West the largest street week debut of his career selling over 10,000 units the first week landing at No. 3 on Christian Soundscan, and No. 41 on the Billboard Top 200. In conjunction with Harvest House Publishers, West teamed up with bestselling author Angela Thomas for “The Story of Your Life” book. The Heart of Christmas marked West’s first full-length Christmas project which also boasts the Top 10 mainstream AC radio hit “The Heart of Christmas.” A multiple ASCAP “Song of the Year” winner, West has had four No. 1 radio hits including his latest GRAMMY®-nominated tune, “Strong Enough.” His songwriting credits include cuts by Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diamond Rio and more. Recently nominated for a Primetime Emmy® Award for Original Music & Lyrics for “The Heart of Christmas” from the film of the same name, West’s sixth studio album, Into The Light, will be released on September 25, 2012.
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