Upcoming Christian pop artist Jacob Stanifer is a man who likes to wear many hats: producer, artist, and songwriter (his favorite). The 21-year-old artist blends thought-provoking and faith-inspired lyrics with genres such as pop, EDM, and folk into his music. Jacob has garnered more than one million streams on Spotify and YouTube. And, as his website proclaims: “Jacob is on track to be an influential artist in a generation that is hungry for new, authentic music.”
I had the opportunity to speak to Jacob about his career, his music, and his new album, Full Circle.
You juggle a lot of hats: songwriter, producer, singer, instrumentalist—what’s your favorite hat to wear.
Is it okay to say all of them? Anyway, I’ve enjoyed focusing more on songwriting recently. All these things—writing, production, performance, and so on—are a big part of the process of making music, but it’s important to start with a good song. I’ve been pushing myself in that area a little bit more lately. But, I get tired of wearing the same hat every day. So, I like to vary what I do.
I love how you open the album with an instrumental. How many instrumental beds do you have laying around unused?
Oh, probably at least a hundred. Many songs I write start from random instrumental ideas, voice memos, and stuff like that. Some of the first songs I wrote as a kid were just piano compositions, so I think it comes naturally for me to start with musical ideas. It’s helpful to start with a vibe and create a musical space to write within.
The album’s major theme is longing for relationships from a distance. COVID-19 has certainly put distance in front of many relationships. Is that where many of these songs were birthed from?
Absolutely. A lot of these songs were written during quarantine when many of us were experiencing that distance in relationships. So many plans and events were canceled, and I found myself with time to process and write about the life we were all experiencing.
Writing has always been a good way for me to process things and express what’s on my mind. I think missing the people I loved and longing for true relationships again—not just long-distance Zoom calls—was a huge influence for me when writing this album.
Your faith is woven throughout this album but it’s not overt and in your face. Is that intentional?
Yes, it’s intentional. I find it fascinating how Jesus had all the power in the world to make the Gospel known immediately to everyone—and yet he first chose to do it by inviting people to walk with Him and to get to know Him. In many ways, I wanted this album to be a similar invitation. A chance for the listener to get to know me, but also my savior in the process.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing a ton of new music. My latest album was entirely self-written, but I’m excited to do more collaborating with other artists this fall. I have some cool projects coming out soon. I recently transitioned into running my production studio full-time in Nashville. I also love helping other artists tell their stories through music, too.
How can we be praying for you?
My wife and I just moved to Nashville on a leap of faith. It’s so clear this is where we need to be, but prayer for wisdom and faith going forward is always appreciated. Please pray for how we can best serve people in our new city.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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