Curt Anderson never planned to be an internationally known recording artist. He didn’t expect to play his songs on six continents, touching down in over fifty countries, to spend so much time crisscrossing the globe becoming one of the most-traveled musicians in the world.
But the small-town boy from Michigan has arrived at a unique place in Christian music, serving as one of the genre’s ambassadors to many who have never listened to Christian radio or have had the opportunity to attend a concert. Anderson calls the journey which began more than a decade ago “a slow progression,” now taking him from Australia to Hong Kong, from Thailand to Qatar, and countless communities in between.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the reception,” Anderson reflects. “Growing up in a family of travelers, international touring has been a part of the fabric of my life for as long as I can remember. From my first trip there in 2008, God used relationships in Australia to sustain me in those early years of touring, offering a launch pad for my growth as a musician and even having an impact on my ministry in the U.S. When my first single released to radio in 2015, I received messages from stations all over the world telling me they were playing my song and how well their listeners were responding to it. So, I made it my goal to visit as many of those radio stations as I could—I wanted to build relationships and show the staffs and listeners that I value and appreciate them.”
Building A Musical Tool Chest
Although relationships around the world have fueled his growing ministry, his songs and their messages are the tools of his mission. Since his first recording in 2002—a self-made CD he recorded with equipment borrowed from the music department at his high school— Anderson has released two full length albums and two EPs. His 2016 project, Every Moment, featured the hit singles “Keep It Beating” and the title cut, both reaching Top 5 on Christian radio charts in multiple countries. He has also contributed to recordings by such artists as kj-52, Tricia Brock (formerly of Superchick), and Satellites & Sirens.
Anderson’s recording career enters a new chapter with the 2018 release of Every Moment Vol. II. The project offers remixes of three singles, as well as four new tracks. And giving listeners a unique behind-the-scenes- style bonus, Every Moment Vol. II also showcases demos of seven cuts and five worktapes.
This latest release is highlighted by his current two singles: a remix of “Love Like You Love,” co-written by Anderson and award-winning writer/producer Pete Kipley (Mercy Me, Matthew West), and both a Hot AC and piano-based version of “Keep Me Falling,” written by Anderson, Daniel Doss and David Thulin. The latter song quickly became a Top 5 hit in Australia upon its release.
Both singles are clearly personal—and definitely aspirational. The inspiration for “Love Like You Love,” and its accompanying video filmed in Sydney, Australia, came via an embarrassing moment experienced by Anderson while shopping with his wife Brittney. Frustrated by his inattentiveness, she asked: “Are you going to participate in this day with me or just have your face in the phone?” Anderson embraced the “teachable moment” and purposed to be intentional about focusing on others. “I don’t want to be someone living with blinders on,” he says. “I want to be someone who looks around and says: How can I show people I love them? More importantly, how can I show that person the love of Christ?”
“Keep Me Falling,” meanwhile, encompasses growing up in a small town but dreaming big—and wanting those dreams to be in line with God’s plan (So keep me falling/falling even more in love with all your words)—and then seeing those dreams all over again through the eyes of his young sons.
Although his journey as a singer/songwriter has taken him to unexpected places, Anderson’s compass has always been determined by his desire to follow Christ. Growing up in a Christian home, Anderson’s faith grew in high school, nudged along by a youth pastor who encouraged him to play in the youth group’s worship band and, over lunches, asked challenging questions.
“I called myself a Christian for a long time – but what mattered is the point where it became my decision,” Anderson explains. “You can call yourself a believer in Christ, but it’s substantiated by how that belief changes you. I remember asking myself, ‘I believe Christ has saved me from my sins. How does that change me? How does that change how I interact with people?’ … It changed me.”
From that point, he began to try to emulate the saying often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” Or in Anderson’s case, songs. He had loved music since childhood, but his interest in Christian pop really took off after joining his youth group on a trip to a Newsboys concert; he was enthralled by their sound – and more importantly, the message.
An all-state soccer player in high school, Anderson drew interest from college soccer programs (he still takes his cleats on most trips, always ready for an impromptu pick-up game), but chose to attend Anderson University to study music business. While in college, he recorded a five-song EP and a full length album,Hearts & Stars, both under the band name No Greater Sky. He soon began using his own name so people would make the connection between his career as a songwriter and as an artist. He developed an active following on campus and was soon leading worship and sharing his songs at churches, camps and other gatherings around the Midwest.
Anderson made his first trip to Australia in 2008— kicking off what would eventually become a thriving ministry reaching to the far corners of the globe—and a year later he and his wife made the move to Music City. Now balancing an international career with life as a husband and father to sons Liam and Nolan, Anderson strives to be present and in-touch, even when he’s on another continent.
FaceTime keeps the Anderson family fully connected while dad’s away, including story time before bed and other important routines. “Everything we can be involved in, we do,” he says, even when they’re thousands of miles apart. Sometimes his kids “attend” his concerts, calling in while he is at the piano. He answers and keeps playing. “They can watch the show while they’re having breakfast or dinner, depending on where I am in the world,” he says with a smile.
Ministry Without Borders
In traveling the world, Curt Anderson may have found his musical home. “Music is not limited by borders,” he concludes, “and in the calling God has put on my life to model and share His love, how can I put geographic limits on that? To have audiences singing, jumping and clapping along during concerts and worship gatherings in countries from Japan to Kenya—to watch these songs impact and connect with people is an amazing experience I get to praise God for every time. I’m always getting to do something unique. I love it.”
by George Schroeder