A Portadown musician has seen her single soar to the top of the iTunes religious and gospel song charts.
Amber Hillen, who lives in Killicomaine, said she was “still a little bit in shock” after the song ‘Pour Out’ made its meteoric rise in the top 100 list.
The single, which she recorded in her best friend’s living room, was released at one minute past midnight on Sunday. It went to number 14 on Monday and climbed all morning, eventually reaching the top spot on Monday afternoon.
‘Pour Out’, which Amber co-wrote with friend Abby Brotherston, has overtaken songs by internationally renowned worship bands such as Hillsong United and Bethel Music.
The 26-year-old is one of the worship leaders at Portadown’s Elim Church and penned the single for the church’s province-wide, annual youth camp, the theme of which was ‘Pour Out’.
She said, “The song is really a cry to God, asking him to pour out his spirit. It is the simplest song I have written but it is also quite liberating to sing because it is about God being in control of everything.
“When I sing it I feel more relaxed and less worried. It’s a ballad that is very full of hope.”
Amber is accompanied by a band of fellow Elim worshippers, including Adam Brown, who plays guitar and produced and recorded the single, Jonny Greer on drums, Kenny Russell on bass and Stuart McKeag on electric guitar.
Their current album, ‘Heart Soul Mind Strength’, was released in August and since the single went to No 1 Amber has noticed that it has had a positive knock-on effect, with more people downloading the album as well.
The band released its first album, ‘Outstretched’, in 2011 .
Amber began writing her own material as a music student at Queen’s University Belfast, but only felt called to release it after she had graduated.
“I felt God saying that I should share this,” she said.
As well as writing and performing, Amber tutors from home, giving lessons in piano, violin, viola, the cello, and music theory and singing.
Amber and the band are beginning an eight-date tour on February 21, travelling down as far as Westport, and finishing on April 25.
They will be in the Elim Church, Portadown, on Saturday, March 7 and everyone is welcome to go along and hear the music for themselves.
All the worship concerts are free. Said Amber, “We wanted people to be able to come to the concerts, no matter what background they are from.
“It will be a worship concert but it will also be an opportunity for reflection and a personal encounter with God.”