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Interview with Cassie Campbell, electric bass
I'm continuing a long-running series all the way back from 2008 on prophetic music where I interview musicians, singers, and worship leaders from IHOP. If you have not read the other interviews, be sure to read the ones from Justin Rizzo, Jordan Vanderplate, Francisco Arteaga part 1, part 2, and Gabriel Hancock part 1, part 2. I love running with these guys (and gals) because they share the same vision as me for the spirit of prophecy on their music. This time, I interviewed Cassie Campbell, a bass player in the house of prayer who has played a lot with Misty Edwards and many other worship teams here. I hope her words and thoughts encourage and provoke you!
Josh: Hey Cassie, I'm so glad we've been able to finally connect and do this interview! Before we jump in to your thoughts on prophetic music, give the readers a little bit of your background. Where did you grow up and how did you get to IHOP-KC?
Cassie: I was born in California, and moved to Florida when I was about 4. I was saved as a young girl in my parents' bedroom, and then really started understanding it more around 13 when I attended a really strong youth church that loved the Word, worship, fasting, and prayer. After high school, I attended Florida State University and pursued a Music Education major, with my principal instrument being the double bass (also known as the upright bass, string bass, stand-up bass, bass violin, big fiddle, large cello, etc... I've heard it all ;)
I visited IHOP the summer after my freshman of college when it was still in the, affectionately termed, "trailer days". I arrived in Kansas City, MO, hopped off the plane at 10:30p, and was playing bass with Monty Poe at the midnight set. After that I fell in love, and played probably all the different time slots throughout the week. My favorite was always the Nightwatch. There was such a sweetness of worshiping in the middle of the night and saying "You're worth the sacrifice". In those days Misty Edwards would do the 2am, and it was her holding her foot on the sustain pedal on the keyboard, droning the pad on a minor or major chord, accompanied by a djembe, acoustic guitar, and vocals with LOTS of reverb. They were just worshipping Jesus through singing His Word. I loved it. I had never seen a group of people so authentic, so humble, so kind, so in love with Jesus, and so passionate about His Word. I debated on moving to KC right then after that summer, but felt like I was supposed to finish school first. So I did. I would visit every summer and winter throughout the years to keep with the heart, values, and friendships I cultivated, and am so grateful I did. Once I graduated Dec '04; I moved right away to Kansas City, Missouri in Jan '05 and hopped straight on the Nightwatch (IHOP-KC's midnight to 6am shifts). I've been doing it ever since. :)
In the Nightwatch, I joined on Sarah Edwards' team as her associate worship leader, bassist, or drummer, and then later also joined on Misty Edwards team as her bass player and played with her for 4 years, while still leading in the nights. I am currently now on Laura Hackett's team, in the evening section at IHOP-KC. I've also played for Justin Rizzo, Alisha Powell, Jill Marsh, Matt Gilman, and subbed for many others.
Josh: That's awesome! I remember seeing you playing drums for the first time back in 2005. I have to admit, I was definitely blown away by your skill, because it's not often you see a girl on the drums or the bass! So how did you start playing music?
Cassie: I started music in 4th grade on a REALLY cheap public school violin, which was basically two pieces of hard cardboard, with strings on it. It was bad...played that until 6th grade, and then when my strings class needed an upright bass player, I figured 'why not'? From there I just kept learning instruments. I stuck with the upright bass in orchestra, and then did trumpet in band the summer after 6th grade, and stuck with them both through high school. Through junior high I also started learning different instruments on the side like: electric bass, acoustic guitar, as well as drums, piano, and attempting to sing in the privacy of my room!
The funniest story is when I was about 13yrs old I started attending a youth church, and they had a youth worship team which IHOP-KC's own Stuart Greaves led worship (little unknown fact!!). We went to the same church before he moved to KC. Anyway, word had gotten out that I played the bass, and so they had asked me to bring my "bass" and they'd try me out. Well all I had known up to that point was my huge upright bass, didn't really know much about the electric bass at all. So the next Sunday, I walked in for band practice with my huge upright bass, totally serious and with a straight face, and was like "ok, where do I set up?" Trying to keep a straight face, they just had me stand behind Stuart who was leading from acoustic guitar. I was totally unplugged, couldn't hear me at all, and just played along. So after that Stuart showed me how the electric bass was similar to the upright bass, and I just went from there playing in our youth band. I also played on Saturday nights with IHOP-KC's beloved Jim Maher, who is so anointed! With Jim it was like Willie Nelson with a total youth rock band behind him. It was SO funny!
Josh: Wow, I didn't know Stuart was a worship leader! Definitely a little unknown fact. So you play on Laura Hackett's team now in the house of prayer. What are some of the practical ways that you connect with the Lord a you're playing on stage and when you're off?
Cassie: There are a couple things that help connect my heart when I'm on stage. Often times it starts even before I go to my set. I find it really helps to take even 5 minutes before I go in to play, and quiet myself in prayer focusing on that specific set. To ask the Lord what's on His heart for whatever we're doing, either Intercession, Worship with the Word, Prophetic Worship, or a Devotional, when I hear Him, it helps me partner with Him during the set. That's one thing.
And then the other is to actually sing along when I'm on the stage. I try to sing with the worship songs, spontaneous singing, and the spontaneous choruses that are developed. Simply doing that connects my heart so much more deeply with Who I'm playing for, what I'm playing, and how to support what's happening musically more effectively. It keeps me connected with the theme and content of what I'm playing under.
When I'm not on stage, and just in my room playing, I do lots of things. Often just sing some of my favorite worship songs playing either bass or acoustic. Maybe I'll sing in the Spirit or in my understanding (1 Cor 14:15) and play the notes I'm singing on my instrument. Sometimes I just play and know He takes delight in it. Kind of just picturing the Father enjoying His kid doing what she loves to do. You know when a kid does something they think is really "cool" the FIRST person they want to show that to is DAD or MOM! "Look what I did!" or "Look what I can do!" That reality of playing before the Father on and off stage is a wonderful one to settle into, because it turns into all that matters. I'm personally continuing to reach for that at all times, haven't arrived yet, but am going for it! So if I land something that's good, or totally play a wrong note, if it's before the Father, He sees and enjoys the good thing, and doesn't care about the wrong note, so then I shouldn't either.
Josh: Amen! To truly learn how to play before an audience of One requires experience in actually doing it. And I believe it's only from that place of playing before Him that He releases an abundance of the spirit of prophecy on our music. What do you think the most important thing a musician who loves Jesus could do to cultivate a spirit of prophecy on their music?
Cassie: Well first of all, realizing that the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (Rev 19:10), I must first know Jesus to then testify of Him. My music should reflect His attributes and nature, it should point to Jesus. So before I can play these truths with my instrument, I need to find out who Jesus is and know it in my heart. How do I find out who He is? The simple "101's" - spending time in His Word, in prayer, add a little fasting, and worship in secret. Developing a sweet history in discovering who He is, to then sing or play these realities of His forgiveness, mercy, justice, kindness, humility, and love, is so important. Obviously this is a journey, and the Lord is so kind to meet us where we are at, and takes even the smallest understanding and leads us. He's not expecting us to first be scholars to then be able to use us. He's a "glory to glory" (Ps. 85) type of God. Holy Spirit loves to use us to exalt Jesus whenever we are willing to.
Then secondly, the way to having a prophetic spirit on your music is to simply ask for it. 1 Cor. 14:1 says "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy." I see this as while I get to know Jesus, I then ask Him for His Spirit of prophesy and He'll give me words, melodies, rhythms, creative ideas, a way to create a new sound, or sometimes I may get one part of an idea and someone else gets another and adds to it and together it changes the atmosphere in the room where Holy Spirit can move on His people. I personally think that the Lord SO LOVES when music happens collaboratively because it reflects unity, and how His kingdom operates. And where there's unity, there He commands His blessing. (Ps. 133)
Josh: Thanks Cassie! That's so encouraging! We look forward to more of your thoughts soon!
Look for Part 2 of Cassie's interview in a few days!