You Sing, I Write: Q&A with Martin Smith of Delirious?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Q&A with Martin Smith of Delirious?

Perhaps most well known as frontman of U.K. Christian rock band Delirious?, Martin Smith has had a huge influence in the music industry over the years. Whether it's traveling with his band to Cambodia and Rwanda or heading up Compassionart, it is no question that he is changing the way the music industry runs as we know it today. His most recent project, Compassionart, will be hosting a songwriter's retreat next week where all the proceeds made from every song written will be donated to charity. Martin took some time last week to explain to me the idea behind Compassionart as well as his hopes for the project. You can read the interview below.
For more information on Compassionart, visit

What inspired Compassionart?
Well, in the sort of gospel, Christian writers community over the last five years people have been writing together and there has been a lot of cross-fertilization. People have been enjoying that. Historically, people in that scene write songs on their own and that’s been fun. So I thought, let me get some of these guys together under one roof for a week. And let’s write some strong, killer songs, but more than that, let’s try and give these songs away and really sew into some of these social problems around the world.

As a band of Delirous? we’ve been traveling and touring. And we’ve been able to do tours in India and we’ve been to Rwanda, Cambodia and Indonesia and you get to see some amazing things, things that really shouldn’t be allowed to happen in our day in age. So, those things have deeply affected us. We’re just trying to do a little bit and really use the microphone that we have been given to make some noise about these issues.

How did you decide which songwriters to get involved with this project?
It was a pretty easy choice really because we just found our friends. The list could have been massive. We felt it was important to start the first one with people that we knew and trusted that could do this sort of thing. And it’s been an absolute joy to see it come together.

What are your hopes for the overall project?
Our hopes are obviously to come out with 10 – 12 great songs that would become big songs at the end of the day and earn some money. And that money could really come into charity and that will end up being distributed to many different projects. That's really the aim, we’re in this to try and generate some cash, which is always good to do.

Fifty percent of the proceeds are going to one charity agreed upon by the songwriter while the other 50% goes to what you all decide as a group. Have you chosen which charity to donate to?
That's correct. We’re actually going to be meeting next week. I can’t believe it’s only a week away now! I want those conversations to happen around the dinner table and for us to get an idea together that we really feel as a team we can put our time and money into. And that may be anything. I want that to come from all the people gathered there and not just from me at this moment in time.

How are you planning on going about writing these songs?
We are all going to come and we are just going to throw ideas into the pot. We’ve got four writing rooms/studios set up and we are just going to go crazy for a week and just bring ideas. Then we’ll meet up after an hour and a half. We’ll play each other’s ideas, and then see who wants to write a lyric for that. It’s going to be crazy. It’s a great experiment and we hope it takes off.

How are you planning on releasing the songs? Are you going to do a compilation album?
We’d absolutely love to put a record out. We can’t plan that too heavily, there aren’t any songs yet. We’re just hoping the songs are great and then we will start thinking, okay we should really record those and then we’ll decide how we do that. It’s the early stages, but I’m amazed that all these great people have given their time to Compassionart.

Do you have a set date to release the songs?
Again, it’s too early. But I would imagine it would take a while longer to let the dust settle and then decide how we’re going to do it. Obviously, we will be on it on quick as we can. And there will be an event that comes out in a week and once the songs are written we’ll want to record them so it’s very exciting.

Overall, what are your hopes for after this week is up?
Our hopes really are that we have some people that are more friends with each other than they were before, that we come out with 12 fantastic songs that people can then go back and start doing in their own gigs and shows and churches, and stuff like that and then the thing will build and build and have momentum and we’ll put a record out. Who knows what the future is? What’s amazing is when you gather people together, then that’s when really the fun starts. It’s when you sit around and you have an amazing group of people dreaming up new ideas and I think that’s probably where the future is.

Do you plan on performing the songs written in the future on your tours?
Yeah, sure. I think, obviously we don’t know how the songs will be. I’m sure there will be certain songs that will come out of there that people will want to immediately start doing live and putting in their shows and that’s probably the way that they will get out initially.

What’s great, and I think this is the big thing to remember in all of this, is that all of us as artists have been doing what we’ve been doing for many years; releasing records, writing songs, touching the earth in some way, but the fun of it is what we do when we come together. To do something together and the sum of all the parts is surely going to be greater and that’s definitely going to be what we can give back to the music world and also to many, many thousands of kids out there that are struggling to get through the night. So it’s very exciting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

where did you meet them?


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