Nashville Life Music has the sonic vision board of utilizing musical and cultural influences of a vast demographic to create fun, and Gospel centered praise music, according to Alvin Love III, lead pastor of Nashville Life Church.
The group released their latest album “Here For Jesus,” Friday, July 17. The project exudes innovative creativity, drawing inspiration from eras of music not typically woven into lines and undercurrents of worship music.
Love told American Songwriter that as they wrote and planned for the project, one of the primary influences was the rhythms of the ’70s, utilizing a bold, multi-voice underlay of instrumentation and harmonies. As the initial single, “Sing a Song,” carried those elements, Love said the group decided to continue to press into that stylistic path, eventually leading to the full project.
“We just realized there’s so many textures, there’s so many facets about the ’70s that really work with our congregation, with our group,” Love said. “Our group is pretty much a melting pot of a lot of different individuals, a lot of different styles, and even our church (is) multi-racial and multicultural, and multi generational.”
Merging those aspects of the community within Nashville Life Church was essential to the feeling of family and connection the music on the album held, noted worship pastor Dwan Hill.
“What really works for us specifically from that time (the ’70s), was really this community feeling that’s in the music,” Hill explained. “There’s a lot of chants in songs, a lot of orchestras. In that period people were in studios, they were having orchestra sessions, there were horn arrangements, bands were all in one room, and that’s how we recorded this record, It was a group effort, a community effort.”
Love noted that in addition to the musical community represented through the tracks on the record, the lyrical content also served as a unifying factor.
“We are very much married to the purpose of Jesus which is reconciling the world to God,” Love said. “We are very committed, and exclusive even, to that purpose in our music. So we have a wide range of styles and inspirations, but we have a very narrow focus and that’s why I love the title of the record being called ‘Here for Jesus,’ because it really does hone it in to what we’re about.”
“We believe there’s mercy and grace for everyone,” Love continued. “We just want to make sure that we reach as many people as possible with that message so that they can be healed and encouraged and brought back to life.”
Hill added that the goal of the Gospel is to reconcile, and thus, the music coming out of Nashville Life Church has that same goal.
“Scripture teaches that unless you love the person you know, how can you love the God you can’t see,” Hill said. “It’s really important for Christians and specifically artists who are called to have a strong message that reaches a large group of people, to be faithful to both of those causes—first of all standing on the truth that God wants us to say, but also standing on the truth that will liberate and help other people around us.”
Hill explained that Nashville Life, as a diverse church, feels the responsibility to carry forward that torch of truth and preach the Gospel through their lives, and by result as well, their music.
“We need to be on mission in fighting for justice for everybody, the unity of every person, opportunity for every person and love for every person,” Hill said. “That’s what we want our music to do, that’s what our church is about without the music, but the music is a vehicle we want to use to get that message as far as possible.”