Worship duo Mark and Sarah Tillman recently unveiled their sophomore project, Morning Sun, Rising Tide. On the heels of the album release, we caught up with Mark and Sarah to learn more about them and find out what to expect from the new music.
To start, introduce yourselves.
I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Sarah hails from Toronto, Canada. We met eight years ago in North Carolina while Sarah was visiting a friend. We knew instantly that we'd found each other and were called to be together. The Lord made it very clear that He intentionally brought us to each other. It became abudantly clear that we shared the same deep desire to pursue a life of worship. Three years later, we recorded and released our debut album, In My Bones. Two years later, we had our first child. Two years after that, we were pregnant with our second child and working on our second album. Fast forward to now, and our life together has been a continuous flow of family and worship in tandem-- the way the Father made it to be. The songs of Heaven birthed from the place of family.
What are some of the challenges you've faced as artists?
Keeping our marriage a priority, tending to two young children, and pursuing our creative call to worship has not been an easy feat, but wow, it's incredibly rewarding and worthy work. We don't want to give the Lord a sacrifice that costs us nothing. We want Him to have the sacrifice of blood, sweat, tears, time, money, energy, and even toddler tantrums. The joy and grace the Lord has placed on our entire family sustains us through the hard parts of work and sacrifice. The balance at times can feel like a laughable juggling act, but we try and intentionally keep His kingdom our focal point and filter everything else through that. If it's not for His kingdom and it's just building our own, then it's not worth pursuing. It's a constant trial and error process though, one we are constantly holding ourselves accountable to.
Tell us about the new album.
The theme of Morning Sun, Rising Tide originated from the song "Morning Sun" on the album. We wanted this to be the name of the album because we felt it best captured the sonic landscape. After settling on "Morning Sun," we quickly realized that there was a missing piece. The Father always comes just like the morning sun, but He is also always pursuing us like the rising tide. We made the decision to couple those two phrases together and then fell in love!
What is the main goal of your music?
We want our music to reach any and all. Every heart on this earth is longing for love, acceptance, and affirmation. The only one that will satisfy is Jesus Himself. We want you to feel drawn by Him when you listen to these songs, to feel a tug at your heart. Out of intimacy we crafted these songs, and that is exactly where He wants to meet us. The corporate moments of celebration are some of our favorites and are amazing, but without the deep well of intimacy, the moments run dry.
How have you grown as artists since the start of your career?
Since beginning this journey eight years ago, we have come so far. Songwriting is a muscle that should be excersied. We have grown into really exclusively writing together on every song we touch. Not intentionally, but we kind of fell into the tug and pull of each other's strengths. One of the biggest growths for us has been in our marriage. They say that to be a good parent, loving your spouse like crazy and unconditionally is step one. The same thing goes for being an artist or couple in the music world. We are at our best on stage when we are following the Father's lead in our marriage.
How can people be praying for you?
You can be praying for us as we navigate parenting and pursuing the dream of releasing Jesus music throughout the earth. It's a hard balance sometimes. Thankfully, we have an amazing community around us, but can always use more prayer.
Worship leader duo Mark and Sarah Tillman are based in North Carolina. Their sophomore project, Morning Sun, Rising Tide, is available now.
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