10 Questions with ... Eleven22
June 11, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- The Reason (2012)
- Fall On Your Alter (2010)
1) Tell us a little bit about your musical journey and how you guys come together collectively as Eleven22.
I am a worship leader at a church and throughout my development and over the years, I have played with a lot of different musicians, but these relationships seemed to last. Jonathan and I have the most history, playing in a lot of churches and leading weekly, as well as serving as the primary writers for Eleven22. It really wasn't until our first album, Fall On Your Altar, where we worked with producer Jeremy Edwardson, when we began to craft our sound and work on our tone and wrote to reflect who we are. We began adding writers and worship leaders but our vibe never changed.
2) Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the new album The Reason?
The Reason is a story of brokenness. I knew I wanted to work on a new project, but I was looking for my reason to spend that much effort on a cause. It was in summer 2010 that I got caught up in the story of McKenzie Noelle Wilson, a 15-year-old student who was truly living out her faith.
Like most of, us she didn't have it all together but still lived out her faith as best she could. She professed Jesus as her Lord around July, and on August 17, she passed away, due to a rare brain disease. You could imagine the shockwave that went through our community.
As we prepared for her celebration, I got a hold of her Bible and began to read the notes and messages she wrote inside. On one page she wrote, "I found a love, greater and none could compare" (first song on the record) and statements like "leverage everything for the sake of the gospel." With statements like that, we began writing and resurrecting songs that brought healing to our brokenness and action that was fueled by a love for God. This 15-year-old girl inspired us to believe that out of our pain we could love others and love Jesus and maybe be the change this world needs. The title is two-fold: "The reason" is Jesus but was inspired by McKenzie and her faith that could move mountains.
3) And you will be donating the proceeds of this new project to The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation. Tell us a bit about that project and why you are getting involved.
We feel that worship is not just music but it is also action. Jesus says in Mathew 25:40, "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" So rescuing orphans seems to us like a great avenue to worship our savior. It just seemed like the best way to honor God! McKenzie was also very involved in helping orphans, so it seemed like a good fit for us to help orphans and glorify God.
4) Tell us about the story behind the single "I Belong to You"?
I wrote that song on my porch as I remembered reading through McKenzie's Bible. I wanted a song that professed our allegiance to Jesus. I think God is okay for you not to be okay! I think we try to impress God on how good we think we are when he sees right through us.
5) Why did you choose to cover Hillsong"s "Love Like Fire," your other single?
What we liked about this song was the missional approach to the lyrics; we just needed to find a way to make it our own.
6) Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
My favorite song on the album is "I Belong to You." I like the authenticity of the lyrics and the commitment it leads people to.
7) Do you have a favorite song that you love to lead in worship services?
Right now my favorite song to lead people in worship is " He is Faithful" by Brian and Katie Torwalt.
8) Fill in the blank: I can't start my day without:
Some good ole fashion exercise
9) What song (any genre, any time) do you wish you had written?
"Fix You" by Coldpay
10) Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
These are some of my tops: M83's Hurry Up We're Dreaming, John Mayer's new album, Coldplay, John Mark McMillan, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, Wilco, Travis, Peter Gabriel, U2, so many more. I love music.