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Student worship leader debuts new album

Junior Jalen Thomas’ debut EP “In This Place” releases today on Soundcloud and Noisetrade. This Christian-alternative album features seven songs centered on the place of intimacy ushered in through the Lord.

“The inspiration has come from a lot of time with just me and the Lord and wanting to encourage people,” Thomas said. “To not just engage with the revelations I’ve received from the Lord in that place, but [for people] to find that place for themselves.”

Thomas has been working on his EP since freshman year and has drawn from previous experiences.

“A lot of the songs are about things that people won’t know what they’re about by the lyrics,” Thomas said. “They’re very simple songs but they’re very intimate songs and they’ve come from a very intimate place.”

Through unexpected seasons, Thomas claims that his time at ORU has not been at all what he thought it would be, but it is through these experiences that he has been shaped to self-produce his album.

“It was almost like I was in the middle of chaos and a lot of things were moving around me,” Thomas said. “I needed something that was stable, and I needed something that was real and safe. And I found that in the Lord. I’ve known the Lord and I’ve sought the Lord before, but since being here at ORU, the intimacy I’ve experienced and pursued is different.”

Thomas claims the greatest challenge of producing the EP has been learning how to welcome people into his own place of vulnerability.

“When you open up you’re not just opening people up to you,” Thomas said. “You’re opening people up to the Lord in you; you’re opening people up to your process with Him. And just as it has blessed you, it will blessed others.”

“In This Place” is only the first of three musical projects Thomas plans to produce before he graduates. In producing his first EP, Thomas has transformed his personal way of leading worship into a concrete and tangible product.

“I know that I’ll always be writing music,” Thomas said. “And I know the Lord will always be using me in worship.”


Album art by Andrea Depuy and Zoey Neimeier

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