January 27, 2023 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University has launched a new music label, Seven Hills Entertainment, and has released a single from the label’s first artist, Seven Hills Worship, an assembly of students and alumni from different music groups and schools across the university who are carrying on the worship tradition that has always been fundamental to Liberty.
Working directly with top professionals in the Christian music industry, Seven Hills Worship has a main purpose to spread the hope of the Gospel around the world through powerful music that lifts up our Savior Jesus Christ and unites churches and communities in His Name.
The first single, “Christ in Me,” is now available on all streaming platforms. The song, written by Ed Cash, Jeff Johnson, Brett Younker, and Melodie Malone, and recorded and produced from Liberty’s campus nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, captures the new life that Christians have as they live in the freedom that is found in surrendering to the Savior.
Seven Hills Worship plans to release five more tracks from the live worship recording, including three written by Liberty students, every four to six weeks until the release of a full EP scheduled this summer.
“Christ in Me” was a collaboration with two-time Grammy Award-winning producer Kyle Lee, best known for his work with CeCe Winans, Michael W. Smith, Gateway Worship, Mack Brock, Micah Tyler, and TobyMac. Lee has produced numerous live worship albums, including Smith’s “Surrounded,” Sinach’s “Waymaker,” and Winans’ “Believe for it.”
“I don’t think the world needs (just) another worship album or more songs,” Lee said during a recent visit to Liberty. “I think what the world needs is more honest expression from a vulnerable, honest place. The best places to get those moments are definitely with students.”
Lee worked on the album alongside Greg Ham, owner of one:eight entertainment and former president of Forefront Records; Jonathan Sell, music industry executive; Al Denson, a former Christian recording artist and music industry executive who serves as Liberty’s commercial music industry liaison; and Liberty’s Director of Product Development and Communications John Forystek.
Ham has worked with talents such as ColdPlay, Janet Jackson, KT Tunstall, Smith, Winans, and many more. Sell, who is known for his work with Lauren Daigle, Jordan Feliz, Danny Gokey, Mandisa, Passion, Rend Collective, and many others, worked closely with Lee and spearheaded A&R, scouting talent and overseeing the artistic development of the album. He was formerly director of A&R at Capitol Records and Centricity Music.
For 50 years, Liberty has been known as a university built on a firm Christian foundation where praise and worship is paramount and where students and alumni have regularly shared their God-given musical talents to impact the world as Champions for Christ. Seven Hills Worship and the new label exist to advance that mission. Liberty alumni who have led the way include TobyMac, Michael Tait, and Meredith Andrews.
Seven Hills Worship is giving students a chance to be a part of a unique, dynamic experience with wide-ranging impact.
“Seven Hills will build upon a long legacy of praise and worship out of Liberty, impacting the world for Christ like no other school has,” said Liberty Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Scott Hicks. “Our students are not only gaining valuable, hands-on experience in creating and producing music before they graduate, but they’re also learning, more importantly, how God can use them in a big way to bring others to Him, our ultimate calling.”
The Seven Hills name was derived from two cities known for their seven landmark hills — Lynchburg, which has long been called “The Hill City,” and Rome, which carries significance in the history of the church. Lynchburg will be the city where the label’s Gospel-centered music is recorded before it evangelizes to the world just as the Apostle Paul evangelized to the Roman empire and neighboring regions.