A multigeneration band sharing stories from their hearts
By Sue Baldani
It’s said that music soothes our soul. It also brings us joy and has the ability to evoke strong feelings, whether listened to alone, or in a crowd of people. Without music, our lives would be less magical.
The contemporary Christian band, We the Kingdom, brings us this magic not only through its sound, but also through its meaningful, uplifting and sometimes brutally honest lyrics. Every song tells a story.
Based out of Nashville, four of the five band members are family and include Ed Cash, his daughter Franni, son Martin, Ed’s brother Scott, and good friend Andrew Bergthold. Although Ed and Scott set out to be musicians early in life, they had to put their dreams, and tours, on hold to be there for their growing families. They stayed active in the music business and had great success behind the scenes as both songwriters and producers, and they became deeply involved in playing music at Young Life camps. These camps allow young people to get away, have fun, and strengthen their Christian faith.
We the Kingdom came together quite unexpectedly. While at a Young Life camp in Georgia in 2017, and while dealing with some major issues of their own, the members came together one night to write a song for the campers.
“We thought, ‘What would the Lord tell these kids?,’ and it was almost as if the Lord was talking to us in that moment,” says Andrew. “We ended up writing the song Dancing on the Waves in about 30 minutes and it was so good that we just started writing more. We then we realized that there was a band here.”
From there, things happened fast. “We wrote the song in 2017, and then we got serious in 2018, and then we got signed to our record label in 2019,” says Franni.
Soon after, the band released the single, Holy Water, in 2019 and it hit number two on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. In October 2019, they released their first EP, Live at the Wheelhouse, which reached the Top Three on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart. Then in 2020, their second EP, Live Acoustic Sessions, was released, followed by their full-length album Holy Water, which debuted at number four on the Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.
This past October, We the Kingdom released their Christmas album, A Family Christmas, which contains some beloved classics with the band’s own unique spin. There are five songs in total and one song has two versions.
While categorized as Christian, the music actually encompasses the sound and style of rock, soul, country, folk and pop. Because of this, it appeals to a very diverse crowd. The group also uses their music not just to entertain and connect with others, but to find peace and serenity within each other. “It’s almost like five different artists came together and God used the five of us to mesh and heal each of our five individual stories and to fulfill the same dream that we all had to be an artist,” says Martin.
“It’s more about writing songs that speak the universal language of the world and I used to think that Christian music was sometimes so specific to one thing that it kind of ruled out everyone else who didn’t understand what was going on,” says Martin. “But every once in a while, songs come out that become the soundtrack to people’s lives and they are bigger than their actual genre. They offer hope to people that is so widespread and it kind of grabs almost everybody. But it’s also written from a specific place in that writer’s heart that it feels like either you wrote it yourself or it was written for you. It’s appealing to everyone musically, sonically, lyrically.”
“We didn’t set out to make Christian music, we set out to tell our story and our story involves Jesus,” says Scott. “That’s why we write the songs we do. It’s not like we had chosen some genre, we’re just trying to be who we are and our identity comes from our faith. And we want to unpack that in a vulnerable and honest way.”
Adds Franni, “There’s something really comforting about having the freedom of being able to sing out about Jesus through our music to combine the power of his name with music. It’s just been an unstoppable force and we’re really grateful to be making that kind of music.”
We the Kingdom has been busy touring all over the country, and next year they expected to be even busier. “We’re doing a lot of touring, but we’re doing at least one if not two headline tours which will be so fun,” says Scott. “We love crafting a night that hopefully every moment honors the fact that somebody is willing to be there and give us their time, so we want every second to count.”
Ed and Scott feel blessed to be living their dreams again, and being able to do it with family and a great friend makes it even more special.
“I just want people to keep digging,” says Scott. “Figure out who you are. I think we’re so focused on what we do that we miss out on who we are. That’s all that really matters.”
For tour dates, more information on the band, and to listen to some amazing music, check out their website at http://www.wethekingdom.com/, and on Facebook and Instagram. “We really love to connect with people,” says Martin. “What touches our heart is people. We love music, but we also love doing it knowing that it matters for something.”
Written for Brentwood Lifestyle magazine in TN.