Exclusive Interview with Anthony Skinner
We recently had the opportunity to interview songwriter/producer/author/worship leader, Anthony Skinner. Here is the interview that Mathew Reames, one of our contributors, conducted with Anthony.
AAW: Anthony, I want to begin by thanking you for taking the time to talk with us. I am a long time fan. As a fan, the first thing I want to know is, when will you be releasing another album?
Anthony: Thanks Mat, I appreciate that. Right now, we’re looking to release a new live video/song every other week. You can see the latest video on www.immersion.tv, or www.youtube.com/immersiondottv, & www.youtube.com/anthonyskinner, and find the new songs on iTunes under Anthony Skinner & the Immersion Family Band. We have so many new songs that we are really excited about, and I can’t wait for people to hear them.
AAW: I know you do a lot of co-writing and your songs have been featured on many different albums. How does the co-writing work for you? What is the process?
Anthony: It’s really a person-by-person situation. Sometimes, you are co-writing with a worship leader or recording artist, and sometimes you are writing with another songwriter for a worship leader or recording artist. The process is very relational. Sometimes it can look like catching up, or maybe praying, and talking through an issue. All the relational stuff and the trust it brings, makes its way into the song eventually. At times, the job is to help a less experienced songwriter, worship leader, artist. Then, the process may have some mentoring… in terms of helping that writer or artist find their voice. That can be an exciting process to be a part of as well. What never changes is you are there to serve the song and the artist/worship leader.
AAW: What is the difference when you are writing alone versus co-writing?
Anthony: Well, I love doing both. Again, so much of co-writing is about relationship. I’d say 95% of the time, co-writing is a delight and you either catch up with an old friend or make a new one in the process. When co-writing you get to bat ideas back and forth, there’s a window of time and you have to “turn it on”, so to speak. God has been gracious to give me ideas in those windows. When writing on your own, there’s probably a little less pressure, and if need be, you can lean a little more on the muse and wait for the inspiration. I love and enjoy doing both!
AAW: Recently I had the chance to read your book - The Worship Smartbook. I loved it. What was it like writing a book on worship?
Anthony: The impetus for writing the book came out of traveling with my band and holding clinics in churches with worship leaders and their teams. I have a real passion to equip leaders and their teams. I love giving people what I call “real-world” tools that can help them excel. Over all it was probably about a 2 year process to write. I cataloged things along the way, brainstormed with my wife based on the needs we had seen, and the teachings we had done in churches, and then I just slowly knocked out the answers as time allowed.
My favorite part was finding a way to make the information user-friendly so that the ideas and tools are easily accessible for experts and novices alike.
AAW: Are you working on more instructional books?
Anthony: Yes, I have a few in the wings covering different topics that I’m really excited about.
AAW: What advice do you have for songwriters and aspiring authors?
Anthony: For songwriters: Co-write! I think co-writing is the best way to grow. Write every day. Aside from that, get out and play your songs for others (friends and strangers). Getting honest feedback via peoples’ responses can be really helpful. For authors, I think you just have to keep a slow and steady pace. It is a much longer process, and all the edits drove me a little crazy... but at the end, the product is done...just like a well crafted song. And it can be enjoyed forever. Very cool, I think.
AAW: Tell us about Anthony the producer.
Anthony: The process of producing came out of producing my own records, but I quickly saw it as an extension of the mentoring process. I really value the opportunity and process of producing another artist or worship leader, and I see it as an opportunity to champion someone else’s dreams, and see those dreams come to life. It is a dance of love, humility, patience, confidence, respect, timing, etc. You’re a little bit mentor, little bit psychologist, chef, listener…the list goes on. It’s a journey to figure out what the song and the artist are trying to become.
AAW: As a worship leader, songwriter, producer, and author, you probably have a lot of inspirations. What are the three things that have most influenced your work?
Anthony: Easily the most influential thing to influence my work, is having surrendered to the reality that God loves me. That changed everything. Secondly, I’m so grateful for the gift of music. Out of the four things you mentioned above, I would say I’m firstly a songwriter. It’s something I do, whether anyone would ever hear the song or not. So, I’d have to say early on I was influenced by great recordings, of great songs, sung by people who have/had a real gift for interpreting/phrasing a lyric and melody (all genres). Thirdly, it would be the people in my life (my wife and kids, friends, co-writers, etc).
AAW: I just want to thank you again for taking the time to talk to us. It is an honor and privilege to hear your heart. I thank God for your faithfulness and passion. Is there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?
Anthony: Love God, and yourself and it will spill over to others. Be kind to strangers, and equally as kind to friends and family.Comment on Facebook Comment on Twitter
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