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Interview with Martin Midgård Hagen, Lead Singer, Radiate Worship

Radiate Worship is the amazing worship team from Tabernacle Pentecostal Church in Bergen, Norway. Known for their amazing songs that have been translated into other languages and shared by their Scandinavian neighbors, Radiate Worship recently joined the DREAM Label Group family of artists who make delightful music with a heart to serve God and influence the culture of the world in a positive way. In an interview with Martin Midgård Hagen, the lead singer of the group, Martin reveals to TBAP the culture and the ideals of Radiate Worship. Take a look!

Miranda ~ Hello! Glad to have you visit TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about Radiate Worship?

Martin: Hi! Big thanks for reaching out! Radiate Worship is a worship band that emerged from the worship ministry of our church, Tabernacle Pentecostal Church, Bergen, Norway, a church that many of us were been born into and, others have found it to be their home later on. From my experience, I’d say we have been blessed with a leadership that has given us the opportunity to grow in what we do, and has been investing in the youth ministry a lot. This gave us the possibility to start creating music by ourselves in 2009, and we’ve kept on doing so till this day.

Miranda ~ What particularly led to the creation of Radiate Worship?

Martin: We have always looked to other worship bands like Hillsong, Planetshakers, I Am Future, and other worship groups here in Norway. We were experiencing the urge and passion to write from our own hearts and lives so that we, too, could add to the pool of worship music around. Of course we were adding mostly to different churches around in Norway, even as we felt that was out of our league; we were just kids—but I guess if you want to create, someone just has to start doing something to get somewhere, and that’s what we did!

Miranda ~ What were the circumstances that surrounded your decision to go international; how did you choose to go about it and, what are the sequence of events that followed this decision?

Martin: Our main goal has never been to go international. We saw that some of our most popular songs were being translated and used in some Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden, and just knowing that it was being used in our neighbor-countries was awesome. Our main goal is, and always will be, to show who Jesus is today, and bring worship that inspires and challenges people who believe, and also those who don’t yet do. We are so blessed to see the doors that God opened for us this last year, and to see that our music may be used farther than Scandinavia is just beyond our imagination!

Miranda ~ Radiate Worship is now signed with DREAM Worship. How would you describe your first meeting with GM, Lance Brown?

Martin: We were contacted by Lance after he had been introduced to one of our latest releases, Trust. He told us that he just couldn’t get it out of his head, and that he wanted to get to know us a bit more. So we scheduled for a Skype session and got to know each other a little, sharing from our hearts and our dreams. Little did we know—suddenly we got to work with these guys, and we are excited to see what the future holds!

Miranda ~ Who are the people/worship teams that have influenced your style of music?

Martin: As I wrote earlier, we have always looked to Hillsong and other groups here in Norway. But most of us have always been fond of music outside of the worship genre as well, and adding elements from what we enjoy is what we have always been about. Therefore we wanted to use elements like dubstep, scream vocals, and much more, because we’ve found that God doesn’t fit into one certain way of worship. As long as we use our music to glorify Him in whatever way or style, I think that God is pleased and happy with that.

Miranda ~ Apart from worshiping/praising God with your music, who are the people you believe God has called Radiate Worship to sing to—the lost, despaired, broken-hearted, disappointed etc.?

Martin: We create songs and music from what we have experienced ourselves. Trust is the most profound experience my wife and I had with God. In our family, we found that we were in desperate need to trust in God’s intervention more than ever before, as we, at the time, were in a difficult economic situation. We had some stretching moments, and throughout that time, we leaned more on Him than on our own safety-net. In the end, His promises remained, and we got to experience God on a whole new level.

Together with this, we love praise, as well as sharing the gospel with people who don’t yet believe. We always leave room for someone to take that stand to follow Jesus, everywhere we go. Whether we’re in church, a festival, or conference, leading someone to Him is always a priority! So I guess our worship is for everyone—whether you’ve walked a thousand miles with Jesus or are new to the journey.

Miranda ~ What is the principle that guides your songwriting as a team?

Martin: First of all, it needs to be Bible-based. The Bible guides us, and we believe that it, truly, is the Word of God, therefore, we never write songs that go on edge with it. And, also, we highly value the experiences we have in our own lives with Jesus. I’m positive that I’m not the only one experiencing this “life”. So, knowing that others, too, are on the journey we call life, I know that people have their own hard times and times of joy, and that people most likely can identify with the words we’re singing!

Miranda ~ What do you believe you bring to the Christian music scene that may be missing today?

Martin: I don’t really know. We love to party a new life and a new hope that is given freely by Jesus. I think we project that pretty well while we worship. It’s not like we are trying to fill a gap with something that’s missing. We make music that we love, and create what God has put on our hearts. If people like it, that’s just great!!

Miranda ~ As a team/church, what are you most grateful for?

Martin: As a team, we are so happy to have the church backing us on the journey we are on. We’re excited to get to do this and to belong to a church that is rooting for us. Also, that our leaders have given us freedom to grow, a platform to lead in worship week after week and, leading us wisely has been the biggest blessing of all.

Also, to be able to travel and lead others in worship, and to have a relationship with Jesus, is what we love. If I could do this for a living, I wouldn’t even question it. I’m grateful for being able to use what I’ve been given for Him and with Him!

Miranda ~ What advice would you give to an upcoming worship team who believes they’ve been called to go international with their music, rather than stay local with their church?

Martin: I think it is important to build the local church first of all. What we have done through our years in the worship ministry is to be faithful to what we have been given. We have building the church as our first priority, and not chasing after opportunities or the “right people” to work with. If God wants to use us elsewhere, we’re open to that. In our case, they have been places/opportunities put right before us at the right time. We believe that all we get to experience today, and ahead from now, is coming from Him and not from ourselves.

We have a goal, and that is to always be home on Sundays building the foundation and institution that carries us through life. I believe we definitely have a call to share our music farther than our own landmarks, but until that is no longer possible to do without sacrificing a Sunday at home, home is a priority.

About Radiate Worship

Radiate Worship is a Christian worship band from Bergen, Norway. The members of the group came together through the youth ministry in their local church, and the church itself released their first three album releases independently. Radiate Worship have always aspired to uncover new ground in their style of music, and tries to write songs that utilize musical elements that might not be too common in typical worship music.

After a change of focus, not only to write songs in Norwegian for a national distribution, but opening up to expanding their international contact network and both writing and communicating more in English, they came in touch with producer David O. Ramirez from Gnome Studios, who came on as producer for their next full album project. This led to the first single from the upcoming album, Trust, which caught the attention of Dream Label Group.

“Radiate worship aims to create music that inspires and engages both those who believe, and those who still not,” says lead singer, Martin Midgård Hagen.