Benjamin William Hastings has had a hand in writing some of Christian music’s top worship songs, yet he says he rarely knows when one will become popular.
The 2017 song So Will I (100 Billion X) is a good example. Written by Hastings, Joel Houston and Michael Fatkin, the Hillsong tune has been streamed more than 200 million times on YouTube and won a 2018 GMA Dove Award.
“With that, I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be like an album track, and maybe songwriters will like the song.’ But I never foresaw the response to that,” Hastings told Christian Headlines, laughing. “It’s been incredible.”
Hastings has written or co-written other popular songs, including Know You Will, Cory Asbury’s The Father’s House and Brandon Lake’s Gratitude. Yet he remains amazed by the viral status of So Will I. The lyrics spotlight God’s majesty. (“As You speak, a hundred billion galaxies are born; in the vapour of Your breath, the planets form; if the stars were made to worship, so will I.”)
“The song really fell together,” Hastings told Christian Headlines. “It really felt like God was in it the whole time. With a lot of songs, the more you write, the worse they get. This one, the more we wrote, it kind of just kept making more sense. And I think maybe people find themselves somewhere in the story of it. It talks about His bigness and His greatness, and then it kind of brings it all the way back on to what that means for us at the end.”
A worship leader and member of Hillsong UNITED, Hastings has released two solo albums within the last year: the self-titled Benjamin William Hastings and this year’s Songs You Maybe Didn’t Know I Wrote and Some You Maybe Did, which includes new studio versions of his best-known tunes.
Hastings said he “loves” to write.
“I could do it all day, every day,” he said. “And I feel really blessed now to get to write with the people I get to write with.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.