In September 2006, I interviewed CCM Inspo superstar JAIME JAMGOCHIAN for my now-defunct Christian magazine LIVEtheLIFE. At the time, Jaime’s single, Hear My Worship, off her stellar debut album Reason to Live (Centricity), spent several weeks atop the Radio & Records Inspo chart. Her previous singles, For You and the spectacular Sing of Our God, were also big hits on that said chart. This email email interview about her life as Christian and recording star, her ministries, and how many people out of five tend to mispronounce her name.
Jaime, LIVEtheLIFE is truly grateful for the time you’ve set aside to talk awhile with a Christian website from the Philippines, a land of 89 million souls. How does it feel to know that “Hear My Worship” has reached across borders and boundaries to touch the hearts of teens and young adults in the Philippines?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: Well thank you for chatting with me. I must say that I LOVE the Philippines. I have been two times to Manila and Cagayan de Oro. Hear My Worship really was a heart cry that beyond singing songs we would live a LIFE of worship to God. It is very humbling to think that people are hearing it and singing it all over.
No doubt, you are excited about the growing success of Hear My Worship. It’s been a while since CCM radio has had a heartfelt declaration of worship, especially with a lead female vocal. Can you tell us about how you came to write and record Hear My Worship? What’s it like working with CCM veteran Sam Mizell?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: This song came during a writing season that I was in. We were trying to get as many songs together as possible to then pick the 13 strongest for the album Reason to Live that has just come out. I had kind of gotten burnt out in writing and felt like I was on a treadmill, so to speak, to just get these songs done.
The Lord really grabbed hold of my heart and challenged me with the scripture in John 4:23 where it says The Father is looking for those worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. This challenged me as I felt like I was just trying to write a catchy worship song and what God wanted was all my heart.
It was an honor to co-write with Sam Mizell; he is a great songwriter and really got the heart of what I was trying to convey!
What songwriting process do you undertake when you write a song? Who are your influences when it comes to writing a song?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: My favorite worship songwriters and influences are Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. I love the way they craft a lyric that sets your mind and heart completely on the greatness of God. Most of my songs come out of my personal/private time with the Lord. Whether that be in prayer or at my keyboard, just playing and pouring my heart out to God. I might get a lyric or a melody idea. I then generally take that to a co-writing appointment and work on the entire song. Other times I will just finish the song myself. I am starting to write again and am excited for this new season!
How many people on average, out of five, have mispronounced your name? What’s the correct pronunciation?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: HAHA, this is funny! I have a hard name to pronounce! My first name confuses people because it is spelled JAIME instead of JAMIE. In French it means “to love.” But I am not French! My last name is a killer to pronounce- I would say 5 out of 5 say it wrong. Hehe. It is Jam-GO-Shen. That is the easiest way to explain it!! But you can just call me Jaime jam if that helps! *smile*
You’re marooned alone on a desert island. The only items you have with you on the island are a coconut tree, five cans of soggy Planter’s Cheez Curls cans, some string, and a couple sticks o’ Bubble Yum. What is your first hour like?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: Well I would chew the gum first because I would be nervous and this would keep me occupied. Then I would try and get the coconuts opened up for milk. I would try and dry out the Cheez Curls out in the sun so they were not soggy and I would pray and sing a lot…I do not like to be alone so I would have to make this my quiet time with the Lord.
Tell us how you found Jesus Christ.
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: I came to know the Lord when I was 21 at Berklee College of Music. I did not grow up knowing about having a personal relationship with Christ. I was under the impression that if you were a “good” person and loved God you would go to heaven. I was missing the key part about knowing Jesus!! It was through a Christian classmate at Berklee College of Music that I came to know the Lord. My whole life changed has I sensed true REASON TO LIVE for the first time! I fell in love with worshipping God and started to write worship songs then!
The story of your family’s coming to Christ is a resounding one that we in the Philippines can definitely relate to. What encouragement can you give to Filipino-Christian teens and adults who are praying for their family’s salvation?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: I would say keep praying!! Something that I learned is that more then the words we speak to others about Christ it is how we live! Demonstrate a life of Faith! Let your love for Christ be contagious!
Let others want what you have!! I think sometimes we need to share the Love of Christ to non-believers by our actions more then what we say. I would also invite friends and family members to church! People can be so touched in worship by the presence of God and the message spoken.
Are there any particular ministries, groups, or organizations that are close to your heart?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: I am a World Vision sponser and feel that it is so important to give to those that are less fortunate.
I also have a heart for teen gals. I have t-shirts that I sell at concerts and on my website that say “MODEST IS HOTTEST.” I feel strongly about walking in Purity and one of these areas is the way we dress! I love fashion and trendy clothes but I also think we need to dress in a modest way!
What are some of your favorite Bible verses?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: Prov. 3:5 (Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding) is my life verse. I also like Jer. 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future) and John 4:23 (Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks).
You’ve been to the Philippines a couple of times. How’d you find it? Could a return visit be somewhere in the near future?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: I would LOVE to come back to the Philippines to lead a radical Worship night!! When I was interning at The City Church in Seattle, WA. I went on two missions trips to Manila! We sang at New Life Church in Manila, Pastor Paul Chase church. I hope to come back someday! Maybe I could do one of my teen girl MODEST IS HOTTEST youth events! I remember on passionately the Filipino people worshipped the Lord, it was awesome.
Thank you so much for your time, Jaime. Any parting words for Christian teens and young adults in the Philippines?
JAIME JAMGOCHIAN: Jesus loves you so much! Keep seeking Him with all your heart! Sometimes we walk through hard times and seasons but we must remember that God is for us and working in and through us! Keep worshipping Jesus! I love you all! Praying for the Philippines!
Visit Jaime Jamgochian’s official website. Visit Jaime Jamgochian’s MySpace.