CCM: Your discography has been blueprinted by the bass. Worship Journal Live is no exception. Your instrument frame-works the tracks, instigates the grooves and even motivates the melody at times. How has your history as a player shaped your music—from songwriting to recording?
FH: Playing bass is the foundation of how I think. It is just a part of that rhythm section, between the drums and the bass. They are the foundation and it sets the groove for how I sing, where the pocket is, where everybody fits.
CCM: In a recent Facebook Live video you suggested Worship Journal Live is more than a collection of good songs to listen to … it is music to pray by. What did you mean?
FH: You can put Worship Journal Live on in your quiet times and meditation times, and you can actually sing along with it. It’s not meant to be just listened to—listen to Fred sing—it’s more to follow the heart and spirit of any given song. This album will minister to your everyday needs, pretty much the way Michael W. Smith’s first worship album [did for me]. I would put those songs on and pray to it, and sing along with it in the car, or right before I would go on and minister. By the time I got to “Above All,” I was pretty much enthroned in the moment of worship and I could feel the presence of God. That’s what I want to happen [for others] on this album.
CCM: You have mentioned that, even as an adult, you did not know a lot about “worship,” though you knew how to program an order for a church service. What have you learned about the experience of worship through music since then?
FH: Back in 1992, 1993, and 1994 when I first started learning about worship, in the African-American churches we went to, concentrated on the problems and we sang ourselves through the problems—songs like, “I must tell Jesus all of my trials / I cannot bear these burdens alone.” When you worship, you don’t tell Jesus about your problems because He knows about your problems already. You tell Jesus about your problems by just acknowledging who God is, exalting His name, and blessing His name. Then, all of a sudden, God is bigger than your problems.
CCM: From your perspective, what is your definition of worship?
FH: [Worship is] an intimate moment with God. You’re exposed, and you don’t mind being exposed, every part of you—not just the good parts, but the not-so good parts. That’s what [worship] is, just being in His presence.
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