Matthew West says any recognition his music gets is a sign his music is resonating with people. With his song "Do Something" he gets to hear so many stories of people getting fired up for a cause and doing something greater then themselves. That is exciting for him. He thinks of his songs as potential kick starters, something that can potentially cause a chain reaction, ripple effects and when people share those things with him it is pretty cool.
"Do Something" is inspired by a girl named Andrea. She was an ordinary college student who traded the comforts of home for an orphanage in Uganda. She studied abroad for a semester in college and she went to Uganda to learn about micro-financing and found an orphanage where the children were being neglected and abused by the workers. She turned into an activist overnight and decided to do something of the plight of the children. She couldn't leave, she stayed in Uganda after her semester was over. Finally the government listened to her request, they shut down the orphanage, and then they placed forty children in her care. To this day there is a 25 year old girl named Andrea who along with the help of her twin sister, runs an orphanage in Uganda that cares for over 200 orphans a day. Matthew was so touched by her story, he asked her how she "did something". She told him she had no clue what she was doing, she felt totally unqualified, but she kept asking herself, if I don't do something about these kids… who will.
Matthew bases his music on real life experiences. With his "Day One" song he asked people to submit their personal stories and he received 40,000+ stories back. As a songwriter he use to draw from within, personal experiences he went through. As he heard stories of people who were listening to his music he felt lead to give a voice to other people. Every day he gets a new story coming in. You might think your story is insignificant but God can speak through your story in a powerful way.
Matthew didn't always know he would be a singer and songwriter. A recurring lesson in his life has been that often the dreams we think should come true are not the dreams that God has for us. So many times he looks and sees that certain things are the best things that never happened to him. Times that forced him to turn his eyes to God and realize his dream for our life is much bigger. Dreams not coming true, doors closing, are what rerouted him. You still can arrive at the destination that you were meant to go even if you took a few wrong turns here or there.
He recently did the "Live Forever" 24 shows in 24 hours, he doesn't know what he was thinking. His new record "Live Forever" is the third album inspired by the stories he has received. The main theme of this album is a number "86,400" which is the number of seconds in 24 hours. The message of this album is to live your story, making the most of the story of your life and realizing that not one of those seconds is promised but each one is a gift. They thought to illustrate that point, they decided that on the day of their record release from midnight to midnight, they would do 24 performances in 24 hours to illustrate what it would look like to make the most of you 86,400 seconds. As he would sing for people they started sharing with him their story. When he opened himself up they opened their story to him. We need to know that our story is not over, no matter how hopeless it may seem. He wants to hear stories from people and turn around and write music out of that to show people that their story matters and that God has written your story and He has a plan to speak through your story if you trust in Him.
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