To Be Near You

On June 28, 2018, I released the pop/CCM single ‘To Be Near You’, which I wrote together with English lyricist Christine Sanderson. The song won several prizes, got considerable press coverage and currently has over 100,000 streams across all platforms.

Background story

I wrote To Be Near You back in 2015, mainly based on tough times I went through. After the release of the song I received dozens of messages of people who found strength in the music and the lyrics, which was exactly my purpose when I released the single.

The single is about that no matter what you’re going through, there is always someone who you can go to – in this context that someone is God, but we tried to keep the lyrics as open as possible.


To Be Near You lyrics

Read the lyrics of To Be Near You on Genius.com.
Read the lyrics

Honors and awards

To Be Near You was named as one of the best worship/CCM songs of 2018 by several Christian blogs and websites and was one of the finalists of the UKSC 2018, one of the largest international songwriting competitions, with a score of 9 out of 10. The UKSC judges are top Grammy, Emmy, CMA, BRIT Award winning Gold and Platinum Album producers and artists, including Sting’s producer and musical director Kipper Eldridge, top UK producer Stuart Epps (Elton John, Robbie Williams, Led Zeppelin, George Harrison, Oasis), BRIT Award winning producer, songwriter and top musical director Simon Ellis (S Club 7, Britney Spears), CMA Award winning international country star and songwriter Lucie Diamond; producer, musical director and arranger Richard Niles (Paul McCartney, Boy Zone, Mariah Carey, Take That, Cliff Richard) and the UKSC’s own past winner Natalie Chua (signed by Simon Cowell after the contest and a Platinum Album recipient).


The BRIT Awards

The BRIT Awards are the British Phonographic Industry’s annual popular music awards.
Read more

Press coverage

In 2018 To Be Near You was added to the playlist of UCB2, one of the largest CCM radio stations in the United Kingdom. Throughout the summer the song was played several times, in some cases multiple times a day. I was also interviewed on air by UCB presenter Matt Dick.

To Be Near You was reviewed on several websites, including on Jesus Freak Hideout, A&R Factory and Sweet Sweet Sounds and got predominantly positive feedback.


JFH Indie Review: To Be Near You

The song is a nice addition to Leon’s discography – one that will be enjoyed by many.
Read review/interview

“[Lieffijn] has made a sincere offering for listeners and his efforts are on full display. In that respect, I hope to hear more from the artist and have high hopes for his growing career.”
– Michael Weaver, Jesus Freak Hideout

In December 2018 the song was added to the ‘Best Christian Pop Music Mix 2019’ by Add This Music.


Best Christian Pop Music Mix 2019

ATM has the world’s best clean Pop music. No cursing, misogyny, drug use or violence.
Watch video on YouTube

To Be Near You marked the departure of my previous musical approach, which was mainly based on instrumental, sporadic releases. In 2019 more similar projects will be initiated.