Interview with David Whitworth, drummer
Interview with David Whitworth, drummer
It's been several years since I've interviewed some of the other musicians here at IHOP-KC. In the past I've had the privilege of hearing from Jordan Vanderplate, electric guitarist, Cassie Campbell, bassist, Francisco "Paco" Arteaga, drummer, and Gabriel Hancock, also a drummer. Today's interview is with David Whitworth, the drummer for Cory Asbury's worship team at IHOP-KC. I hope David's answers encourage and provoke you musicians and singers!
Josh: Hey David, I really appreciate you sharing with us! Before I jump into some questions, give us a little bit of your story.
David: Hey Josh! Well, a little about myself… I grew up in the small farming town of Bastrop, Texas. It's about 20 minutes from Austin. I was raised in a Christian home. I lived on a farm with goats, cows, dogs, chickens… the whole deal. Drumming for me started at a fairly young age. When I was a little 6 year old I would run around banging on tables, counters, pots, pans, basically anything and everything. My mom got me a small drum kit so I would stop taking the kitchenware. I never took drum lessons growing up, I just started and figured stuff out. I found myself in my room practicing for 4-5 hours a day. I would figure out the drum parts for all the Hillsong United albums. I was so drawn to worship music early in life because I would always encounter the presence of the Lord listening and practicing to those albums. At that point in my life all I wanted to do was play in Hillsong United or be in the NBA! I started playing full time with my church at the age of 12. After high school I went to the University of Texas at San Antonio for two years studying music technology. At the Christmas break in 2006 my friend invited me to a Onething Conference in Kansas City. I had a life changing encounter with God and have been on full-time staff at IHOP for almost 5 years now.
Josh: That's awesome! I remember when you came to IHOP. You spent a little bit of time at FMA (IHOP-KC's music academy) before jumping on full-time staff and playing for worship teams in the prayer room. Now only a few years later, you've traveled the world and played in front of tens of thousands of people at a time. In light of that, what are some of the practical ways you connect with the Lord as you’re playing drums on stage and when you’re off stage?
David: One of the biggest ways for me to connect with Jesus is actually singing while I play. I love singing the songs or the spontaneous choruses we make up in the prayer room. Also, singing in the Spirit while playing helps. It connects my heart so much more than if I was just to sit there and go on "coast mode". When I'm off the stage, it's reading and meditating on the Word. I also love putting on a worship CD and singing my little heart out in the car. Definitely one of my favorites!
Josh: It's true. I will also attest that it is so easy to be in "coast mode" in a two-hour worship set at IHOP. The more you connect with the Person you're singing about, the more He is going to touch others through you. And when He does that, some people would call it "prophetic". Let's talk about that subject for a little bit. What would you consider to be the most important thing that a musician who loves Jesus should do to cultivate the spirit of prophecy on their music?
David: Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 19:10), so we must first know Him. If we understand who we are singing about and what Jesus is feeling toward us and others, we can "transfer" that to our instrument. For me personally I have also found that the more I understand the emotions of Jesus and who He is, the more boldness I have when I play.
Josh: Definitely. So how can a musician, singer, or worship leader get better at this?
David: Some of the most anointed people I have met or heard have had two things: a secret life in God and humility. So it's simple. Practice. You must know who Jesus is, and then sing or play his emotions from the Scripture. Read your Bible and practice. Gather a couple people together with a guitar and a djembe and sing about Jesus. Then talk to Him! And sing about how He feels towards your friends.
Josh: Great advice! Thanks David!
Look for Part 2 of David's interview next week.