Nathan Jess is a remarkable songwriter and worship leader heralding from the great city of Lisburn. Nathan is a remarkably accomplished writer who knows how to connect with people through song and worship and I for one am inspired at the sincerity of his faith.
[box]Photos taken in Belfast’s Ulster Hall where Nathan was support to the great Michael Gungor and Co. Photos are a mix of 5DMKII and X-Pro1. [/box]
Nathan is dedicated to service and he has partnered with a charity ‘Fields of Life‘ who work in East Africa. As part of this partnership he had the opportunity to visit Africa last year exploring their projects and filming a music video with their children’s choir. The song shows a similar model of poetic story telling in the verses with a simple chorus crying out for Jesus to be our only hope. You can view the Be my Hope on Youtube.
Like all of Nathan’s songs, ‘I Am Redeemed’ is unashamedly powerful. In just 115 words ‘I Am Redeemed’ takes the worshipper on a journey from the garden of Gethsemane, through the agony of the cross all the way up to the fullness of life today.
With seemingly endless Hallelujahs empowered by intriguing harmonies, ‘I Am Redeemed’ has become an instant favorite among early listeners, but it comes on the back of years of study, practice and worship.
In Nathan’s words, ‘I write songs with the hope that someone somewhere can really identify with and find comfort, restoration, encouragement, hope and joy within them. I try to find poetic language that makes a deeper connection with the listener/worshipper. So in ‘I Am Redeemed’ you get a chorus and hook that proclaims in plain language some of those truths, contrasting to the verses that try and explore some more untouched angles we may usually see – the betraying kiss, how it never crossed His mind that this journey to the cross was not worth it, even in beating…’
‘My musical approach similarly is not the standard electric guitar driven pop/rock sound. ‘I Am Redeemed’ has a string section, lots of exposed moments, chords from outside the box, thick vocal harmonies, glockenspiel and so on. I do it all to try and tell the story through the song, but in a way that can that can be sung by congregations.’