For the past 24 years, Christian music group Selah built core relationships through music and engaged in ministry partnerships that fostered honesty and hope. With two decades of industry experience and a committed following, the group decided to make the jump from working with an existing label, to starting their own.
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Group member Allan Hall told American Songwriter they observed music markets when the major shift occurred from physical CD sales to an emphasis on streaming. With the world as their market, Hall explained they wanted to create a space of simplicity for artists with the new label, 3Cre8tive, helping songwriters get somewhere in their craft while fully understanding every practical step.
Now under the new label, Selah releases their latest studio album, “Step Into My Story.” Hall noted the emphasis each group member makes on capitalizing on their strengths, and watching how God would move within that faithfulness.
The evidence of grace is seen in no greater way than through the story of the group’s manager, Marcus Rixon. As a child living in Kolkata, India, Rixon was sponsored through OneChild.org, an organization that partners with individuals and families to support, in many ways, children born into poverty and difficult situations. At a concert where the band playing was working with OneChild, a couple chose to financially support Rixon, enabling his parents to put him through school and leading to his eventual move to the United States, obtaining his Bachelor’s degree and eventually starting his own management company – Rixon Entertainment Group.
Selah is one of the artists Rixon manages and has supported OneChild for many years, even before working with Rixon. Todd Smith emphasized that just as God was in Rixon’s story, that powerful evidence of faithfulness is what motivated a large portion of the songs on the latest record, including the title track ‘Step Into My Story.’
“Because we’re people of faith my vision for this song was to see how God stepped into his story and what he did with the desires and the dreams Marcus had,” Smith said. “Writing this song was so personal and powerful, but at the same time just looking at the whole album every other song could fall under ‘Step Into My Story,’.”
Everyone goes through experiences that mark their story, permanently, Smith explained. From job loss, to physical injury – Smith said the overarching theme of their current season of life, which informed the way the record was created, was waiting, and watching to see how God would shine through their stories.
“There’s verses that talk about casting your cares on the Lord and He has this and He’s in control, and those things are true and I believe that but still, we’re human,” Hall said. “It’s very natural to feel fear and anxiety for the unknown.”
The track ‘Hello Grace’ speaks to this reality, according to Hall. The chorus denotes “Hello grace, it’s good to see you, I’d thought I’d have to pray a thousand prayers to reach you. I shouldn’t be surprised, you’re right on time, the way you’ve always been through every chapter of my life.”
Crafting music that helps listeners be honest and share their raw, unfiltered stories is the goal, according to Hall – to leave room to see grace at work.
“You have all these components as far as the record label, and relationships with streaming services, but it still comes down to a song,” Smith added. “It still comes down to songs you believe in. It still comes down to writing songs that are great songs, that connect with people. You’re pouring your heart and soul into it.”
If the music means something to the writer, Smith said, it will connect to the listener.