EC24 ARTISTS & SPEAKERS


  • ELEVATION RHYTHM might be the sound for the next generation, but the collective is rooted in far more than trendy sonics. Their foundation is the Word of God. Their mantra is Jesus is Lord. Their drive is the love of Christ. Pure and simple. And on their latest release, This Is The Gospel, they get back to the basics, laying out plain truth for a world desperate for something to believe in.

     

    A musical expression of Elevation Church — led by pastor Steven Furtick — ELEVATION RHYTHM was born from the church’s high-energy Wednesday night youth gatherings. The ensemble has quietly evolved from a student ministry worship band to a dynamic live force supporting Lecrae on tour and sharing arena-fueled bills with Furtick and their sister collective, Elevation Worship. The group’s brief seven-track collection follows ELEVATION RHYTHM’s first full-length offering, Growing Pains. But unlike their emotionally-focused debut, This Is The Gospel is not only a work of art but a testament of faith.

     

    The concept originated with the outfit’s lead architect and primary producer, Josh Holiday, while he was on the road as part of the “Elevation Nights” tour. “I felt this call and this responsibility to say, ‘OK, if the next generation is needing a foundation for their faith, what does that foundation look like? What is the Gospel? What are the pillars? What is the truth?’” Holiday reflects on the questions he asked himself before entering the studio. “I just knew this next album had to be truth-centered, and I wanted to create music that was going to be foundational for this next generation in their faith journey.”

     

    Holiday soon scheduled a writing camp, where he assembled a select group of go-to collaborators. Then, he was tasked with pairing the right leader with the right song. After all, ELEVATION RHYTHM isn’t about the individual talent on stage as much as it’s about a unified voice sharing a message of real hope. 

    Next, he booked the live recording in a small, nondescript room normally reserved for church staff meetings. The space was an unconventional venue for tracking a live album, but Holiday insists that was the point, as he crammed 100 people into the room for a night of raw, imperfect worship. “I just wanted it to feel like that live recording was a part of making the album. I didn’t really wait until it was perfect,” Holiday confesses. “It’s like, no, this is the next step in the process.”

     

    That creative process is still unfolding as This Is The Gospel goes out into the world with an invitation for others to join in the song. Regardless of who is stewarding each selection, make no mistake, the project’s journey is one that points to Jesus every step of the way. The instrumental, string-laden “Good News” opens the narrative in dramatic fashion and quickly freefalls into the frenetic “PRAISES,” a Wednesday night favorite that earned a prime spot at ELEVATION RHYTHM’s annual student conference. “The first time we sang ‘PRAISES,’ our youth just really connected to it,” Holiday says of the exuberant track led by Jordan Holliday. “No matter where ELEVATION RHYTHM goes, our DNA and who we are at the core is still this bold, energetic, sometimes edgy, sound. We enter His courts with praise. So we wanted to just start with praise.”

     

    “Wind of Love” sweeps in with a gentle reminder of the Father’s merciful heart before “Streetlights” — a last-minute addition — abruptly interjects a dose of humanity into the set. A Prodigal Son story, the song borrows from a phrase Holiday’s mom would often repeat when he was a kid: “You can go outside, but when the streetlights come on, that’s when you know you need to come home.” In all its synth-soaked creativity, “Streetlights” — helmed by Brittany Diaz — morphs into a metaphor for the moment you realize you need to come home to Christ.

     

    This life-changing decision collides with the rhythmic-infused title-cut, featuring Joe. L Barnes, that removes all the complexities from the saving message of Jesus. “It’s not just the Christmas story of Jesus being born. It’s not just the story of the resurrection. It’s all of it,” Holiday contends. “It’s such a beautiful story, and it’s so crazy to think He did all that just for me.” Holiday adds that he knew it would become the record’s namesake only after he experienced the obvious joy that radiated from the track during the live recording.

     

    The bluesy “Purify” follows, starting out as a sparse ballad that builds into a celebration proclaiming, “There’s a party in heaven, and we’re joining in.” Although it was penned initially for Elevation Worship’s GRAMMY® winning album, Old Church Basement, Holiday — who holds writing credit on the song, alongside Tiffany Hudson, Davide Mutendji, and Chandler Moore — felt like it was a seamless addition to This Is The Gospel as it makes the foundational statement that the blood of Jesus covers all sin.

     

    Meanwhile, “You Will Be Saved” closes the straightforward opus. A simple invitation of salvation, the anchor track stems from a conversation between Holiday and Bella Cordero, whose effortless vocal leads the selection. “Knowing Jesus as a Savior is so humbling. I never want to get to a place where I feel like I don’t need saving. I never want to live that lie,” Holiday says. “This song isn’t just a salvation call for the sinners. We all need to be saved. It’s for the lost — it’s for the one — but it’s also to remind the 99, hey, don’t ever think you don’t need a Savior.”

     

    Repentance. Salvation. Sanctification. Wrapped in timeless melodies, these essential tenants of faith are all presented in an elementary manner on This Is The Gospel with ELEVATION RHYTHM declaring: This is what we believe.

     

    The truth might be timeless, but so is the sonic bed Holiday and his team built — a deliberate move that affords This Is The Gospel an extended shelf life. “I tried to paint with colors that would last a little longer,” Holiday offers of the percussion-heavy, choir-assisted framework, “so people would want to come back and listen to this more than once.” In a single-driven society, This Is The Gospel is meant to be consumed in its entirety simply because it’s a complete story communicating the full scope of what it looks like to place your faith in Jesus.

     

    As for the collective itself, ELEVATION RHYTHM’s future efforts may be a little more sonically bold in an attempt to keep up with the ever-changing fads of today’s youth, but this album is the cornerstone that sets the compass for all creative endeavors to follow. And while the group is made up of a revolving reserve of diverse songwriters, creatives, and guest artists, their mission aligns on This Is The Gospel. The young adults who inspire their music are an extension of their composition as well.

     

    “I think there’s this beautiful relationship between ELEVATION RHYTHM and the next generation. We are on the same journey, asking the same questions and doing it together,” Holiday contends. “ELEVATION RHYTHM is more of a spirit than it is a face. It’s a spirit that we all carry. It’s the unity, it’s the love, it’s the heart for these songs, and this album is what we’ll always be about.”

  • Shane & Shane is the combination of solo artists Shane Barnard and Shane Everett. After meeting in college, Shane & Shane began writing songs and touring the country leading worship. Over 15 years later, they’re writing more music than ever, with no intention of slowing down. Their desire has always been to glorify the Lord instead of themselves and they do so by writing music that is biblically based, lyrically rich, and sonically engaging. Check out their discography!


    Over the past few years, Shane & Shane have dedicated their lives to encourage and equip worship leaders and their teams through an online resource called The Worship Initiative. The Worship Initiative is an equipping ministry and a collective of worship leaders that, over the past few years, has grown into a thriving community in and of itself.

  • Matt Redman is a GRAMMY®-Award winning worship leader and songwriter who has been a leading contributor to the global Church’s songbook over the last twenty years.


    His journey as a worship leader and songwriter has taken him to countries such as South Africa, Japan, India, Australia and the Czech Republic. Along the way he has sung in venues such as Madison Square Garden, Wembley stadium, and the Royal Albert Hall - as well as recording in iconic studios such as Abbey Road in London and Capitol Records in LA. Matt Redman’s best songs include The Heart of Worship, Blessed Be Your Name, Our God - and the double-Grammy winning 10,000 Reasons. More recent co-writes include Do It Again and Build my Life.


    Beyond music, he is an author and also launched a successful podcast in 2021, ‘Redman & Riddle’, which he co-hosts with worship artist Jeremy Riddle. He recently announced his fourteenth full-length album, set to release in mid-2023, which is introduced by debut single ‘Son of Suffering’.


    Originally from England, Matt Redman now resides in California with his wife Beth and their five children.

  • Countless people sing his songs in churches every week around the globe, but few realize Centricity Music recording artist Mack Brock is the songwriter behind them. As one of the founding members of Elevation Worship, Brock and his wife, Meredith — who currently serves as the CEO of Proverbs 31 Ministries — originally moved to Charlotte, N.C., to help start the worship team at Elevation Church. For 10 years, they were on staff at the megachurch led by respected pastor Steven Furtick. During that time, Brock co-penned some of Elevation’s earliest hits, like RIAA certified Double Platinum® single “O Come To The Altar,” Platinum-certified “Do It Again” and Gold- certified “Resurrecting.” Additionally, Brock has also written selections recorded by Phil Wickham, Jesus Culture, Passion, Pat Barrett and Bryan & Katie Torwalt, among other artists.


    After a decade with Elevation Worship, Brock sensed the Lord leading his family into a new season. So he walked away from the collective and his church staff position to discern his next step of obedience. “It was a really challenging transition,” Brock admits of leaving the safety of Elevation for the unknown. “I like being a part of a team. I grew up playing in bands, so the idea of doing ‘solo Mack Brock’ has always been odd for me. At the time, it felt like one door was closing, but we didn’t know what was on the other side of the next door.”


    Brock did find his footing as a solo artist. Yet, it’s made him place a high value on the collaborative spirit of songwriting, working with a label team and playing with a group of backing musicians on a regular basis.


    In 2018, he released his debut, Greater Things, which garnered him a radio hit with the title-cut. The five-track Covered EP followed the next year, and 2020’s SPACE cemented Brock as a bonafide solo act. The South Carolina native has toured with artists like Hillsong UNITED, Cody Carnes and Mosaic MSC, but he also has a passion for pouring into worship teams across the country.


    “I know that I’m called to be a worship leader, and I want to be a good steward of that calling,” says Brock, who first started honing his craft in his hometown church where his dad was a pastor. “My heart is always to write songs for the Church, songs for the believer and songs that give a language and a voice for people to have a conversation with God.


    “I also try to be vulnerable about the struggle of living in faith,” the father of three continues, “when the promises I feel like the Lord has given me aren’t matching up with my reality at the moment.”


    When he finds himself standing at that crossroads of inner conflict, Brock builds his faith by looking to the past and all the ways he’s found God to be faithful across the story of his life. This theme shows up in Brock’s new music — his first in partnership with Centricity Music.

  • Since his major-label debut in 2008, Matt Maher has become a staple in the artistic and songwriting community. A nine-time-GRAMMY® nominee and three-time-GMA Dove Award® winner, he has garnered multiple radio successes, writing and recording songs such as his Top 5 CCLI song “Lord, I Need You” and the chart-topping radio singles “Because He Lives (Amen)” and “Alive & Breathing.” Along with other hits such as “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen,” and “Your Grace Is Enough,” Maher has written or co-written six No. 1 radio singles.


    Penning numerous songs recorded by Crowder, Hillsong, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, We Are Messengers, Chris Renzema, Mack Brock, Brandon Lake and Passion, he’s had multiple titles on the CCLI chart’s Top 500 list. With career album sales of more than 600,000 units to date, Maher was awarded RIAA Platinum® certification for “Lord, I Need You” and RIAA Gold® certification for “Hold Us Together,” “All The People Said Amen,” and  “Because He Lives (Amen)”. He’s released ten studio albums, including his 2017 GRAMMY-nominated album Echoes, and his first Christmas album and children’s book, both titled The Advent of Christmas.


    Maher, an official Steinway Artist, has been headlining his own tours and performing at major Catholic and Evangelical events since 2004, including multiple World Youth Day festivals, most recently in Rio De Janeiro presided by Pope Francis. He has also participated in the industry’s biggest tours and festivals, such as Worship Night In America with Chris Tomlin, Compassion Live’s The Road Show and Tobymac’s Hits Deep. Maher has also toured with MercyMe, Chris Tomlin, and Casting Crowns. 

  • Curb | Word Entertainment recording artist Meredith Andrews is passionate about writing and leading songs that keep people’s hearts and minds set on Jesus. Over the course of her career, the Dove Award-winning artist has been using her musical gifts, love for God, and her huge heart for His people - to teach and remind us all about the enormity of our awesome and loving Savior. Andrews was previously part of the Vertical Worship team, and more recently Belonging Co., her home church in Nashville. As a gifted songwriter and recording artist, she has been a part of multiple songs sung by churches across America such as “Open Up The Heavens”, “Lamb of God”, “Not For A Moment”, “Spirit of the Living God,” and “Faith and Wonder.” Andrews often leads worship at major women’s and worship leader conferences across the U.S., and has toured with Matt Maher, Natalie Grant, Big Daddy Weave, Vertical Worship, Phil Wickham, and Michael W. Smith, among others. Meredith released her latest album, Heaven's Frequency, on March 22, 2024. Recorded in her hometown of Nashville at HopeUC, the all-new live project showcases the genuine anointing and bold authority Andrews harnesses as she leads a room full of worshipers to the throne of God.

  • At Red Rocks Church, we believe that we are a bunch of broken people, pursuing a perfect, loving God. Our mission is to know God, live on purpose, and go change the world. Red Rocks Church is led by Senior Pastor Shawn Johnson, who teaches with real authenticity, humility, and sincerity. We want you to know that you are loved, valued, and accepted, and you are welcome here just as you are!


    We desire to be an authentic people, humble, generous and unified. We want everyone to know the only way, the truth, and the life found in Jesus and serve as a front porch – welcoming home prodigals.


    Founded in 2005, Red Rocks Church is ONE church in multiple locations including four Denver-area campuses, one international campus, and two God Behind Bars campuses in Colorado prisons.


    Red Rocks Worship is comprised of worship leaders and songwriters who have a passion to bring their love of Jesus to people through music. The heartbeat behind their music is to cultivate communities of believers that pursue God’s presence.


    We exist to make Heaven more crowded.

  • Shama Mrema is an African-born American-raised host, actor, comedian, and part-time musical artist. After taking the internet by storm in 2018 with his viral song “Veggie Tales Remix,” he has been a dominant force in comedy and entertainment. 


    After the success of “Veggie Tales Remix,” TBN created a spin-off show based on the song for Yippee TV, where Shama starred and co-wrote music for the entire season; this was the beginning of a relationship with TBN that would cultivate Shama hosting the pre-show for the 52nd Annual Dove Awards and the 2021 K-Love Fan Awards. 


    With over 300 million views on his hilarious comedy sketches, music videos, and podcasts, Shama has been featured in publications such as Eater, Hope Nation, The Christian Post, 800lb Gorilla, Relevant Magazine, Rapzilla, and many more.


    Known for his characters, music, and stand-up comedy, Shama has entertained the internet for the past decade and gained over 350,000 followers across social media.


    Shama has been married to Grace since September 2018, and they have three kids: Ezra, Zoey, and Lucy.

  • Robbie Seay is the EVP of Leader Development + Content at The Worship Initiative. He lives in Dallas, TX with his wife of 25 years, Elizabeth. Together they have 4 children. He is widely known for his songwriting, worship leading, and recording career, which still play a big role in his life & ministry. His heart for the church, the music of the church, and worship leaders has led him to devote much of his time and energy to mentoring and encouraging young leaders/songwriters as they enter the intersection of worship, ministry, and leadership.

  • Gateway Worship is the primary worship expression for Dallas-Fort Worth based Gateway Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in North America. Leading only 200 people in its infancy, the worship team now ministers to over 40,000 congregational attendees across multiple campuses and tens of thousands more online each week, capturing the sound and songs of the local church. One of today’s most influential churches, Gateway’s gift of worship to God is being echoed in churches across the world. United with one voice, a collective of worship leaders, musicians, songwriters, are committed to leading the church body into a place of intimate worship and an understanding of the power of the Word of God expressed through music.

  • Thrive Worship and its founding leaders – Corbin Phillips, along with Peter Burton and Charmaine Wells – is the global worship team of Bayside Church, a multisite movement based in northern California. Being part of the current fastest-growing church in the country, Thrive Worship is a group of diverse singers and musicians across seven campuses, expanding their creative reach while keeping the same core passion and message. Working as a worship family, they express the following approach – “a church for people who don’t like church” – with songs that are focused on unwrapping the gospel to everyone.


    After signing with Integrity Music in 2018 and releasing their debut album, “A Thousand More,” and the new EP “Let's Have Church,” Thrive Worship “continues to pursue its call to equip the church with truth and faith, offering songs of hope for the future and love for our Savior.”

    Phillips says, "Thrive Worship is just an extension of what's happening in our walls. We know when we're writing songs from the heartbeat of testimonies within our church, of our own testimonies, or what we've seen God do in our services."


    He continues, "As we entered into this project, we were pulling from (about) 60 songs. We felt like God was pouring out on us but, at the end of the day, I think this idea of what God said in Acts 2, that in the last days that he would pour his spirit out on the church, we're seeing God's spirit in our lives. We're seeing God's spirit being poured out on our church right now in a way that I've personally never seen in the 20-odd years I've been coming to this church. We, as Thrive Worship and as songwriters, have a responsibility right now to equip the church with truth and with the gospel and with the mechanisms to share and to grow that faith."

  • Singer/songwriter Patrick Mayberry never truly understood the power of worship music until he experienced it firsthand at a Passion conference. His YoungLife leader invited him to the annual gathering for college students, which has morphed into a larger movement that’s birthed some of Christian music’s most respected artists, such as Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Kristian Stanfill and Matt Redman. For many, Passion is a multi-day spiritual wake-up call to the things of God. For Mayberry, Passion was a transformational awakening to the intersection of faith and music.


    That was nearly 15 years ago. Today, Mayberry is on the cusp of embarking on an artistic journey he never quite felt qualified to pursue. Signed to Centricity Publishing as a writer since 2018, the Cookeville, Tenn. native has penned songs recorded by North Point Worship, David Leonard, Mack Brock, David Dunn, Jonny Diaz, Joel Vaughn and Chris Renzema, among others. In addition, he’s garnered sync placements with T-Mobile, NBA, the “TODAY” show and more. To date, Mayberry has released two EPs independently with 2018’s Joy and 2019’s Live In My Living Room, the latter of which he partnered with Centricity Music to re-release in 2020. Mayberry, his wife Jenny, and their four children recently relocated from Chicago to Franklin, Tenn., where he now remotely serves as Executive Producer of Worship for Chicago’s Soul City Church. Mayberry’s path to becoming an artist, however, has been a long and winding road.


    Growing up in the Church of Christ denomination, Mayberry was discouraged from enjoying music with instrumentation in worship settings. Therefore, his growing love of guitar felt disconnected from his growing love of Jesus. As he transitioned from middle school to high school while playing the guitar riffs of his idols, Jimi Hendrix and Grateful Dead, he found like-minded friends through his local YoungLife chapter, which consistently merged music and faith.


    His collegiate years—a period of time Mayberry calls a “dark season”—proved pivotal. “I was still very much figuring out faith and figuring out, really, what every college kid’s trying to figure out: What am I even here for? What’s my purpose?” he recalls.


    The answer came at Passion ’06. “That was my first experience with corporate worship on a bigger scale. It’s funny, because I really was clueless and just kind of a sponge, wide-eyed, taking it all in,” Mayberry says of the conference. “I felt like that’s when the Lord was showing me, ‘This is how you could use music for the Church. If you wanted to do this, I think this would be a cool way for you to use your music.’ So I fell in love with worship music.”

  • Since making his major label debut with The Unknown in 2020, Jonathan Traylor has made an impressive entrance into the Christian, Gospel and Worship music genres. Early career milestones include a #1 single at Hot AC (“I Trust You”), opening for gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds’ Make Room Tour and CCM icon Jeremy Camp’s 30-city “When You Speak” Tour, as well as earned his first Stellar Award nomination for Best New Artist of the Year in 2021.


    "I’m Here For You" is the latest collection of songs from rising artist Jonathan Traylor (Motown Gospel/Capitol CMG), available September 24, 2021. The timely 6-song EP speaks to the reality of God’s presence with us, and the importance of our connections with one another.

     

    Standout tracks include the inspiring and uptempo “Hope,” the acoustic-driven and introspective “High Up,” and the inviting worship anthem, “The Table.” With every song written by Traylor, and produced by hitmakers Jordan Sapp and Jeff Pardo, "I’m Here For You" is a marked progression of Jonathan Traylor’s multi-faceted artistry.

  • Aaron is the Co-Founder of Planning Center, an online church management system that started out as a single app to help worship teams get organized and has now grown to over 80,000 churches worldwide. He was previously the Pastor of Music at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, and before that Southwest Community Church in Palm Desert, CA. As a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter with a music degree from Azusa Pacific University, each December Aaron tours the country supporting his 2021 Christmas album. Now working full-time at Planning Center in Carlsbad, California, he still travels as a guest musician and volunteers on his church worship team.


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