A New Wave of Messianic Music
An Interview with Jamie Hilsden

Sunday, March 20, 2011 |  Daniel Goldstein
Jamie Hilsden came to Israel with his parents when he was 4 years old. He is the Music Director at King of Kings Community in Jerusalem and is currently spearheading a music project to modernize older Messianic Hebrew worship songs.

Jamie, how did you get interested in music, especially Messianic music?
Messianic music is something I love. I grew up on this music and I have many good emotions attached to it. It was when I lived outside of Israel for three-years that I realized how much I missed Messianic music. I have a great deal of respect for early Messianic songs, especially songs that contain Scripture. It seems that those who were writing songs 20-30 years ago really had a gift to combine Scripture with music and that is something I don't see much of in the music being produced today.

How did you get involved with this current project of reviving Messianic songs from the past?
This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm already doing this at my community, King of Kings. I take old songs and give them a fresh beat. I've found as a worship leader that whenever I bring out these older Hebrew songs in a fresh way young people are blown away by them and they ask me if I wrote them since they've never heard them before. There's a thirst for new music and I believe that this thirst can be satisfied, at least in part, by reviving these older Messianic songs and seeing what kind of impact they can make.

What exactly is this new CD project you are working on?
Jamie Hilsden came to Israel with his parents when he was 4 years old. He is the Music Director at King of Kings Community in Jerusalem and is currently spearheading a music project to modernize older Messianic Hebrew worship songs.

Jamie, how did you get interested in music, especially Messianic music?
Messianic music is something I love. I grew up on this music and I have many good emotions attached to it. It was when I lived outside of Israel for three-years that I realized how much I missed Messianic music. I have a great deal of respect for early Messianic songs, especially songs that contain Scripture. It seems that those who were writing songs 20-30 years ago really had a gift to combine Scripture with music and that is something I don't see much of in the music being produced today.

How did you get involved with this current project of reviving Messianic songs from the past?
This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm already doing this at my community, King of Kings. I take old songs and give them a fresh beat. I've found as a worship leader that whenever I bring out these older Hebrew songs in a fresh way young people are blown away by them and they ask me if I wrote them since they've never heard them before. There's a thirst for new music and I believe that this thirst can be satisfied, at least in part, by reviving these older Messianic songs and seeing what kind of impact they can make.

What exactly is this new CD project you are working on?
On April 16th we are going to give a live worship concert playing these revived worship songs performed by some of the best Messianic musicians in Israel. We will record this worship night and from this recording we are going to make a live worship CD. I've been involved with the production and arrangement of all three Praise to Our God CDs, so this project is coming together naturally for me. We hope to have the CD ready by this summer.

Why do you believe that it is important to produce Messianic music in the Hebrew language?
In my opinion music is the most emotionally impactful form of art and communication. Worship music has a way of penetrating the heart that words alone do not have. Second of all, corporate worship is at the core of what we do at our meetings. So having songs that are high quality is invaluable.

Are you seeing a positive progression of Messianic music in the younger generation here in Israel?
Yes, it's positive in the amount of music that is coming out, considering the size of the community in Israel. However, I'd like to see the people have more training. One advantage that the older generation had is that they were trained musicians. Right now there are many people that are going for and trying it and coming out with good stuff but the best is definitely yet to come.

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