Interview with Tyrone Wells

Tyrone Wells I first met Tyrone Wells when I was in college in California. He had graduated from my school a handful of years before me and was then leading worship at a church on campus. He was the big thing at a local music venue each week and I was privileged to get to open for him one time. He has since focused on writing and recording and playing it for people wherever that takes him. That has included four full-length albums and his music being featured in shows such as American Idol, One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy, and many more. We’ve had him out to play at Central on a regular basis and each time I interact with him I’m always impressed how genuine and humble he is to everyone. And how much everyone loves him and his music. To promote this interview, I’ll be giving away two autographed CDs from Tyrone. In order to enter your name into the mix you can do up to three of the following:
  1. Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite part of this interview. ENTRY +1
  2. Tweet the link to this post (you can use the floating Twitter box to the left of your cursor on this post). ENTRY +1
  3. Subscribe your email to my blog (you can enter your email into the box at the end of this post) ENTRY +1
That’s three possible ways to get your name into the mix for a signed copy of one of Tyrone’s albums. I’ll announce the winners later next week. You can check him out on his website by clicking here. Tell us something odd/unique about you.
I learned to yodel when I was 13 years old. Yodeling is good for the soul. Also, as a young child, I used to sleepwalk. Apparently, while sleepwalking, unbeknownst to my lucid self, I would pee in the closet.
How does your faith affect your music?
It influences the themes and subject matter. I write all kinds of songs but I definitely tend to write songs that are more hopeful, because of the great hope I have.
Do you think people are born leaders or develop into leaders?
Both. I do feel like some people are just naturally gifted with the ability to lead. But as an example of someone who developed into a leader. I dated a girl in college that made a decision when she was in 8th grade, that when she went to high school she was going to be bolder and more of a leader. She was shy and quiet in junior high. In High School, she ended up being her class president the first two years, and then her junior and senior year she was the ASB president. Now it takes more than a “decision.” Obviously, actions are necessary. But deciding to be a leader is a solid start to becoming someone that leads.
How can people put themselves into a position to influence culture?
I think you influence culture when you are true to your convictions. Chase after the aspirations of your heart and be true to your beliefs.
Why are you a follower of Jesus Christ?
Because I believe he is who he said he was. I believe when we look at the person of Jesus, we are seeing God. I want to live the kind of life that the One who set our whole existence into motion would have me live. I believe that the best life available this side of heaven, is a life that is in submission to God.
What do you do personally to fuel your spiritual life?
Tyrone WellsI have found that my friendships are key to my walk with God. I am encouraged by “fellowship.” I enjoy Sunday services, but I feel like the best stuff happens in small groups where we can be open and honest and pray for one another. Small groups are probably the richest experience for my spiritual life. I have always struggled with being good at a “quiet time” and I think that will probably always be a bit of a struggle for me. But interacting and hearing the stories of God with fellow Christ followers is always a huge shot in the arm for me.
What is your hope for the future of the Church in America?
I hope the church would be more vulnerable and honest. I hope people think of amazing things/actions that the church has been involved in, instead of the latest scandal. I hope the church will be more synonymous with love, hope, inclusiveness, restoration, and life, rather than the oft conjured up big haired televangelist brand of church, or the self-righteous and judgmental church that is more interested in being right than in loving people. I hope the church becomes more like Jesus and less like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
Should we abandon the use of the word “Christian” for a better term? If so, what?
Good question. I often wonder about that myself, because of all of the obvious baggage that comes with the word, “Christian.” People automatically envision something that is typically radically different than the life and reality of a heartfelt Christ follower. If you come up with something let me know!
Which books have shaped your thinking?
I love a book called “A Severe Mercy.” It’s an autobiography. A great love story as well as the story of the author’s journey to faith. He was a friend of CS Lewis’ and there is some interaction about God between the two of them in the book. I’m currently reading “Love Wins.” This book has a lot of Christians up in arms. It is controversial, but I think it is asking some great questions about God and his nature. Whether or not you draw the same conclusions as the author (Rob Bell), I think the conversation is healthy. I think the church has plenty of room for people that don’t always see eye to eye on all things doctrine. I believe God’s love and mercy can reach far beyond all of our different understandings about exactly how this whole thing works, and can save us still, even with all of the different and even sometimes whacked out beliefs we hold.
What music moves you?
So much music moves me it is hard to know where to begin. The music that moves me the most is often very intimate—just a guy/gal with his/her guitar, telling the truth. I dig sparse. But then on the other hand, I love stuff that is majestic and epic. That’s probably why I make the albums I make. Some are rather large productions, and some, are far more stripped down—sometimes, just me and my acoustic guitar. I just love a great melody that sounds like it’s coming from somewhere deep in someone’s heart.

Click here to read more Off the Record interviews.

**UPDATE: 11-12-12 Here are the winners of the autographed copies of Tyrone’s CDs. There were 28 total entrees between email subscriptions, twitter, and the blog comments.
  • Stacy
  • Lynn Spina

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co.