Pat Barrett is afraid, but not to worry. He says it’s a “good scared.”

Barrett, a vocalist for the popular worship collective Housefires and songwriter of the certified Platinum “Good, Good Father,” is on the verge of releasing his first solo album and once again he finds himself feeling like a teenager. It’s the excitement and the fear. A “good scared.”

“This brings up a healthy fear that means I really care about something so deeply,” says Barrett. “I’m realizing how much I care about this, which I think is great. If it doesn’t scare you, I’m not sure you really care. It’s a good scared, not like I’m crippled by anxiety or fear.”

There is a good reason that Barrett can view his fear in such a positive light: it’s happened in spite of him. His growing friendship with Chris Tomlin, who co-wrote much of the album with Barrett, has been a “guiding voice” through all of this, and the idea for a solo record wasn’t even his in the first place.

“Making a solo record was my wife’s idea,” says Barrett. “I never had an eventual plan to do this and this and then I’ll record a solo record. It was never on the radar. It’d never crossed my mind. I never wanted to do it early on. But now, having done it, at 33 I’m saying out loud that this feels like faith again.”

Barrett is quite fortunate to have such a seasoned presence guiding him through his own recording, but Tomlin himself has a vested interest. Barrett is the flagship signing on his brand new label imprint, Bowyer and Bow. Despite the obvious business interest, Barrett says the entire partnership was built on an organic friendship that unfolded over time.

Tomlin scored a major hit while recording his own version of “Good Good Father” and together the pair co-wrote a children’s book with the same name. While a friendship was burgeoning, the collaboration was also a dream come true for an artist like Barrett who looked up to Tomlin as a teen.

“Chris has been such a massively influential voice in my life as a songwriter and worship leader,” says Barrett. “I grew up sneaking into 7:22 in Atlanta when every week they would say, ‘If you’re in high school, please do not come.’ I was 14 but I was like, ‘Nope. I’m coming.’ So to now have Chris as a guiding voice for me is really special, the mentorship and friendship.”

Now as Barrett steps out in faith as a solo artist, away from the safety of a collective or the shadow of a group name, he’s reminded of the beauty of such tension.

“Faith is the not-so-subtle reminder that you have no idea how this worked out. I’ve said to people that I feel like I’m 18 again, in the way that it feels like when I first started. I don’t know what the path will look like but I know I’m supposed to be here right now. All the important things in life make you feel that way. I remember becoming a dad and feeling like that. Music feels like that for me right now.”

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

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