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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Why Does Jacob Collier Make Me Cry?

I found myself crying at my desk this week.

To explain why, I need to tell you about a man called Jacob Collier. A multi-instrumentalist and all-round genius, he found fame on YouTube before embarking on a glittering career. So far he’s won four Grammys and collaborated with a veritable galaxy of stars. He plays with incredible technicality, but it’s matched by a boundless joy. Seeing him perform is like watching Mozart on a bouncy castle.

But the really special thing about Jacob Collier is the reaction he gets from people – which brings me back to my desk. I decided to spend my tea break the other day watching this video of Collier performing in Toronto, and before five of its nine minutes had passed I was all but sobbing with joy.

Now, I’ll admit to being prone to this kind of emotion, but it’s not just me. Watch the video and you can see the same euphoria written on the faces of the audience – in the massive grins, the banging heads, the sheer open-mouthed wonder of the young woman at 08:00.

What’s going on here? Why does Collier’s music – and all music we connect with – do this to us?

The way music prompts emotion can seem mysterious but, really, it’s not mysterious at all. Good, joyful music like this is creation reflecting God’s glory, something Jesus alludes to in Luke 19:40 – the laws of physics that he wrote singing his praises back to him.

When Collier lets rip, we’re seeing the image of the Creator shining out of his humanity. And when we react emotionally, we join in, wordlessly praising God’s greatness.

But it’s not just God’s greatness we perceive through music. It’s his love. The euphoria I feel watching Collier perform is a partial preview of the new creation – the joyful awe of standing in God’s presence as an adoptive son.

This, for me, is what Collier’s music does so well. It reflects the glory and love of God. And it prompts an emotional response – an unpremeditated act of worship on our part.

Watch the video and spend some time in the presence of the awesome, loving God. Then share the music that prompts worship in you – in the comments or with your friends. Good music is a gift from our Father. Let’s pass it around.


Josh Hinton
Marketing & Editorial Lead, LICC


Josh Hinton


  1. https://youtu.be/nGncW_ueyHA
    This is the one that does it for me

    Thanks for a great article.

    By Penny Shaw  -  28 Aug 2020
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3-rNMhIyuQ

    Víkingur Ólafsson – Bach: Organ Sonata No. 4, BWV 528: II. Andante [Adagio] (Transcr. Stradal)
    764,436 views•Oct 23, 2019

    By Jilli  -  28 Aug 2020
  3. Yes!! Thanks for giving me the words I needed to express why I’m such a fan of Jacob Collier! I cried the first time I watched his Moon River video. Just like Mozart on a trampoline!!

    By Amy Kendall  -  28 Aug 2020
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6tTKSIB_uU
    Erbarm’ dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721
    “Have mercy on me, O Lord God, according to your great kindness. Wash me, make clean my wrongdoing”
    Organ: Marie-Claire Alain
    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
    For me this is the best rendition of this “beautiful work and powerfully reverent performance. The harmonic scheme and richness seem […] a sort of penance from all flourish and virtuosity – only the essential allowed.”

    By Melvin Reynolds  -  28 Aug 2020
  5. This does it for me – spine-tingling combination of saxophone and chant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMEAMfIoMqg

    By Nicky Bull  -  28 Aug 2020
  6. Look up The Wind and the Wheat album by guitarist Phil Keaggy. I echo all your words about the beauty, power and wonder of music as a gift of God.

    By John Spadafora  -  28 Aug 2020
  7. Yes Josh. God delights in this art. And we‘re delighting with Him. Can’t beat The National acoustic on NPR Tiny Desk for me right now. All of it but the brass from 09.00 is something else. https://youtu.be/TdFCD3oXMZo

    By Trickster  -  28 Aug 2020
  8. For me its Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor – goosebump creating…https://youtu.be/o6Q8Y9rhLQc

    By Gail Daniels  -  29 Aug 2020
  9. Oh man oh man!!!! I stumbled upon Jacob on a distinctively meditative evening while I was kinda sick and just resting. The music felt spiritual to me immediately but in this really neat new way..:. I began to feel something special about Jacob like wow he’s really found freedom and joy in life, what a gift IN GOD! And then I noticed that his lyrics were deep. To me Jacob seems like he’s stages beyond me in the path to unity with Christ. He’s probably gone through a lot of healing and purification. So stoked on what he’s doing for our world and all the people that are blessed by his music

    By Jesse  -  7 Dec 2023

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