Artist Interview: “Something to Believe in” by Jacob Cullum

Q: I love the beautiful, simple instrumental along with your peaceful voice in “Something to Believe in”; walk me through your production process in making this track!

Jacob: Thank you! I began writing the tune on my acoustic. And when I went to track it – I had been playing electric a lot the previous week and messing with cool tones – I found something I was into and went with it. After I laid a scratch vocal over the guitar, I was stoked on the sound so I started producing around it. I don’t typically release songs with quite this commercial vibe – but when I started digging in and tracking bass & drums I knew exactly where I wanted to take it. The synth plucks you hear in the hook is the only additional element – There’s not a whole lot going on sonically.  

Q: I read that you’re a worship leader; how has this affected the way you write and perform your music? 

Jacob: Spirituality and faith have always been important. I’m a worship leader because I want to help connect people to the divine through music. I would be lying if I said I can keep that intention and my own songwriting separate. Of course, I have a lot more freedom when it comes to my own music – sometimes I want to work through my own junk or say something different – but I will still revel in the mystery and be authentic in my approach. I create music because it restores my soul – but when someone can relate to something I play or sing or say – that’s when the magic happens, that’s when the connection happens. This will always be a reason I lead worship and write songs. 


Q: Your lyrics are amazing! What was the inspiration behind “Something to Believe in”?

Jacob: Our daughter experienced sudden hearing loss when she was five months old—It was one of the most uncertain and scary things we ever went through. For over a month and a half, we were at multiple doctors’ visits trying to decipher what was going on. Not getting any solid information for what seemed like way too long. Eventually, her hearing improved and returned to normal, thank God! I started writing this song the first few days of finding out she might not be able to hear us at all. Of course, we were devastated and searching for all the possibilities and answers. It was a whirlwind of a time. After a couple verses were written, I wanted to make sure the out-of-control lyrics were paired & contrasted with a happy, pop hook – probably because I needed something to bop to and distract me.


Q: When did you decide to follow your journey as a musician? Did you have a musical family growing up?

Jacob: Music has always been a big part of my life! After high school I studied musical theatre and began working as a professional actor. I did that for many years before I found my way (back) into music ministry about six years ago. I guess music has always been a part of what I do. But I began taking songwriting and production seriously a couple years ago, along with starting a family—I had fresh inspiration and new things to say and explore. 


Q: The little guitar solo on “Something to Believe in” caught me off guard in a good way; what was your favorite part in creating this track?

Jacob: That solo was so fun to write and record— either that or tracking bass guitar. I don’t have bass guitar on a lot of my stuff and it’s just so fun to play, so I was excited to slap the bass on this one. The groove is tight – and if you listen for it, I do a few cool things.


Q: What are you hoping listeners take from hearing “Something to Believe in”?

Jacob: That it’s okay to not know. And it’s okay to be overwhelmed. For everything, there is a season.


Q: Any parting words to your fans?

Jacob: Thanks for listening<3


Q: What’s next for you? Any projects in the works?

Jacob: ‘Something to Believe in’ is the first single & ‘Summertime Lullaby’ (dropping May 12) is the second single off my debut album—available everywhere June 9. I’m doing a big release party at Homer’s Coffee House in June. New music and new shows this summer – There’s a lot to look forward to!

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano

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