Little Egypt Worship, is a worship ministry based in Illinois, created by music industry veteran Jermaine Bollinger. As they release their new single 'Revival', Louder Than The Music caught up with Jermaine to get his take on making music through personal struggles.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and the group, and how you got involved in making music?
I’m a homebody, love spending time with my kids. I enjoy watching basketball, I’m a big Steph Curry fan. I’m also a huge fan of Marvel movies. I’m a big 80s music fan. I actually front a Top 40 group that does 80s covers at venues around the area. We are Second-Hand CarTunes. You can find more info on that group at secondhandcartunes.com. Little Egypt Worship was formed after I concluded my previous ministry, and through some major changes in life, realized my ministry wasn’t done, it just needed to be reborn. My entire family has always been into music. It’s a vital part of my life. My grandpa was a Stax recording artist. I started picking up instruments at an early age. I was an introvert, not really into sports back then, but felt something with music. I had an attachment. The rest is history.
Tell us about your new single 'Revival' and what the inspiration behind it was?
People see your face every day but may never know your struggles. The last 6 months for me have been rough. Stepping down from a ministry I loved. Finding nodes on my vocal cords. Disassociating with people I had known for nearly half my life because of life changing disagreements. Not to mention all of the personal tragedies; deaths in the family, displacement, abandonment, my bout with depression, changing medications, and realizing the alienation that comes with trying to make the right choices. I had no job, no friends, no support system. Of course, all of this was happening facing a worldwide pandemic. In the midst of all of these struggles, I realized that the only way I could see myself through was revival. Relying and trusting we’re my only options for sanity and for strength. I was at the end of my rope, so I do what I often do to get through the hurt. I wrote about it. That pain, that struggle, that darkness, that feeling of loneliness and despair, became this beautiful song. What a blessing.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
Only in God’s timing. If it’s His will. I'm at His mercy, so I don’t have a thing planned for tomorrow. I can only hope.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
It’s okay to show your hurt. We don’t have to wear a mask and act like everything is okay. We don’t have to pretend. We can be real. It’s time we were. I think if more nonbelievers realized that we need Christ as our anchor and hope, they would see that we are all the same here. We are all looking for more. Grasping for purpose. Searching for peace. Longing for hope. Yearning to belong. Needing to be loved and cared for. That’s our true desire. The main message I would like to convey is to try and take the time to care for one another. You never know what someone may be going through.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I’ve really tried to take a different approach with this new ministry. I’m hoping to have more of a sense of modern worship as a genre. In the past, my previous ministry’s genre was described as Christian Power Pop, but the goal is to leave that as we move forward to a more modern worship feel. For this group, my influences are definitely Elevation, Passion, Bethel, Maverick City Music, etc. All of the modern worship bands in churches across the United States.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Chris August. He seems very relatable to my style, and I’ve really enjoyed his music over the years. I feel like he and I would work very well together.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I’m not sure how to answer this one, mainly because I’m terrible when it comes to being a barometer for success, and the confidence and strength it takes to get there. I have accolades, things I can hang my hat on, but I always believe the job is never finished. While I have breath, there’s always more work to be done.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Cory Wong & Metropole Orkest: Live in Amsterdam
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
That’s a tough one. I’m going to have to give you 5:
Tiny Indoor Fireworks - Biffy Clyro
Restless Nights - Magic Dance
Follow the Light - Cory Wong & Dirty Loops
I Don’t Want To Be - Second-Hand CarTunes
Ask the Lonely (Live in Vegas) - Journey (2001 DVD)
What does the next year hold for you?
Hopefully provision from God. Blessings in following his will. My efforts to help build his kingdom. Bringing glory to Him. Me doing my best to use my blessings to be a blessing. Giving a sincere effort to resist temptation. Giving God the glory always. That would be a great 2023.