Matthew West on the inspiration behind his song “Come Home For Christmas”

Matthew West has written songs for Rascal Flatts, Scotty McCreery, Amy Grant, Casting Crowns and many more. The award-winning Christian artist has also written a number of hit songs for himself, such as ‘Truth Be Told’, ‘What If’ and ‘Me On Your Mind’.

Her latest single is a holiday song called “Come Home for Christmas”. He wrote it after deciding to invite a small group of fans to Franklin, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, to experience an old-fashioned, small-town Christmas.

“I love Christmas,” he explains, “and with so many concerts canceled over the past two years (due to COVID), we wanted to find creative ways to stay in touch with the people who listen to my music. I do the annual Christmas tree lighting in Franklin every year and I thought it wouldn’t be cool if fans of my music, who come to see my shows in other cities, could come see what how magical is my hometown at Christmas?”

After choosing to call the gathering, Come Home for Christmas, he began working on a song to go along with it.

“I had the idea to write a song about coming home, not just to a physical place, but to a place in our hearts,” West said. “So I sat down and wrote this song, and lo and behold, I ended up with a theme song for my special event in Nashville.”

Turns out the song won’t just be setting the tone for his vacation weekend in Tennessee next month, it’s also been chosen by the Great American Family Network as the cable channel’s theme song for the entire season. Christmas movies.

Actress Candace Cameron Bure, who left Hallmark Channel earlier this year to join the new cable network, says the song, written by West — a close friend for years — is a perfect fit.

“Matthew is one of my favorite songwriters and artists of all time. He captured what we hope everyone will feel watching The Great American Family Channel this Christmas season. It gives me chills and makes me warms the heart at the same time. I am grateful for Matthew’s creativity, talent and heart while creating this beautiful song.

Getting his Christmas song selected to play throughout the Great American Family Channel’s eight-week holiday movie season is just the latest in a long list of good things to come for West this year.

His latest single “Me On Your Mind” became his 25th No. 1 hit as an artist/songwriter. The multiple ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner saw this song spend six weeks at the top of the Mediabase Christian Airplay chart, while occupying the top of the Billboard Christian Airplay Chart for 5 weeks.

West was also named 2022 Songwriter-Artist of the Year by the National Songwriters Association (NSAI).

Although he grew up around music, West didn’t discover his extraordinary gift for songwriting until he went to college. In fact, growing up, he didn’t think about music at all. The Illinois native dreamed of playing baseball, but when he finally didn’t get a single high school scholarship offer, he suddenly found himself with no plan for the future.

“When baseball died out, it left me a bit struggling to figure out how I was going to go to college, let alone what I wanted to do with my life,” West recalled. “Throughout my life people have encouraged me, told me I have a gift for music, just a natural ear for it. But when you’re focused on something else, you really don’t pay attention to the encouragement you receive in another way.

He says that once the baseball blinders were off, he started thinking about some of the things those people were saying, and he ended up going to college to study music.

He later realized that not playing baseball turned out to be a blessing in disguise and taught him an important life lesson about rejection.

“We sometimes take rejection at face value and see it as nothing more than a closed door. But a major theme throughout my story is that rejection is never rejection. It’s ‘prepare yourself. , stay prepared’ means that something bigger and better is upon us – if you ‘stay ready’.

Once he started studying music, his life started to take a whole new direction.

“That’s when I started writing my first songs. I contacted a publisher in Nashville while still a student, and was offered a songwriting contract two weeks before graduating.

After graduating, he headed to Nashville and it wasn’t long before he started having success writing songs for other artists. In time, he would end up with his own recording contract.

Today, he has over 130 songwriting credits to his name, so far. Whether he writes for himself or for another artist’s project, his songs reflect his unwavering faith.

“I’m a storyteller and I write songs about life, about my life, but through a religious perspective. For me, my faith is the lens through which I view the world, so my desire, when I tell my life story through my songs, is ultimately to tell a story of hope, redemption and inspiration. for the people.

He discovered that his gift for writing goes beyond music. He is also the author of six books. His latest, “The God Who Remains”, was released in September.

“You always want to stretch,” he says. “So whether it’s challenging myself with different songwriting endeavors or stripping me of chords and guitars and melodies and filling the pages of a book, these things are rewarding in their own right. way.”

West also decided to go into artist management. After two decades in the business, he wants to share some of what he’s learned to help champion young music makers and storytellers. His first signed artist is singer-songwriter Anne Wilson.

“She’s absolutely on a rocket ship right now,” West says. “She just got nominated for her first American Music Award, which was fun because we both got nominated for an AMA this year. She also just won the Dove Award for Best New Artist and is currently enjoying great success.

These American Music Awards are set for Sunday, November 20e on ABC.

West then says he loves all the different things he does; songwriting remains at the center of it all.

“I’m just driven by a passion for the art of songwriting, excited by the uniqueness of the songwriting rooms I walk into and how my songs have been able to be heard by the world.”

What makes it so special, he says, is that you never know where a song will take you. “Come Home for Christmas” is just the latest example.

“It’s been great to see how this little idea has exploded into this big thing and I’m super excited to share what I hope will be a new Christmas classic with the world. Anything is possible when you write a song, you don’t never know where she might land or who she might reach.

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