A Better Result
Hillsong Young & Free are far from a youth spin-off tucked under the Hillsong name. Over their last three albums, they’ve charted their own course, picking up a distinct sound and style of their own, a Grammy nomination, and even celebrity supporters like Justin Bieber to boot. Nearly a decade in, they have a new perspective on the road that led them here – especially founding member Alex Pappas, who for most of his life, didn’t even see worship leading on the horizon.
‘The truth is, I had a really narrow perspective of what worship music could do. People would say I should do this, and I’d say ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll always be in church, but that won’t be what I do. ’‘What’s funny is later I still made a choice to go study at a Bible college to study worship music, and even while I was there, I still said, ‘This is great, I’m learning and growing,but I’ll still probably just do music separately, because I want to reach people in a big way.’
From growing up in a small town and playing in a ska band at the age of 15, Alex always had a sense that he was supposed to do something significant that would reach lots of people – but never realised that God might have put the call in his life from an early age, in music. The change came nine years ago, when he finally laid down his own plans, and trusted that God had put gifts in his hand for a reason. He told God, ‘You have a plan and purpose for me. I’m going to lay down these other dreams and pursue building your Church. And simply that.’
On their latest album, titled III, Alex points out the track ‘Days Gone By’ as a personal favourite. He looks back on times in life when he’d exhausted trying in his own effort, and then turned his life over to God. Without it, he wouldn’t have found himself where he is with Young & Free. ‘It’s often when we push through and trust God that we see God all over it, and the result is far better than we could have done on our own.’
Listen to the full interview in the latest Height of Heart podcast: