The story behind 'Jesus is the Key' by planetboom
A conversation with Andy Harrison and Josh Ham
Published on 7 May 2020
Andy What’s up everybody! Josh and I would like to share with you the story about how we came to write the song called ‘JESUS IS THE KEY’.
Andy When this crazy pandemic situation had just started, before social restrictions were put in place, our church at Planetshakers was having a prayer meeting—which we do often. Pastor Russell got us to sing an old Planetshakers song that repeats the name of Jesus over and over again. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of singing the same familiar words over and over, and then suddenly, you start to really think about those words that you’re singing? It just dawned on me in the moment, “My goodness, its all about Jesus. Just Jesus. It’s not about finding another spiritual key to the problem—He IS the key that opens every door. He IS the answer to every single need. He IS the crucial thing!”
In that moment, I got a little annoyed in my heart that anything else could possibly be lifted up in 2020! The fact that people might look back at the year and reflect that it was all about this or that, when it was really ALL about Jesus! Every year is about Him! All of history is about Him. The future is about Jesus. He is the centrepiece of it all and the key to unlocking every circumstance that fights for our attention!
So that moment was the inspiration for me. The theme of Jesus being the ‘key’ kept going around and around in my mind and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It wasn’t long until the words began to form lyrics and became the song that it is today. That was really where the inspiration came for me.
Josh While Ps Andy was having that revelation, I was experiencing my own! The reality is that planetboom music is so exciting! It’s powerful, cutting edge, raw and real. I just felt that it was time to write and produce a song that was so palatable to everyone that they could enjoy and receive from it in their own homes during this time of isolation.
The idea involved using one acoustic guitar and a single voice throughout the whole song. We didn’t feel it needed all the ‘bells and whistles’ of amazing production on the big stage and all the rest that usually comes with writing and producing a Planetshakers song. This one was to be different— raw, intimate, emotional and spiritual—with amazing, powerful words.
Andy Totally! This was looking like being a long season where people would not have access to crowds of others singing beside them, or stadiums or even studios. For a long time, it would be just them in a room with Jesus, and we wanted the song to reflect that simple reality. We started talking to Ps Russell about writing and releasing music that would speak to people all over the world, exactly where they were at as they faced huge challenges. We wanted to help open people’s hearts and minds to what Jesus wanted to do in the middle of the situation. That’s why we stripped back the song so that the message would be the focus without any distractions –especially for young people. We hoped and believed that they would focus in on Him and have the same revelation that HE is the key to everything they were facing, and find comfort, peace and hope in that reality.
Josh Absolutely! That was the inspiration behind the video we did as well. We wanted it to be so palatable, relatable and real that it could have been any young person making it! So, obeying social distancing rules, we followed Noah around, filming the entire video with just our phones as he sang the lyrics as if he was having a personal, intimate moment with Jesus. We didn’t want it to be a big-budget, amazing thing—just simple worship. Just like we would do in our own lives when we put on our headphones and spend time with God. I guess we just wanted to document that kind of authentic worship moment.
Andy Totally. It’s real life. I suppose the main message of the song and the message that we really want to project right now is that no matter what you’re going through, make it all about Jesus. He IS the key! He’s everything you need. We all know people who have a lot of need in their lives right now. People are going through a lot of challenging circumstances, but the reality is that Jesus is the key to everything they’re facing!
Our heart is that the focus and lasting memory of this year, 2020, would be Jesus! We want to make Him the centre of everything and place all of our attention on Him.
This planetboom song is an invitation to everyone around the world to join us and place your attention on Jesus and off all of the other stuff that’s bombarding our world and our lives.
HE IS THE KEY!