T H E T R U - L I F E
F E A T U R E D
Week 7 of Tru-Life Featured is here and we have another fantastic interview lined up for you.
Our featured artist this week is the Stellar Award nominee, and Boston based praise and worship artist Phil Thompson. Phil has been writing songs for many years now and is without question a phenomenal writer. His debut solo track 'My Worship' hit over a million views in the first 2 months on YouTube, but has since then racked up an astonishing 11 million plus. The full project which was released in 2018 also reached #1 on the Billboard Charts.
Despite the success, Phil has maintained his one simple desire, to worship and give thanks to God for all he has done. His ministry has taken him around the world, worshipping throughout Ghana, Nigeria, the UK, Canada, Barbados, Trinidad, and the list does on.
With the recent release of his latest single 'You Ransomed Me,' we decided to catch up with Phil and find out a little bit more about the man himself.
You're well known for the work you do in gospel music, but what does an average day in the life of
Phil Thompson look like?
Great question. Well, we’ve been travelling quite a bit for a lot of international stuff. But when I’m not on the road I’m a dad so I love spending time with my kids. Spending time with them is very important to me. I’m also a huge Boston Celtics fan. Even when I’m on the road I try not to miss a game. My biggest passion is songwriting so I’m always looking for inspiration. I find inspiration in nature so a lot of the time I’ll go to the beach or hiking, different things like that. As I song writer I’m always saying that I haven’t written that ‘best song’ yet. I’m always looking to right that song which will impact the world. That thought drives me to look for things to inspire me. When I find that thing, I’ll spend a few days just at the piano writing and working on songs.
Do you remember the first album or single you purchased? If so what was it and why did you choose that one?
This is a very interesting question. I am a preachers kid and one of 8 siblings. Interesting fact is that my dad would wake us up every day at 5am for devotions. We would pray and read the word, and he would have an encouraging word for us before we went to school. So, think about it, if I had that type of dad, we were not allowed to listen to ANY type of secular music. I grew up on the Clarke Sisters and the Winans, Commision and Ron Kenoly.
Fast forward to college and I fell in love with hip hop. I was mesmerised by it because I was never allowed to listen to it. I think the first record I bought was (and I know I’m going to get judged by this) is Ice Cube Amerikka's Most Wanted. I remember going down to the store and buying that cassette.
Tell us your favourite and least favourite thing about being an artist.
Well, I’m a songwriter and I’ve been writing songs for 15 years so I think that my favourite thing is realising the impact that the songs I’ve spent so much time on are impacting peoples lives. I was in Nigeria and a guy told me that he was thinking about suicide while YouTube was playing. Then my song ‘My Worship’ came on and he was mesmerised by it. He heard I was coming to Nigeria so he came to the concert I was at to share that testimony with me.
My least favourite part is that I think people believe that the life is so glamorous. There are times when it’s cool, but all of the travelling does take a toll and can become very tiring and taxing. I feel like, if I could snap my fingers and be somewhere I would do that! All of the planes, security, luggage and checking into hotels becomes very tiring very quickly.
If you had to choose to do something else other than music what would it be and why?
I used to invest in real estate at one time while also being a Physical Education teacher. I began to buy houses to renovate and put back on the market. I was kind of at a cross roads in my life and was talking to my sister who challenged me to write a song. At that time I was trying to decide whether to leave teaching and go full time into real estate developing and so that’s when I discovered the song writing gift. I left teaching to go into real estate while I was writing songs and then eventually the song writing took over my life. But to answer the question, if I were to do anything else, I kind of see myself being a real estate investor and developer. I know for a fact that I can't be a desk person, sitting at in a cubicle. I’m just not that guy. So, it would definitely be something where I worked for myself.
A microphone is placed in front of you that transmits to every phone and tv worldwide. Which of your many songs would you sing if given a 1 minute slot?
Very cool question. I think that everyone is going to assume that because of the impact of ‘My Worship’ that would be the song that I would sing. But, honestly, I think the song that the Lord gave me at my most desperate moment would be the song that I choose. In the most difficult season of my life, the Lord reminded me of a scripture I learned as a child, ‘hear my cry oh Lord, attend unto my prayer. To the ends of the earth do I cry out to you. And when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I'. That scripture inspired the song called 'Light The Way.' The song just says “Be my strength oh God, be my peace oh God, Father light the way, be my present help because you’re my God. And when I’m overwhelmed, lead me to the rock because you’re my God.” That song for me has been such a blessing to my life. I remember that when I was in that season I would sit at my piano and play it every night and it would comfort me every time. So I just believe in the power and message of that song. So that for sure would be the song I'd sing.
So you've just released your latest track called 'You Ransomed Me' which also has a new music video. Tell us about the song and what it means to you.
You Ransomed Me was a result of a conversation I had with my little brother who is a Pastor in Orlando, Florida. We were having a conversation and he said couple of things to me that were very profound. He said, “Phil, I don’t know if we as christians will ever be able to truly appreciate what Jesus did for us on the cross. Out of every 100 hallelujahs that we say, 99 of them should be for what he did on the cross.” After that conversation I sat down at the piano and ‘You Ransomed Me’ was birthed in that moment. We did a live recording recently and it had a huge impact that we decided it would be the first song that we released…but we have many more to come.
I’ve been in this seasons of grace and it seems like everything I have written in this past year has been about the grace of God. I keep thinking about how faithful He is and how much of a promise keeper He is.
What else can we look forward to from you this year?
We have so many songs that we’re excited about and also there's a lot of touring to do. We’ve just completed a Caribbean tour and we’re also always going to Europe and Nigeria.
Our random question. We know you currently live in Boston. One day there's a knock at your front door. When you open it there's a penguin standing there wearing a Boston Celtics jersey. What does he say and why is he visiting you?
This is the easiest question I’ve had to answer of all of them. The penguin is there because the Celtics jersey that he is wearing is my jersey and he is there to tell me (he can talk) that I’m going to be playing for the Celtics and this whole music career is over. I would be so ready to go and play for the Celtics! I grew up playing basketball, I’ve been playing basketball my entire life. Am I good enough to play for the Celtics? Maybe not, but we’re in this hypothetical dream world. So, I would start playing for the Celtics and travel around having the time of my life. It has always been my dream!
Phil's Social Media
Phil Thompson's Music
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"I've been writing
songs for 15 years"
"I've really been
for His grace and