top of page

Jess Debenham Throws Her Hands To The Most High In “Great I Am”

Brighton-based singer-songwriter and passionate worshipper Jess Debenham praises the almighty power above with her latest inspirational single, "Great I Am."

Jess Debenham has served on the worship and songwriting teams at her home church, Emmanuel, for the last six years. Her debut single, "Come To Me," was based on Matt 11v28 and saw vast success on Premier Praise and Louder Than The Music. Her sophomore single, "Infrastructure," landed on various playlists and proved Debenham was an artist to watch.

Now, she's ready to continue the momentum with her third studio single, the radiant and grateful "Great I Am." This song speaks to the astonishing gift of the Holy Spirit among His people. Jess Debenham pays tribute to the Most High in the utmost sincere, passionate, and vulnerable way possible, trusting that He put her on the path she's destined to walk.

Expanding on "Great I Am," this stunning worship single opens like a breath of fresh air through Jess Debenham's choir-esque vocal harmonies that drift into the melodic, piano-laden first verse. Her solo vocals are clear as day, chilling the listener with her fluttery tones and lush falsetto that slowly expands near the hook.

As we continue through the song, the instrumentals expand into this cinematic and picturesque listening experience with soulful drums, powerful synths, and twinkling piano melodies. Jess Debenham's modern take on worship music was much needed; she portrays all the passion and power of her faith through this radiant piece that will most definitely stand the test of time.

When doubt is lingering and the path to clarity is hazy, allow Jess Debenham to be the light you need with her brilliant new single, "Great I Am," now available on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Jess Debenham. We truly admire the passion and devotion you've showcased in your heartfelt new single, "Great I Am." What inspired you to write a song about the astonishing power of the Holy Spirit?

Thank you! I was blown away by the incredible truth that the Holy, almighty, powerful, creator God who reigns above all is amongst us. I wrote multiple songs about this truth before this one. As you read through the Old Testament of the Bible (the part of the Bible before Jesus came to earth), you read of the procedures and rules that they had to keep to come near to God because if they didn’t, they would die. Only once a year could a high priest enter the Holy of Holies. And when God meets Moses at the burning bush, God says, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus chapter 3 verse 5). And then, later on, when Moses asks God what he should say God’s name is, God, replies: “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” We then get to the New Testament, where we read of when Jesus came and the early Church, and in the book of Hebrews (chapter 16 verse 4), we read: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Because of Jesus, through Jesus and the victory, He won for us at the cross paying for our sins; where once we could not freely draw near to the great I AM, now we can come near and not just that but with confidence and boldness! The curtain that once separated the Holy of Holies, God, from the people was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died. Jesus is the way to enter! God is still just as holy as He was in the Old Testament. It is not as if He has become less Holy or more lenient. Not at all! But rather - and this is mind-blowing - God the Son came down and paid for our sin (which separated us from God), so now, if we accept Him, our sin is taken away, and we are accredited Jesus' perfection. We can come near to the Holy God and know Him as Father and know Him with us by His Holy Spirit. This was God’s plan all along. This is the truth I was living with when I wrote this song, which inspired this song! I also just craved to sing a song about who He was, so verse one also came from that place.

What sound and atmosphere did you have in mind for the instrumentals within "Great I Am"? How do these instrumentals enhance your lyrical message?

I wanted the sound to be beautiful, majestic, and cinematic! And the use of multiple vocal tracks to represent the Church. I enjoy working with Luke Fellingham - he is the one who has produced all of these songs. As an actor and performer (as well as a singer/songwriter), I love telling a story through my voice and often have images in my head when I think of the song. Luke has a gift for communicating and telling stories through instrumentation, and it is a joy to work with him. The gentleness of the voice trying to communicate the awe and beauty of God; the unity of multiple vocals to represent all His people, His bride, His Church; when the guitars kick in heavier in the second half of the middle 8 to represent the power and sheer epicness of God and for that truth to sink into the hearts of His people and excited and encourage them as they follow and obey Him - this great, awesome God is the one who is in and with me, whatever may come I don’t need to be afraid because He is with me.

Speaking of your lyricism, what was your songwriting process like for "Great I Am?" What was the core theme or message you needed to get across?

I remember sitting in my room with the guitar and singing this song. It was about four years ago! So this song has existed for a while and has been one I have enjoyed worshipping to myself. I wrote most of the song like that (in my room with my guitar!). But then, once I had the rough song, I took it to my friends Anna and Jotham, who made some suggestions, one of which was to change it from “the great I AM is here with me” to “us”. I then went away, worked on it further, and took it to Rachel, who helped develop some lyrics. When I knew I wanted to release it, I took it to some more friends who checked it theologically and made further suggestions to strengthen the lyrics. Larissa helped come up with some lyrics, especially for the second-half midsection. So that was the journey of this song. Regarding the core theme and message, I may have already answered that in the first question, but it would be for the Church to be undone again by the truth that the Holy God is with us.

What impact did you want to leave on your audience with "Great I Am"? How do you want this single to affect your listeners?

I pray people would be left undone and in awe of our Holy God and His presence. And to be encouraged as they go into their days knowing the truth that this is the God that dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, to raise faith and expectation to be bold and pray for miracles, see God move, and see the Kingdom of God come in their village/town/city, for the Church to rise up in confidence, knowing who is amongst them, working in and through them.


bottom of page