Interview with Fellowship Creative
The band is truly a movement, and a unique one at that, where a core group of like-minded people decided to collaborate their music, all of which was organically grown out of Scriptural teaching and the grit of everyday life. Simply put, the music of Fellowship Creative begins and ends with the Church.
A few months ago, the band released an album titled “Running to Follow.” “Running To Follow” was produced by CJ Eiriksson (U2, Matchbox Twenty), who, with a limited background in Christian music, helped form the album to a cohesive unit.
They are as diverse as you can get, with members from different backgrounds and different cultures, and they have successfully infused this into their sound, therefore, making their sound a thing of beauty, and this is one of the many unique aspects of Fellowship Creative.
Which is why while recording the album, it wasn’t uncommon to find a high school student playing alongside a hip-hop artist or a 16-year-old laying down drum tracks while a 20-something father of young children played bass accompanied on piano by a middle-aged man. This is a group with a wide range of backgrounds, ages, skills, and levels of spiritual maturity, and the result is an album full of eclectic styles.
Derric Bonnot the leader of Fellowship Creative with The Underground about the band, their sound, and Church.
Is a tour in the books for the band?
“Our main thing is our local church and hosting all the people we are reaching out to during the weeks. Although touring would be a lot of fun, we gotta keep the main thing the main thing. That being said; we will hit certain dates here and there that don’t conflict with that. You can catch us every weekend at Fellowship Church!”
What does an average recording/writing session with Fellowship Creative look like?
We have an ever-changing process, I would say. Initially, someone brings a voice memo of a song, with just a vocal and guitar or piano. Sometimes someone on our team has already poured a lot already into programming a synth or sequence, and we tailor that with some lyrics. Other times we carve out time to be in a room together and write from scratch in the moment.
The fun part is sharing an idea with everyone else, once it is kind of been incubated. We have a great balance of nurture and critique when it comes to our songs. Passing each song along to each other to hear, add, subtract, change, give feedback… And by the end, all of us have had some kind of input, whether it’s an encouragement or a major change. It brings some great accountability to what we’re trying to communicate to the listener.
How would you describe Fellowship Creative’s sound?
It’s a really eclectic mix. Each of us has a variety of influences, which you can identify as you listen. Overall, I would say Fellowship Creative sounds like who we are, and what we’re doing. That is; artists coming together and sharing their creativity. As far as genre goes, I think we dip into many different styles depending on the songs themselves. We’re still growing and challenging ourselves to venture into uncharted areas.
Your sound is organic, yet sometimes electronic — what inspired this sound?
We have some really talented people included in Fellowship Creative. Some are great players, but others are great with programming and the electronic side of things. The blend of the two, collaborating I think is what we get. We got inspired by this kind of cross-pollination and ended up trying to make the electronic sounds feel more organic in places and vice versa. Using computers has been really flexible for us, to be creative and do things on the fly. That’s the sound manipulation you can hear throughout the album.
I think it’s so exciting to see the global Church doing things outside of the box. Realizing that we’re made in the image of a creative God, who inspired and created life. We believe the local church should be the most creative entity on the planet. So that being said, on that level I think there are some absolute similarities–pushing the envelope. When we see that happen, and it’s definitely what Zion is doing, it inspires and challenges us to keep going.
The band is diverse with members from different backgrounds, culture, and ages — how does this change the dynamics in your music?
Considering our writing process is very inclusive by nature, it definitely adds to the diversity of our sound. When you listen to our album, you’ll hear a variety of styles which, of course, is a reflection of our teams diversity.
Which is your favorite song on the album?
I’ve always loved “Never Be Without It.” Some might say it’s because my wife sings on it. But really it’s a song that makes you want to roll down the windows and turn up the stereo!
Well, first and foremost, we are a part of the church, the body of Christ. So everything we do is a byproduct to serve and build the local church. We’re not out to make it as a music group; we’re out to reach the lost and share the message of Jesus. It’s hard to say how it changes our approach because we haven’t changed who we are or how we do what we do. Simply, we want to create music that you can worship to and be pointed to Jesus through.
Any chance Fellowship Creative will have an acoustic or live record in the near future?
Our team is continually writing new songs that are inspired by all that God is doing in and through the life of our church so, it’s definitely a possibility.
Any last words for the fans and listeners?
Thanks so much for listening! Hope you enjoy the album and share it with others.
What do you hope listeners get out of the album “Running To Follow?”
Our hope and desire is that this album will fuel people’s relationship with Jesus. We also hope that our listeners will use it as a tool to help others get connected with Him. The songs on this album are full of life and hope, and no matter who you are, everyone is looking for that. So hopefully people listen, enjoy and then share!