Recently Newday's Sam & Becki Cox released their debut record 'I Believe', so we caught up with them and asked them about them, the record and Newday 2016!
First of all, how did you guys meet? Was it through music, or did the songwriting come afterwards?
We both moved to Brighton at the same time to study at Sussex University. We were both in the same small group and that's where the story began!
What’s it like writing, singing and performing alongside each other? Is that strange working with your spouse?
It's definitely been something we've had to work at and work out how to suit our strengths and weaknesses yet still both be stretching and learning. The worship leading has been a fun one, learning if it's best for one of us to take a decisive lead more than the other and who makes the calls on where to go next. That's mainly been for me (Becki) as I don't lead with an instrument so at times I would just stand back and let Sam take a stronger lead. We’re learning that God will give one of us specific faith for that session or event and that one will run with the songlist and or make decisions in the moment. It's actually been great fun working it all out and I just love leading together, especially singing together. For the songwriting, that's still a fairly new one. The EP has helped us realise though again where our strengths are. Sam is great at the big brush strokes. The melodies and music. I love the fine tuning of lyrics and the theological, helping to really get each song over the line.
You both wrote I Believe together, what’s the story behind that song?
Back in the summer of 2014, we were hit with 3 massive events that impacted us and brought huge pain and uncertainty to our relative calm. We were suddenly without a home, going through the confusion and heat of a significant family situation, and the grief at the death of a close friends young baby son. The rug had been pulled out from underneath us in a tangible way.
Then over the next year there was just event after event that challenged our perspective on God's faithfulness, many prayers remained unanswered and just I guess a large sense of 'what is God doing with all of this'. It's hard to explain fully without going into detail but we essentially got to a place where we still felt fully in the thick of the 'unknown' but I just felt a deep sense that we needed to write a song about the darkness of the last year. So we did. We wrote about what we had learnt; That God never ceases to be God even in midst of uncertainty, that God is ALWAYS faithful. He is ALWAYS perfect and he NEVER fails us. It felt powerful to declare that over situations that the enemy would have otherwise used to convince us that it wasn't true.
You and some of the other newday worship guys did an awesome job with the 360 version of I Believe, what was it like filming that?
Surprisingly tense and difficult! There is a camera on you the whole time, so even in the moments you aren't playing or singing you have to look interesting enough for someone to watch you! The audio was a live recording, so we needed to get 7 minutes of good live audio and video recording NAILED in a very short window of time! It came together great though and is something we feel really proud of.
Tell us more about what's on this new record?
We've got 6 tracks - 2 well known ones from Newday, a brand new Hymn called ‘Come Lord Jesus’ written with the brilliant Chris Eaton, a song about Resting and two more up-tempo ones; I am Blessed (written with Matt Redman and Nick Herbert) and a song called Emanuel, a big anthem about God being with us, that we wrote with a songwriter from the US called Mark Tedder.
What’s the heart and meaning behind the EP, and what are your hopes for it?
The first Sunday of 2016 we felt God tell us to bring to the kingdom 'the loaves and fishes we carry’. We knew straight away that meant recording some songs and offering up those to be used by Him. Our heart really is for the church to have songs to sing. There's a lot of conversation about pushing worship music 'forward’ and while we fully agree and have worked hard to be part of that development, we also knew that we wanted to present some songs that would be able to be used in a broad variety of contexts, denominations, ages etc.
Because of that, 5/6 of the songs are really specifically congregational and that was very much the intention from the start. We’ve been intentional about them being easy to pick up, easy to play with a band, and easy to remember. We love the privilege of leading people in worship and our hope is that people will really meet God through these songs, they'll sing them with their church and family, friends and strangers will meet Jesus through singing and listening to them.
You guys are leading worship again at Newday this year, what are you most looking forward to for it?
Newday is such a highlight of our year! I always love watching young people encounter God, being changed by him and knowing who they are in him. I'm just looking forward to watching that happen again over the week and hopefully getting to hear stories and witness it through the week!
Lastly, where can people keep up to date with you and your music?
Instagram - @samandbeckicox