LISTEN TO THE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
Wayne Hindson caught up with Cody to talk about worship, his musical journey, encouragement to get through hard times and the story behind the global phenomenon ‘The Blessing’.
Cody Carnes is a worship leader & songwriter. Cody ad his wife Kari Jobe live with their 2 sons; Canyon and Kingston in Nashville, Tennessee. Cody has been a song writer for 15 years. A worship leader for about the same. And an artist on Capitol now for about five years. Cody and Kari travel to a lot of places to lead worship together & write songs for the church.
When did you know that you were gifted in music worship?
It’s been a journey. I’m still on the journey. It started, you know, musical family. My dad was a professional musician and I grew up just learning music and studying music from a young age. I started leading worship in my youth group when I was 15, in my church and just fell in love with it, then led all through high school. And then after I graduated high school, I moved about four hours away to the bigger city of Dallas, Texas, and I got involved with a church there called Gateway and just started serving. I really, really grew up and learnt a lot. There started writing songs, really there and met my wife Kari there. And I started travelling with her and her band and really just kind of started that journey and was writing songs that the church is recording and then writing songs that Kari was recording and things like that. Then Kari and I got married and right about the same time made my first record on Capital. I’ve been involved in church my whole life and every kind of part of my journey is just serving the church. And Kari and I are still serving the local church here in Nashville. We have a church home here called the Belonging, fellow Australians through that, Andrea and Alex Sealy. It’s just consistently serving in church and just seeing what doors God would open up.
Can you tell us about the journey of writing the song ‘What Freedom Feels Like’?
I love writing songs like that that are just full of joy, you know, that have that feeling of celebration, of joy, it’s up tempo. It’s just full. You could dance to it. You know, it has this lightness about it. I believe that’s such an important part of the Christian walk. The walk with Jesus is like we have this hope, you know, we have this joy. We have this freedom. If you wrap everybody’s
testimony up into one story, it was “I was dead, now I’m alive”, “I was bound. Now I’m free”. So that song really just came out of that, just recognising my own story of I was bound and free, I was dead. Now I’m alive, you know? And knowing that that’s everybody story has met Jesus and given their lives to Jesus, that’s our story, you know. And so I wanted just to write a song that really I felt encapsulated that joy, that celebration. Then when you when you realise that you’re set free, when Jesus gives you a free gift of salvation, of his love, of his grace. You know, man, there’s such a celebration that happens. It’s like you’ve been rescued. You know, you can say there’s hope. And so that’s really what that song kind of encapsulates. I tried to encapsulate that joy & freedom.up into one story, it was “I was dead, now I’m alive”, “I was bound. Now I’m free”. So that song really just came out of that, just recognising my own story of I was bound and free, I was dead. Now I’m alive, you know? And knowing that that’s everybody story has met Jesus and given their lives to Jesus, that’s our story, you know. And so I wanted just to write a song that really I felt encapsulated that joy, that celebration. Then when you when you realise that you’re set free, when Jesus gives you a free gift of salvation, of his love, of his grace. You know, man, there’s such a celebration that happens. It’s like you’ve been rescued. You know, you can say there’s hope. And so that’s really what that song kind of encapsulates. I tried to encapsulate that joy & freedom.
A little bit of crazy, I think is healthy actually. A little bit of chaos keeps you on your toes and you have to constantly stay connected to the Holy Spirit, what He’s saying and His grace and His strength, you know, but we love it. We love it so much. Our boys are amazing. And we love life with them.
How do you juggle family life & life on the road?
I mean, it’s a miracle that I even got time to step away to do this interview, without someone coming in and yelling “Dad!”. It’s wild, man. We have to have a community help us, that’s for sure. We got to have help on the days that we need it. You know, Kari and I are both working and we’re all often working together and having to go places and do things and be in Zoom meetings now and all that. So it’s wild, but, you know, we love it. A little bit of crazy, I think is healthy actually. A little bit of chaos keeps you on your toes and you have to constantly stay connected to the Holy Spirit, what He’s saying and His grace and His strength, you know, but we love it. We love it so much. Our boys are amazing. And we love life with them. And we’re honoured that we get to be their parents. And love that they get to go everywhere with us. Thankfully, Kari and I working together kind of in the same job we get to take our kids in and they go on the bus with us and we travel on the road and they fly with us all the time. It’s wild and crazy, but we love it.
‘Run to the Father’ was written in 2019, but it seems to relate to our current time of uncertainty & fearfulness. Does it resonate with you, the impact the song is having?
It definitely does, yeah. You know, that song I feel like even the title of this is kind of like a public service announcement to everyone. I feel like it’s kind of my answer to any of these issues that we’re having right now. It’s like run to the father, you know. I think that anytime that we have to go through certain trials and certain things, it’s like guys saying,
“come to me. You can come to me. I’m not distant. I’m very close. I care about every detail of your life. I care about every situation. You can bring your fear. You can bring your anger. You can bring your anxiety to me”.
I’ve experienced that so much in my own life. God is it is a good father. He’s so good. And He’s not some distant religious figure. He’s not some mean dictator in heaven, just telling us all the things we’re doing wrong, that’s not what God is. There’s so many people that have that conception. It’s just not true. God gave up his son for us to have us, to have relationships with us.
I love the line in that song says “My Heart found a surgeon. My soul found a friend. So I’ll run to the father again and again and again and again”. And you know, God is close like that. He’s close as the surgeon, He’s in the details and he’s the best healer. He knows how to fix everything. And He’s a friend. You know, we can just unload all of our worries and our cares at him like a good friend. And He comforts and He heals. I hope that that song is an encouragement to people that find it and the people that listen to it. And I hope that they see God’s love even clearer than they already know it in this time.
It seems that every year there’s one or two songs that really resonate with the church around the globe. Why do you think it is that there’s one or two songs that kind of rise to the top?
That is such a good question that I don’t have an answer for. I mean, as a songwriter, you cannot predict any of the way song will resonate ever. It always catches you by surprise. Sometimes you really believe in a song. And you can foresee the worldwide connection of it and just the depth of it. And, you really believe in it. And then you release it and it connects to people in a great way, but maybe doesn’t meet your expectations. And that’s a dangerous thing as a songwriter get into, because then that would negate the people that actually did connect to. That meant, that even if one person, really helped them, if it really led them to Jesus, if it really saved their life. I mean, that’s worth it, for that song. You try not to get into that.
You just never know, like with The Blessing. We didn’t know this is going to happen. Like, we wrote this before the massive pandemic happened. So we didn’t even know we were about to come into this whole season of the pandemic and the fear. You know, you look at that and go, okay, I think that must just be God’s timing, and for whatever reason, he used that writing session that day with us in that song. I don’t I don’t know why. We didn’t do anything to coerce that to happen or not. Other than just we’re always trying to be faithful to write what we feel God puts in our spirit. And that’s what we were doing that day. But we did it. We did it every time we write. And you just you just never know. But it is fun. It is fun to watch somebody connect. I guess, you know, if I was looking for a reason for that song right now, it’s just that it speaks the promises of God that we can cling to that aren’t shaken in a time where everything else is shaken and everything else is fearful. Everything else is it’s dooms day and it’s hopeless. And God gives us the hope in scripture. He gives us the promises. It gives us His promises that He’s with us and that He’s for us in every season. I think that’s probably why that song is resonating and it’s straight scripture. I think there’s something powerful about it being just straight out of scripture, God’s words.
It gives us His promises that He’s with us and that He’s for us in every season. I think that’s probably why that song is resonating and it’s straight scripture. I think there’s something powerful about it being just straight out of scripture, God’s words.
There’s been countries now that have just come together, worship leaders from all over a country, and they’ve put together, the Australian version, the Canada version, the UK version, the Zimbabwe version. That’s been powerful to watch people declaring this over their countries and churches coming together in unity. And so we’re just blown away by it and we’re thankful for whatever reason. I don’t know why we got to be a part of it, but we’re thankful that that we did. And we’re trying to steward it as best as we can.
We pray an abundance of blessings upon yourself, upon your wife, Kari, of your family and for whatever is next in terms of a new season which is coming for the church