GOSPELflava.com: To what do you attribute to your growth since your debut project?
Evin: I would attribute it to learning and growing in God; and our relationship being strengthened through Him. We spent more time with Him through worship. We have more knowledge of where we want to go musically and we have more knowledge of the craft of songwriting and delivering the song. Another area that has caused us to grow is life experiences. We all went through some things that have tested, tried and strengthened our faith, and it is evident. We wanted to make a record where you could feel the anointing and hear the passion in our sound.
GOSPELflava.com: Artists usually don't take the same approach in recording a new album that they did on the prior release. How did you go approach Total Attention?
Jo 'Rel: First of all, we prayed together. We made a schedule and had a meeting time. We made sure that we were consecrated and we fasted together. I remember just really getting our heads in the game about what we wanted to deliver to the people; trying to hear from God. Basically with the songs that we were blessed to write, we just sat down and asked, "What's going on in the world today? What do young people as well as the young at heart need to hear?" We just asked God to give us these ideas. We were going around the world singing "We're Chosen" but we want to encourage people and let them know, "We're just like you." God really worked through our pen. We were able to deliver what our hearts felt. We had a chance to write on this album so people got more of our heart; more of who Evan, Torrence and Jo 'Rel really are.
We're just fortunate to have the opportunity. In wrapping up the album, we asked God to give us scriptures for what we wanted Total Attention to be about. He gave us, Matthew 6:33: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added unto you." He also gave us Mark 1:15: "Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand". We just want people to know that it's time to get your total attention back on God. We have a lot of distractions, especially as young people. We just wanted people to know that it's time to get their total focus on God and we believe that He is using us as vessels to deliver that message.
Torrence On the physical tip, we've been working out and trying to get our physical side together so that on those days when were singing and ministering, we won't be out of breath. We want to be able to have that stamina to not just give a good show, but ministry as well.
GOSPELflava.com: Evin, you suffered some devastating loses when both your mother and father passed away after the release of the first album. Can you describe how God has helped you through this season and how you can encourage someone else that's going through the loss of a loved one?
Evin: The first thing I would like to say is God has definitely showed me his supernatural peace. Losing one parent is one thing, but losing two is another. My faith was really tested, but through that... I can't attribute my peace to anything but God. I just say "to God be the glory". There were many days that I did not want to get out of the bed or do an interview or an engagement, but God gave me that supernatural strength. To someone who is going through what I'm going through or is having a trying time, trust and believe God through everything. He's there in your pain. He's there in your struggle and your victory when you come out of it. You have to allow His grace to be sufficient and have good people around you. It would have been a lot harder if I did not have the support system that I had. That's family and friends. Jo 'Rel and Torrence have been so supportive. They've been the epitome of our single, "Cover Me" featuring J Moss, Fred Hammond and Smokie Norful. The song says "Continue to keep me lifted. Continue to keep my name on your lips. While you are praying remember this; I need you to cover me." That's what they did.
GOSPELflava.com: One song that stands out is "Holding On to You", which has a pop feel to it.
Evin: This is my favorite song and there is actually a funny story about it. We were asking ourselves what was missing from the album, and this was it. We wanted a song with a good pop feel to it, but worshipful, and with a groove to it while taking it to church. We actually wanted to do that with the whole record, to bring a melting pot of a sound. With "Holding On To You", you get the hotness, but we take you to church at the end. We were at the barbershop and Paul [Allen] was like, "Dude, I got this joint that I need ya'll to hear". The first that we heard it was in the car and then we got to the studio and heard the rest of it. When we heard the line, "Tell who controls the weather..." Torrence was like, "That's it!!!!!" They always mess with me, because I love everything about trees. They knew I would love this song, and we couldn't stop playing it. We actually started recording it that very day even though we had colds that we were battling. This song is special to me because it is the first song that I've recorded where I was overcome with emotion in the studio. It was during the time where my father was taking a turn for the worse with brain cancer. All I could do is hold on to God from that moment. It just spilled out into the record.
GOSPELflava.com: Another song that is real and relevant is "Everybody Can't Go". What was the inspiration behind it?
Torrence: This is one of the songs that we wrote ourselves. You have certain people in your life that shouldn't be there. Then there are some folks who are only supposed to be there for a season. Everyone can't go with you when you are doing your thing for Christ. Everyone can't be down. They can't go. We had a fun time singing it in the studio. Evin was the one who came up with the concept. This is a lot of what I've been going through with the shifting of friends and loved ones. Some people may not understand where you are going in God, or the direction He is trying to take you. You have to let some of those people go, and it hurts, but you have to keep moving because God has called you for a certain purpose.
Evin: Our lives are like airplanes. You can't take off when you have a lot of excess baggage. You gotta let some stuff go.BR>
Jo 'Rel: If I could add just one more thing. You know that they make you pay for extra baggage that you take on a plane. Now this is not coming from a cocky perspective or thinking that we are above anyone, but God has anointed us for a specific purpose. Everyone who we thought was down with us, not all were really down with us. You learn that on your journey. In order to go to the next level, you gotta say... "Everybody Can't Go".BR>
GOSPELflava.com: Do you guys ever feel that people put you in a box because you dance and because there were a lot of dance tracks on the last album?
Torrence: Sometimes, even when we are about to do a show, some may say about us, "OK, there are those kids. What are they about to do now? Are they about to jump around and dance?" It's actually different when we go on the stage or deliver a word. The anointing does fall and then people's minds are changed. So now it's more like "There are those dancing boys who can sing and bring a message." So we do get put in that box because of our age and we do have the dance moves. We continue to press through it.
Jo 'Rel: I believe this album, Total Attention, is allowing us to step out of the box that people have created for us. We all represent something different. Evin is your more worshipper and nature person. We all represent something different musically and bringing this album together, you get different inflections. "Cover Me" is different than songs like "Dance" but we're still dancing. All that we do is for the uplifting of the Kingdom. There is no box. Any box you put us in, we're going to step outside of it.
Torrence: Come to one of our shows. You can also check us out on our Myspace and Youtube pages. You can keep up with us and even see the silly things that we're doing.
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