Gateway News spoke to Warren Elliott composer of “Mighty Men — The Anthem” which he wrote for the Mighty Men of South Africa. A music video of the song will be recorded live at the Western Cape Mighty Men Conference — September 29 to October 1 2017. [LISTEN TO THE SONG BELOW]
GWN: Tell me something about yourself?
Warren: I’m a born Capetonian. Life started off on the wrong side as I was drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes (and sometimes more than cigarettes) at the young age of 10. Growing up not knowing my parents caused many issues and a bit of a tough time. I grew up living with my uncle, but he just couldn’t tame or discipline me. We were poor and rather dysfunctional in some ways, but God gave me something to hold on to — music.
To cut a very long and rather depressing story very short, I started playing guitar in matric and soon after tried to write songs. I realised my gift and my secular music career kicked off in 2006 when I wrote the song Vuurwarm. It was somewhat of an overnight success and kept me busy and on tour for about four years. In 2007/2008 I wrote my first gospel song (My Gebed) without really knowing God. My daughter was six years old and I can still remember as if it was yesterday — I received a MMS from my wife — it was picture of my daughter crying and wearing one of my t-shirts. The song is about a father that tries to buy the lost time and love that he fails to give his family.
My life changed six years ago when a seven week old baby boy was given to my wife in the main road of Parow. This was all part of God’s plan to correct our ways. Shortly afterwards, my wife was diagnosed with cancer and our finances basically became non-existent. We went through a three year financial drought, but all for the best. We were shaped and firmly planted in our beliefs in a rather short time period. During this period I wrote many songs for both myself and a few other artists — this was the beginning of my music ministry or gospel “career” as some might refer to it.
My spiritual father, Gary Kieswetter, has sowed so much love and support into our lives and has a great part in who I am today.
GWN: What inspired you to compose the Mighty Men anthem?
Warren: Dewald Gouws invited me to sing two songs at the 2016 Mighty Men Western Cape. Ina and Pipey, the organisers of the MMC Western Cape, contacted me a while afterwards and officially invited me as a guest artist. This inspired me so much and to such a degree that I decided to write a theme song for the Mighty Men Conferences. What started off as a small project has since become my priority!
GWN: What was the process of composing and recording the anthem?
Warren: I wrote a rugby anthem many years ago, but never released it. After deciding to write the Mighty Men theme song, I remembered the rugby anthem and started rewriting the lyrics. Everything just started to fall into place. God has since spoken to me on several occasions, highlighting the importance of this song which I now have titled: Mighty Men — The Anthem. He keeps saying: “I have given you a mandate — I am giving you authority”.
I teamed up with a phenomenal producer (Jandré Spangenberg) and he brought out the beauty and power of the song. I couldn’t have done this without him. He “just so happened” to have the knowledge of Celtic music, their instruments and styles — what are the chances? Everything came together so well — it just demonstrated that God was part of the production from the very first note.
We tried to record Pipey and his bagpipes before he left for the UK, but there wasn’t enough time. We fortunately sourced a brilliant piper in Cape Town (Rudolph Bagpipe Services)
GWN: What is your vision for the anthem?
Warren: My vision for the anthem is simple — to activate the warriors in men! Thousands and thousands of men! I’m in the process of putting together a special two track Mighty Men Anthem CD which I want to give out to 10 000 Mighty Men — FREE OF CHARGE! Anyone who would like to become part of this project can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org