I wrestled… I mean really wrestled “Thumb war” style about writing this part in the traditional 3rd person.
But come on… you all know it’s me behind the keyboard. After all this is a blog… so…
I lead worship at North Point Community Church and our five locations scattered around the Atlanta, GA area.
However, a few years ago I signed a label/publishing arrangement with North Point Music, so sometimes people get confused and think I’m on staff. I am not on staff.
But I love the local church and my family and I are actively a part of it.
It’s where we lead a small group, take our kids to child care, serve and attend together.
Andy Stanley is my pastor and friend and I don’t just believe in our mission, but I take that mission with me wherever I travel.
Which brings up my next “Who I am” bio point:
I do travel, singing and leading worship for all kinds and sizes of events:
Camps, retreats, conferences, concerts and occassionaly weddings… if you beg.
Writing songs is a daily activity, both on my own and with other writers. It’s an amazing honor to help put voice to the things people are feeling and wanting to express in music. Whether songs for a large gathering like Church, or for the car ride home, needing to remember what is most important in life– I count it a huge privilege.
I’ve released five records of my own, two before signing with NP Music and three since then:
I’ve also been blessed to be a part of writing and singing on numerous compilation records:
Above all this though, the loves of my life are my wife and 2 daughters. I value them far beyond any ministry I have listed above and no success this world could offer matters if I’m not leading and loving them first.
As Andy says and I’m doing my best to follow: “Don’t trade what’s unique to you, for something someone else can do.”
I believe it and in the Darnell home we are choosing to also believe: “The greatest contribution to the Kingdom may not be something I do, but someone I raise”
My mission statement is…. to inspire others to have a greater vision for their lives and what their families CAN be, by living a life of integrity and passion, honest in my successes and failures while telling stories through song and using all platforms to share the life changing message of God’s love!
Capitol Records Christian Publishing & Distribution
Handled by: musicservices.org
New ‘Self-Titled’ Record Bio
When it came time to make his second North Point release, Casey Darnell wanted to expand beyond his worship-focused debut to cover broader subjects and musical styles. The aptly self-titled result shows, “I’m not just a worship artist—what I do is not just for Sunday, or for gatherings,” he explains. Whether in the form of a worship anthem, modern hymn, piano ballad, even pop-country tune, the focus of these songs is to motivate the listener to take the scriptural call to love to heart. “I want to motivate people to put their words into action, that these songs will lead to acts of service and a life that matches the lyrics—that’s what worship really is.”
Darnell explains that the big picture for the project “is the belief that ‘worship songs’ are more than songs we sing together at church, but rather a variety of songs, styles, and emotions that encourage us to love and serve each other ‘as unto the Lord.’”
He and North Point Music’s Matt Williams set out to find a producer to match the ambitious mixing of styles he envisioned, landing on award-winning producer Ian Eskelin, whose resume includes Hawk Nelson, Chris August, Francesca Battistelli, and his own band, All-Star United. What appealed to Darnell was that “He’s someone who really understands the songwriting process—he gets the songs and what they can become if we keep pushing to make them better.” He’s also had success across genres, which made him a natural for such a far-reaching project.
Now known as a worship leader, Darnell’s first career ambition was to play basketball. God, it seems, had other plans. His not-quite-NBA-height-5’9” frame led him in another direction: his love for students led to working with camps, and at one, he got his start singing (“to impress a girl,” he says). Early performances were to accompaniment tapes of Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman.
He later helped his former youth pastor start a church and there met his wife, Anisa, who first exposed him to modern worship music. Now ten years later, between leading worship at North Point’s campuses across Atlanta and traveling the country to sing or lead worship for events, Darnell makes time to work with Lighthouse Family Retreat, a weeklong retreat for families of kids who have cancer. The organization hosts the retreats through the spring, summer, and fall on the Florida coast. “My job is hosting and singing and being a goofball, if necessary, to help these families laugh again, reconnect, and find hope in God,” he says.
His involvement with Lighthouse inspired “I Will Stand By You,” a shuffling, upbeat song of encouragement rooted in Galatians 6’s instruction to carry each others’ burdens: “We were meant to walk this broken world together/In days of pain and in the stormy weather/Knowing this is not how it will be forever/I will stand by you.”
The project’s first single, the radio-made “Over and Over,” written with Jennie Lee Riddle (“Revelation Song”) and Eskelin, again relies on Scripture for its lyrics. What happens “When you follow God and it takes you to a dead end, and you’re left asking “Now what?” Darnell muses. The opening verse finds Moses and the Israelites backed up against an impossible-to-cross Red Sea . . . until God intervenes and does the impossible. The similarly catchy “Strong Enough” offers encouragement in the midst of trial: “In the moment of my greatest fear/You remind me You are near, Jesus . . . You make promises/and You keep them.”
Darnell describes “What Will You Do?” as an emotional piano ballad, written after the school shooting in Connecticut last year. Watching that unfold on TV left him questioning, “What is that dad going to do? What are they going to do? What do we do when we get the worst phone call in the world? Instead of running from it because I don’t understand, I’m going to run to Him,” he says.
The heaviness of “What Will You Do?” finds balance in the Keith Urban-ish pop-country of “When You Smile.” The song recalls with amazement how Casey and his wife ended up together—she’s from Canada; he’s from Georgia. Despite being raised a continent apart, he finds that she’s “like a song I’ve been singing before I even knew you.”
While exploring some new directions, the project also features several church-focused songs he’s known for, notably the modern-day hymn “Let My Soul Sing” and the worship anthem “Marvelous” and “We Believe,” which seem primed for use in congregational worship.
“I don’t want this to be a record that dissolves into the background noise in your life but one that helps you understand how much God loves you,” he says. “I want us to be more aware of our ‘temporariness’ here and to love with all we can. I want to help cast a vision for what family can look like or should be like for people who don’t know. I want to write songs that’ll be played in people’s lives.” With the rich diversity that Casey Darnell encompasses, he’s done exactly that.
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