For frontman, co-founder and primary songwriter Martin, a 20-something kid at the start and now a husband and father of six children, Delirious? was a big door to close. Martin and Anna, his wife of 18 years, packed up their family and moved to Brighton, a coastal town south of London, submerging themselves once again in worship ministry alongside Matt Redman and others at St. Peter’s, a Holy Trinity Brompton church plant. Getting back to a normal life after decades spent on stages around the world took some getting used to.
“When you enter a transition period, there’s a lot of uncertainty. You’re letting go of a lot of things, bit by bit—the microphone, your finances, even some sense of your identity—but as you find yourself more dependent on God, you begin to really experience his kindness. You see him show up in incredible ways, you see his provision, discover new opportunities and favor. Things you thought were lost start to reappear. Three years on, God has given me some new things to say, and I’m so incredibly grateful...”
With many of the songs written in collaboration with young worship leaders and novice musicians at St. Peter’s, God’s Great Dance Floor, Step 01 is a joyful labor of love for this seasoned songwriter/worship leader. “I see my role as different now,” he says, “I want to invest in the next generation coming through, reminding everyone of what it really is to worship with our lives, serving, keeping your hands clean—I feel the responsibility of those things more and more.”
“Back to the Start,” co-written by Martin and 2013 GRAMMY winner Jonas Myrin (“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)”), sets the tone for the record, building from a hard reality to a full-on pop dance celebration, complete with brass horns. “It’s a prodigal song about finding my way back to everything that matters most; finding God in it all again,” Martin says. His very personal story is beautifully portrayed in the song’s new concept video to release soon and featuring Martin’s teenage daughter, Elle, in the lead role. Every nuance of the video is intentional as it unfolds Martin’s story.
The album also features the modern rock anthem “Fire Never Sleeps,” which opens the recent, critically acclaimed Jesus Culture With Martin Smith: Live From New York album, the contemplative ballad “Catch Every Teardrop,” which was inspired by Psalm 52 and the near fatal car crash that almost claimed Martin’s life -- a pivotal event that led to the formation of Delirious? back in 1997, and “You Carry Me,” a song of comfort for a friend whose husband recently died. Martin also co-wrote four songs with Chris Tomlin, including “Waiting Here For You” with its message of the fragility of our humanity and how waiting is perhaps the most difficult act of worship.
When Martin Smith and his band Delirious? emerged in the U.S. back in 1997, having already impacted a generation of UK youth with its passionate call for revival, most agree that the modern worship movement officially began. The hope of that movement and the music that came out of it—“I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” “Deeper,” “Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?,” “Shout To The North” and a string of other modern worship standards—has irrevocably changed the landscape of Christian music in the U.S. and around the world. Long before 2009’s farewell concert, RIAA certified Gold-selling and GRAMMY nominated band Delirious? had become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like their song “History Maker” that landed on 1998’s King of Fools, the band became ‘history makers’ themselves.
“I don’t think God is worried about the platform he’s given me in the past,” Martin says of this new season of personal revival feeding into ministry. “He’s worried most about my heart. If that’s in a good place, he’ll use it... at church, in stadiums, wherever he will. All you want to do is be someone of influence, but it doesn’t have to be on a global stage. It never did. Having said that, it’s part of my life, to have that voice. And my prayer is that God will use this new music to remind people of his grace, to remind them of his heart for the poor and broken and of his Kingdom coming on Earth.”
Still making relevant music, Martin’s God’s Great Dance Floor, Step 01 springs from a man refreshed, revived and reconnected with Jesus and with his Church. Excited to play a lead role in the ongoing call to worship, he is a passionate model for young worship leaders of today.