When you sit down with singer-songwriter Caleb Lewis a couple of things are immediately clear: he has a clear mission, and it’s about a lot more than just music.
As he states, he’s on a mission to spread hope, but also to have fun in the process.
“We have plenty of voices in our world telling us all the reasons it won’t be ok,” explains Lewis. “I want our music to be the voice bringing you hope. I want to create music that’s genuinely fun to listen to – that leaves you encouraged and ready to charge into life!”
These concepts of hope, a positive future and generally having fun certainly permeate throughout his upcoming album Future is Bright.
This release marks a significant step for Lewis as his debut full-length album. His journey as a recording artist began in 2016 with the release of The Demo Sessions, an EP of tracks that originated as demos Caleb sent his band. His latest offering has again been self-produced, with Lewis recording and producing the entire project along with his wife Kyra.
The Future is Bright
Whilst his newest album carries a clear theme of joyful hope and bold courage, each of the songs has come from difficult experiences and, as Lewis describes, some of the hardest moments of his life.
“All of the songs have come out of very real experiences for me, and a lot of dark times. But the songs that came out aren’t about the battles, but finding hope in those times. They’re about finding light and the promise of a bright future, no matter how dark today seems.”
Lewis flags the birth of the title track as a defining moment in the whole process.
“Honestly when I wrote that song I had been at one of my lowest, darkest points. But it was such a key moment for me. In the midst of all the uncertainty I chose to put my focus on the hope I knew God had for me. I could wallow in my self-pity, or I could pick myself up and live with the joy of actually expecting the future to be bright. I made my decision and wrote the whole song in about 10 minutes.”
Hope as an anchor
Core to Lewis’ music and life is his faith and he doesn’t undersell its significance in the journey that brought him to this point.
“You know the key for me with this stuff is that it’s real. It’s all fine for me to say ‘hey you can be happy even when it’s dark’ – but if I don’t give you something real, something solid to actually hold to in those dark days then it’s all a bit pointless.”
“The Bible talks about God’s hope being like an anchor – and that couldn’t be more true for my life. Waves have come, storms have come, but He hasn’t failed me. His promises have literally been my anchor – and I’ve held on to them in some pretty dark storms. Now, not only has He got me to the other side, but I’m stronger and better than before. And I know without a doubt there’s a bright future ahead.”
This concept has become a foundation for Lewis’ music, and is represented in his logo depicting the guitar and anchor – symbolising the hope he wants to bring through his music.
An army with a song in our feet
Future is Bright speaks not only of Lewis finding hope for himself amongst the waves of life, but also inspiring others to join his joyful charge into the future. The song describes a group marching like an army with a song in their feet.
This concept of inspiring hope is key to the whole project with the simultaneous launch of the Anchor Army – a collective of people from all around the world who are not only discovering this hope – but sharing it with those around them.
“I love that line about an army with this song in our feet. It’s probably my favourite in the whole album. I loved it so much I felt like we needed to do something with it – now the Anchor Army is the embodiment of that!”
“Honestly, I think for me that’s more exciting than the album itself. I mean, if I can write a song that impacts you in a way that you can rediscover hope or find the courage to face tomorrow that’s awesome! But how much more powerful if you can then take that same hope to your friends, your family, your colleagues and your whole world?”
As Lewis describes, “Everyone faces darkness. We may look like we’ve got it all together on the outside, but underneath everyone experiences battles. It just looks different for each person. It may be broken relationships, health issues, work struggles or mental battles. There’s no shame in recognising it – everybody needs hope. That’s the idea of the Anchor Army. Not just living in that hope ourselves, but telling everybody we can that their future can be bright.”
It’s an exciting mission as Lewis and his team charge ahead, bringing hope and light through his songs. We may not know all the future holds yet, but we know it certainly is bright!