Fans of the worship tornado that is Israel Houghton, will be excited to know that he’s just released his new album, featuring some of worship music’s greats.
It’s called Covered, Alive In Asia, and it’s a collection of songs recorded at worship concerts in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala, Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul and Manila.
Speaking to Hope Media’s Emma Mullings, Israel joked that he and his band New Breed were “trying to be classic over-achievers” when they decided to fly their 38-strong team around the world to record the new album.
He said his desire in recording internationally, was to demonstrate how worship is exploding across the world.
Music That’s Crossing Cultural Divides
Watch: Chasing Me Down, the first video released from the new album.
“It would have been easy to just do another record at my home church at Lakewood,” he said, “but [I wanted] to be able to show the reach of gospel music and worship music. That the kingdom of God and the gospel is a global thing.
“That was really our motivation to go and show the rest of the world what’s happening in Asia, because it’s pretty spectacular.”
The new album highlights Israel’s ability to connect to a broad range of cultures through the power of music and worship.
“That’s something that I’m very passionate about,” he said. “We’ve been intentionally cross cultural, cross racial, cross denominational.”
The Secret To Houghton’s 20 Years Of Music Success
It’s been 20 years since Israel Houghton sat down in 1995 and wrote his vision for the New Breed worship team.
He said the key to the band’s longevity was keeping their focus on God.
“The family that prays together stays together,” he said. “Music is so secondary to what we do. We come together as a family and that is exemplified in how we prepare to get on any stage.
“We pray before we go on. There is a real sense of preparation, that God is going to do something and use us to do something.
“I don’t pray prayers like “God help us sell a whole bunch of records”. Our prayer is “God, use us to make a lasting impression in peoples’ lives, and use us to pass something onto the next generation that they want passed onto them.
“I’ve seen God really be faithful in answering that.”
Collaborating With The Greats Of Worship
Watch: One of Houghton’s biggest hits, Just Wanna Say (2008).
Covered, Alive In Asia will be the band’s 10th recording.
Songs include How Awesome Is Our God, featuring the gospel powerhouse Yolanda Adams, which Israel wrote with Neville Diedericks of New Breed South Africa.
“When we were in Singapore singing this song I knew it would be perfect for Yolanda,” he said. “I phoned her and said I’ve got this song, I feel like you’re supposed to be on it, and I was nervous and sweating and shaking. She’s been a friend of mine for a long time but she’s still Yolanda Adams.
“She was very gracious to come in. So now I owe her a favour on her next record.”
Israel’s favourite songs on the album include Already Done recorded with rising young worship artist Jonathan McReynolds, and In Jesus Name which he wrote with Australian worship artist Darlene Zschech.
– Covered Alive In Asia is out on Friday, July 24 and can be preorded on Amazon or itunes.
– Follow Israel Houghton on his Facebook page.