Many guitars, chords, and years later, Kyler Morrison and his friends are set to release an ep of communal worship tunes, recorded at The Carriage House (Realgrey Records) in early 2016. They call themselves Compass North Worship. A few months ago, I talked with Kyler a little about process and collaboration:
Josh Compton: Can you tell me a little bit about the project you’re working on? Is there a story behind it?
Kyler Morrison: Compass North Worship, the worship team from Compass North Church is working on our first studio ep. We are aiming to put out 6 original songs.
We’ve always made writing and recording our own music a priority and it’s really special to see that starting to take shape. I think there is something really profound and powerful surrounding songs written around and for needs, desires and dreams of a community.
JC: Is there a particular theme to your project or is it more general…an album with a wide range of themes and subjects, under the banner of worship?
KM: Well, since it’s an ep, we are just getting our feet wet, exploring who we are, what we sound like and what we are aiming at as a worship team. I hope the overall project invokes unity among all who listen. Our goal is that people hear, “You are loved!” when they listen.
JC: Do you have a title yet?
KM: We are only kicking around title ideas as of now. The forerunner so far would probably be “One Voice.”
JC: Did you write these songs by yourself or with others? What did the songwriting process look like?
KM: I wrote the structure and lyrics for most of the songs on this project. Then, I sent the scratch tracks to our team and they created parts and generated ideas that they in turn brought into the studio. Our worship team also had a collaborative song writing night at Realgrey Studio last year (2015) and some of those ideas are bound to make their way onto the album. I hope to do more collaboration on our next album. It’s so important to let everyone’s ideas and input shape and form a song while maintaining a clear direction of the destination.
JC: Who are your greatest influences when it comes to your music…particularly, worship music?
KM: This album will ultimately be influenced by Vertical Worship, Bethel, Hillsong, John Mark McMillan and Matt Redman. Our church has been worshiping with a lot of these great bands/artist’s music and you’ll absolutely be able to hear their influence in the songs. But, with the diverse group of talent and background that our musicians have, I think the album will provide a fresh and unique sound around those influences.
JC: When and how did you first start writing music?
KM: I had gotten my first guitar when I was 15. It was a First Act, Wal-Mart acoustic guitar and I barely used it that first year. But something switched in me the next summer. I went to a summer camp and made a lot of good friends and had some trouble dealing with the emotions of leaving those awesome people behind to go back to “my world.” I got so sad about it that I picked up the Wal-Mart guitar and started learning chords so I could sing and play overtop of what I was feeling. I just wrote my thoughts and emotions out and made songs out of them. I learned most of my chords off of a poster that I also got at Wal-Mart. So, I guess you could say Wal-Mart taught me how to play guitar.
JC: Who all is involved with the project?
KM: Our entire worship team of about 15 will be involved with the album in some regard. Also, Joel Maze is helping engineer and John King and Ron Flack are producing it alongside me.