Michael W. Smith Premieres 'A Million Lights' Album: Exclusive
Three-time Grammy winner Michael W. Smith hit a creative block when it came to writing music. Grieving the loss of his dad and feeling a dire need for love and compassion in this era of modern technology, Smith created a compelling body of work to motivate and bring together the world with his new album A Million Lights.
"The main thing I want people to know is that we have a lot more in common than not,” he tells Billboard. “My faith is weaved in and out of this whole record, and I hope people who hear this album reconnect with why they are here. I don’t believe in coincidences."
Fueled by the ungenerous mockery of social media and the current state of the nation, Smith was inspired and excited to begin a project with upbeat tempos that exemplified love, faith, and happiness, like songs “Revolution” and “Conversations.”
"The new music had a lot to do with the collision of both grieving for my dad who died, followed by how divided our country was becoming along with the onslaught of mean-spirited social media, kids committing suicide, seeing the opioid drug epidemic in my hometown. Before this all happened, I hadn’t written anything in a long time, but the dam just burst."
As production for the album began, Smith wanted to push himself musically, recruiting a new team of writers including songwriter Bryan Todd and producer/songwriter Kyle Lee. During a studio session, Smith recalled watching his single “A Million Lights” develop from his initial state, calling it a standout moment. “At one point, Kyle was suggesting we speed up the tempo of the song, and I was set against it in the beginning, but it was the right thing to do,” he shared with Billboard. “Once we started programming, we both looked at each other and had this 'wow' moment, realizing we had something special here." The song became the debut single and the first music video from the album.
Next Friday, (Feb. 23) Michael W. Smith will also release a live worship album, Surrounded. He heads on the road next month headlining his North American 'Surrounded by A Million Lights' World Tour, honoring both albums, followed by a tour in Israel and a cruise.
A Million Lights will officially be released this Friday (Feb. 16) on Rocketown Records.