CCM: I know you wrote on several of your wife’s tracks on her new album. Did she write with you on The Darker The Night / The Brighter The Morning?
CC: I think she’s only a writer on “Rooms,” one of the songs she’s featured on. We wrote that along with Ruelle. Kari had just come out of writing her record, and I think she was pretty spent, honestly. [Laughs] It took a year-and-a-half making hers and then we went right into mine. I don’t know how we did it, if not for the grace of God.

I have a few friends in Nashville who I’ve connected with over the years, so I hunkered down with them. I wrote a lot with Fleurie. Robert Marvin is a producer in town who is incredible and I wrote a lot with the two of them. I wrote with Josh Silverberg, who has written a lot of Jesus Culture stuff, as well as The Belonging, who go to our church.

I wrote mostly with people from church, which is pretty much how Kari and I love to do it. We love writing within our community and with people who are experiencing the same things together with God. That’s where a lot of the songs came from.

Cody Carnes, CCM Magazine - image

CCM: How different does it feel to have your name across the top of a project?
CC: For sure. I’m connected to it in a different way. I’m connected to everything I’ve written on, but it’s fun to write and create something because you have a burden attached to it, but it’s something else to carry it. I think there are two parts: Writing, and then carrying a song. Sometimes those are the same person and other times it’s different. It’s been fun to do both, to sit in a writing room and actually dream up what that song would do live because I’m the one doing it. It even inspires the writing process so much more because you’re thinking of how you’re going to carry the song. It informs the decisions in the songwriting process. But I do love writing with other people and serving them in that way, hearing their vision and helping them create something they can be proud of and happy with.

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Matt Conner
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Matt Conner is a writer/editor living in Indianapolis.

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