Israel Houghton – Loving God. Loving People.

“If I wasn’t an artist, I would still be an activist – out trying to make a difference and giving a voice to those who don’t have one.” – Israel Houghton

Spreading the message of God’s love as manifested through mankind set to a soundtrack of “soul music” at its most profound, internationally acclaimed artist/composer/producer Israel Houghton has done it again. Building on the theme of his Grammy-winning 2009 offering The Power of One, Houghton returned to the studio, this time London’s famed Abbey Road Studios, to record his new masterwork, Love God. Love People., with a little help from his friends. There, holed up in a hallowed space of classic recordings by Rock royalty The Beatles, Houghton and his crack team of co-producers Aaron Lindsey and Tommy Sims, along with guests Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, and Take 6‘s Claude V. McKnight, Mark Kibble and Joey Kibble, created a new ode to love in this epic, 12-song cycle.

The result, Love God. Love People. (Integrity Music/Columbia), delivers the musical versatility, profound lyrics and galvanizing displays of vocal and instrumental virtuosity fans have come to expect from the multiple Grammy and Stellar Award winner. And it is the perfect and fitting manner in which to celebrate Israel Houghton’s 20 against-the-grain years of music ministry and over a decade of his group New Breed‘s mission of creating “kingdom music.”

“During my career, a lot of people told me to stop trying to merge styles,” Houghton reflects of his signature blending of pop, rock, Latin and R&B influences. “But the times I feel most true to myself are when I am intentionally creating dialogue through music that allows everybody to get involved in the conversation. I thank God that I stayed the course. Now, people are saying, ‘Wow, your music is fresh!’ Ten years ago, people were saying it was confusing! But when God puts something in your heart, you’ve got to stick with it.”

Over the course of the past two decades, Houghton has traveled the world and seen up close the best and the worst of the human spirit at work. He is heartened to report that, of late, he has witnessed great improvement, which inspired and fortified the overall theme of this dynamic new disc.

“This whole concept of a love revolution – thinking beyond yourself – is the great equalizer to our theology,” Houghton states. “Because of the music we make as New Breed, we get invited into a lot of worlds that otherwise would not co-exist. That’s a huge part of our life’s mission successessay – to be effective in all kinds of streams. Even though we may differ in theologies, we as Christians are still the ‘Love People.’ If we can agree that Jesus is Lord, we can connect on what The Lord said, which is ‘Love The Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your might and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Couple that with Matthew: 25 ‘Love to the least of these,’ and there’s a lot we can do together as Christians instead of focusing on things we don’t believe.

Love God. Love People. is a simple yet pivotal statement about the essence of what life here on Earth ultimately comes down to.”

And now it’s time to make a change… Life gets better / It just gets better when we / We look around and see all of humanity / Waiting on someone / Someone is you and me

 

In addition to the obvious Biblical command found in the title song, the heart of the album may lie in the haunting “Others,” penned by Houghton and his wife Meleasa.  The song began when the couple came up with separate parts for what they thought would be different songs. But when they sat down at the piano, Houghton began to feel that the lyrics might go well together. Within minutes of opening to this possibility, the song was born.

“Meleasa has a tendency to write strong, raw lyrics like the opening lines of this song: “I see the state of the world and it grieves me. I tend to come with more of the lighter ‘I wanna love like you love, wanna love others the way that you love me.’ That makes for a lot of tension and release in what we write which is what music always needs.”

That innate sense of music chemistry has helped Houghton create a canon of songs that have become favorites in houses of faith and on radio dials across the globe.  Having written or co-written 11 CCLI Top 500 favorites, Houghton uses his multi-cultural upbringing as a key reference point in his boundary-defying music, inspiring people of all ages, races and cultures to come together under the banner of Christ. Renowned as a worship leader in Pastor Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood church in Houston, Houghton has also led hundreds of thousands in worship at events, churches and festivals around the world. In 1995, he and Meleasa founded New Breed Ministries, an organization comprised of noted musicians and singers who serve within their respective churches and, together, serve the Church at large. For their efforts, they have been fittingly graced with two Gold-selling albums, three Grammy Awards, six Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Award.

Summing up Love God. Love People., and the culmination of his first 20 years in music ministry, Houghton states, “For this season of my life, this is what I’m still passionate about. If I wasn’t an artist, I would still be an activist – out trying to make a difference and giving a voice to those who don’t have one. New Breed could have easily found its end at any time overnight. Not because the music wasn’t good, but because we had failed up to that point to discover our real purpose. It was not to build a platform under myself but to build a platform under others. Once we as a team grasped the understanding that ‘Strength is for service not status’ (Romans: 15), we knew our success was not about winning awards, selling platinum CDs or selling out concert halls. It was about taking whatever momentum we could gather and giving it back in service. That’s what has kept me and New Breed relevant, focused and effective. And I am grateful that God has surrounded me with people who have that same heart.”

16 Responses

  1. Anna Hansson says:

    Dear Mr Houghton,

    I want to thank you for the truly anointed and beautiful music that you create. I know that you are most likely very busy but I wonder if you could help me.
    I am currently looking for background music for my business’s website and I am having difficulties to find something that has the right sound/vibe that is also Christian and is royalty-free. I heard your song Deeper that you played on the piano today on Youtube and was nearly jumping off my seat in excitement though the song would be perfect (as instrumental). So my question would be if the song has been recorded as instrumental and if I could please use it (as paid or royalty-free).? This is my website http://www.annahanssoninteriordesign.co.uk

    Thank you again and Gods blessings to you and your wife.

    Best Regards,

    Anna Hansson

  2. Terrell Young says:

    I am a 33 yr. old Worship leader for the past ten years this ministry has been speaking expressly into my life…this past weekend Our Heavenly Father ordered my step to Houston TX to receive His grace for my ministry of service. I drove twenty hours to hear God speak through His servants… And He DID…illumination, revelation,transformation, to become a complete manifestation, I have been reborn this week I have become a s.o.n. ( a son of new breed)through prayer and impartation… I am forever indebted to my worship fathers of the Faith Israel Aaron Dave and Kevin. Guys words will never exprress the sentiments of my heart. Your sacrficial obedience has begun the endtime levitical order for the entire body…

    I speak blessings to you all that you have not room to receive, forever a son brother and friend

    terrell young
    massillon ohio

  3. Ryan Dozier says:

    Dear Israel,

    I want to say THANK YOU for your MUSIC and MINISTRY. GOD has Anointed you and New Breed for this SEASON. I love that the lyrics to all of your CD’S pull us into YOUR RELATIONSHIP with JESUS and forces us (me) to HUNGER and THIRST and CREATE that LOVE RELATIONSHIP with HIM as well!! LOVE GOD. LOVE PEOPLE. is so PASSIONATE, I get overwhelmed by GOD’S PRESENCE!! PLEASE KEEP PULLING US CLOSE TO HIM THROUGH YOUR WORSHIP!! My wife and I are some of YOUR BIGGEST FANS. PLEASE….COME TO RALEIGH, NC and MINISTER in song….we will BE FRONT ROW!!

    Yours Truly,

    Ryan Dozier

  4. Javier says:

    Blesses Mr Houghton,I to want to write you in Spanish
    Quiero dar gracias a Dios por colocar hombres con gran talento como usted, la verdad ha sido una influencia grande en mi carrera como músico. esta producción esta espectacular, me gustaria algun día recibir la noticia de que usted estara dando un concierto en mi país (Colombia) ya que su música por aqui es muy escuchada, nuevamente le felicito por excelente producción y espero tenerla pronto en mis manos, bendiciones!!!

    Javier Restrepo

  5. Agnes Ngandu says:

    Hi Israel

    I thank our Father in Heaven for the anointed music that you are sharing with the world. I love you new album which I have found very relevant and speaking to me about love and God’s amazing grace and Jesus’s selfless love that he demonstrated on the cross. The song (5)Love Others really touched me. It’s 9.22am in Zimbabwe (Central African Time) and I have been singing this song in my head since the time I left home about an hour and half ago. I have been working and just sensing the love of God compel me to love others the way He loved me.

    Thank You
    Yours in Christ
    Agnes

  6. Michael D. Jones says:

    Israel,

    Thank you for your ministry. Your music has blessed me since I first heard “Taste and See”. Since then, I have purchased every album, video and songbook. I am a middle school music educator in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and God has blessed me to teach and influence students for the last 15 years. I was the All City Chorus Director for the district convocation this year. One of the selections we performed was “The Power of One”. I was approached by a number of teachers after the performance thanking me (and the students) for singing such a powerful selection. I know the message in the music touched so many educators and administrators that day. I remember when you said on GMC’s Revealed “you can go across the street and make a difference in someone’s life”. Thank you for making a difference in my life for me and my family with your music. Here is the performance; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkSVqdynnfk May God continue to use you for His glory!

    Peace,
    Michael

  7. ALFRED says:

    iSRAEL lOVE THE MUSIC EVER SINCE THE FIRST DAY, BUT NOW LOVING THE LIFESTYLE I ASPIRE TO BE LIKE YOU AND I KNOW AND DECLARE THAT SOON YOUR MUSIC WILL BE ON THE TOP OF MOST OF THE “MAINSTREAM CHARTS..GOD BLESS YOU THANK WE THANK HIM FOR HIS GRACE ON YOUR LIFE AND LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOUR FUTURE…BECAUSE YOUR LATTER WILL BE GREATER…

  8. Thank you for someone else great blog. Where else could i gather this kind of info written in such an incite full way? i have been looking for such information.

  9. Nichelle Walton says:

    I am looking for a song from a video that I saw on on JCTV several months ago. I could not see the song title nor artist, but I saw Israel Houghton in it. Here are some of the words I remember: “The very same God that raised Christ
    from the dead, is alive in me. And the very same God who rose up from the grave, has set me free. And now I am complete…, since He rescued me since He rescued me. I wanna shout it out loud.” I hope you can solve this mystery for me!

  10. Phil says:

    Hello there our brother!

    My English nick name is Phil, my background training was classical then Choir Director then Pop, Con-tempo. music. I’m from Asia, worship leader, now I’m Asian-American . . .!
    How can you merge a style w tune language, & 5 notes system
    ( just like 7 notes system in Western ). . .!

    The most important w my duty to God now is leading the Asian people music they can understand they can sing . . . to God w the, they kind of poor on everything even knowledge of music . . .! U got Idea! Thank you very much the style u br

  11. TANN says:

    Dearest Israel, I have searched and search. Begged and Begged. Will you please release “Others” as an instrumental? I’ve seen where others want it, as well. Please do this for us. You are the mostest!! hahah…love your spirit..love how you reach others effortlessly. Many blessings to you…Thanks for being you..TANN

  12. Ravinn says:

    Dear Israel,

    I have listened to and loved your music from the very 1st album. I am just starting to take notice to the similarities to certain secular music artists. Their musical styles, their vocal stylings. For me, it interrupts the ministry because in my spirit, something goes array. I press on because I believe that your music is anointed. Your recent album cover alarmed me, because the Beetles HATED anything Christian. They said on more than one occasion that they ‘hated Jesus’ and are pictured throwing up Satanic had symbols. One of their album covers pays homage to Aleister Crowley who is considered the Father of modern date Luciferanism and the Church of Satan. Why are you comprising to pay homage to those that hate our Lord and Savior? Why are you songs described as ‘haunting’ on this article on your webpage? Why are you playing Michael Jackson songs, who was also a follower of Aleister Crowley at your gospel ‘concerts’? I was there at the Rock Church in Virginia Beach when you did this. I saw you on Jay Leno ‘performing’ as a Grammy award winning artist. Why? I sincerly pray that the compromise ceases and Jesus Christ is exalted no matter how much it affects your record sales, award show performances, billboard status, etc…

    Praying for the Christian music ‘industry’,

    Standing Firm

  13. Exceptionally enlightening cheers, It is my opinion your trusty readers would most likely want further reviews like this maintain the great work.

  14. Genuinely good bless you, It looks like your readers may want a lot more writing of this nature continue the good effort.

  15. Regina Morales says:

    I love the level of worship that flows from your ministry. Totally Pure Worship. If you ever looking for a dynamic annointed lady conga player to join your team drop me a line. God Bless.

  16. Ifeoma Sunday says:

    Blessings Mr. Houghton. My name is Ifeoma I am a worship leader in my local church and have been tremendously blessed by your ministry. God bless you. I will like to have any short course in Worship leading. Could you graciously suggest any ? God bless you