We caught up with Matthew Harris to learn more about his and Kyle Lee’s new song, “I Need You.” Make sure to check out the full song here and leave a comment below sharing how this song has impacted you!
Can you tell me a little bit about the season spiritually and personally and the space/place in which this song emerged?
“I Need You” came about during a season of my life where, during my quiet times of worship, God would give me song ideas. But I never intended my quiet times with the Lord to turn into songwriting sessions, so I asked Him, I want to be a good steward of the songs you’ve given me, because each song is a gift, but how do I do this?
The Lord encouraged me to record my quiet times when I was worshiping Him; to not think about any song ideas, to not think about writing, to just record these times. And if He gave me a song in these moments, I’d find it later. I ended up recording my quiet times for a couple of months, but really didn’t go back and listen to a lot of them.
Then one day, as I was driving to Kyle Lee’s house for a writing session, I listened to one of those recordings and I discovered the chorus of “I Need You.”
Once we finished writing the song, we felt like my wife Jessie was the right voice to sing it.
What was the songwriting process like?
After Kyle and I completed the chorus, we were looking for a bridge. Kyle had heard a sermon recently that talked about intimacy with the Lord, and I think one of the lines the pastor said was something about the more you come to know the Lord, the more you desire Him. Because as God continues to reveal himself, the deeper the revelation, and the more you fall in love with Him. And I’m pretty sure Kyle said, “The more I know You, the more I want to.” And from that point, it was just easy.
Did others, friends/spouse/family/mentors interact with, inspire or encourage you during the creation of this song? In what ways?
My dad is a hero of mine, and he’s also a songwriter. And so everything I write, I usually send to him for feedback, to see what he thinks. He for sure inspired me. And then Kyle inspired me. I’ve learned so much from Kyle as a songwriter and as a musician. Every time I write with Kyle, I learn something new.
Were there any surprises in the writing/arrangement/recording of the song?
When we were recording the song, and Jessie was rehearsing it, she ended the chorus and hit a note that blew me away. It shocked me and I turned around, jaw dropped, like, “How did you do that?”
Were there any challenges personally or musically in the creation of the song?
There were. We have theological review teams here at Gateway, and when the song was going through that process, our theological review team asked us to look at the verses we had sent in (although it was nothing huge). Because the songs we sing do influence our theology, it’s important to remember that, even if something might just be a little off, we never want to mislead people with the songs we sing. So we went back and re-wrote some verses, and honestly the verses are a lot better now as a result. I really appreciate that our songs have to go through those processes.
Why is this song meaningful to you and what about it do you hope will connect with or bring transformation to those who hear/sing it?
This song simply captured one of my quiet times at a moment when I was talking to the Lord and truly desperate for Him. What’s special to me about God using the song and wanting more people to hear it is that this is something that He delights in. When we say that we need him, when we convey that we’re desperate for him, and that we want to know him in a deeper way, I think it’s really special to Him. It is cool to me that God would use an intimate time between him and me for the world.
I remember a time we were singing “I Need You” for the first time at the campus where I serve. It was a night of worship, and I saw this young teenage girl on her knees just singing the chorus over and over as we were singing the song. Those are the greatest joys of writing a song. When you watch somebody else truly experiencing the presence of God. So that was a special moment for me.
Did this song impact your relationship with God or People?
Yes, one hundred percent.
Is there an aspect of the service you think this song is particularly suitable for?
We’re excited about this new release and can’t wait to hear more from Gateway Worship! Click here to download “I Need You” or stream it!
What's Your Reaction?
Over the last 30 years, Worship Leader Magazine has been blessed to have many different contributors on the editorial team - this is their archive.