Acclaimed husband/wife duo Seth & Nirva made their long-awaited return March 13 with One Voice, an impassioned 13-track collection of music and spoken-word vignettes. The project showcases the couple at their most vulnerable and most confident, tackling such deeply personal topics as racial reconciliation and apologetics. Helmed by UK-based songwriter/producer Jimmy James (Matt Redman, Guvna B) and Seth Ready, One Voice features guest turns from Newsboys’ Michael Tait, as well as Mr. Talkbox and Dr. Tony Evans, among others. Recently Seth shared with us some of the couple's inspiration behind the new album and their new podcast, Freemind.
Congratulations on the release of One Voice! Can you talk a little about the meaning behind the album’s title and how it is a reflection of the whole project?
Thanks so much, and thanks for taking the time to interview us! 'One Voice' is really a call to unity within the body of Christ. Many cultural commentators have stated that we are currently living in one of the most divided times since the Civil War, and unfortunately, that division is present within the Church as well. There is so much at stake in our culture right now, and if we are going to live out God’s calling to fulfill His kingdom purposes, we are going to have to stand together as one. While it is always true that a house divided against itself cannot stand, we think it is especially true right now, as our nation is growing increasingly anti-Christian.
You pre-released a few tracks from One Voice over the last few weeks, two of them being “Light Up The Sky” and “Mercy”. What has the reaction been to the pre-released tracks to date?
The reaction has been really positive! “Light Up the Sky” is a fun up-tempo song that’s poppy and catchy. It ended up getting on quite a few Spotify playlists and is currently our highest streamed song. “Mercy” is a little more out of the box. It’s our favorite on the album, and we think it could end-up having the most impact in the long run. It’s sort of like a liturgical psalm asking God to have mercy on us, as individuals and on our nation, in the midst of difficulty, while acknowledging that at times He seems to be silent in the face of injustice. It ends on an optimistic tone as we sing in a vocal round, “fall like rain, fall like rain, let it fall down, let it fall down,” because we know that ultimately God’s justice will reign, and His mercy will fall on His children who are crying out to Him for deliverance. This song has some layers to it, which is why we chose to make a music video for it.
When did you first have the idea for this project? How long was One Voice in the making?
We started writing for this project probably three or four years ago, shortly after our song “Brother” made an impact at radio. That song ended up becoming a central ministry piece for us, so we wanted to further explore the theme of unity— loving your enemies and standing in the gap for others. We began writing along those lines and the songs for this project emerged. We also included some interludes and spoken word/sermon vignettes that we think add to the messaging of the album.
What was the inspiration behind your decision to choose an album format of mixing music and spoken-word vignettes?
In our current cultural moment, certain buzzwords like “unity,” “love” and “inclusion” are poorly defined in ways that run against biblical Christianity. For instance, these days we often say that to love someone means we must affirm whatever desires they have or whatever makes them happy. Biblically speaking, love requires standing against someone’s desires when those are things God calls sin or evil. This is love, because ultimately sin destroys, even if something is pleasurable in the moment or for a season. In recording an album on these themes, we didn’t want them to be interpreted through cultural lenses. The spoken-word vignettes thus act as sort of an interpretive key.
What message do you hope listeners take away from this collection?
In track 11 on the album, “The Manifold Wisdom of God,” Dr. Rice Broocks captures perfectly what we hope listeners will take away from this project: “Love and unity come by the power of the Holy Spirit when He joined you heart to heart, spirit to spirit, brother to brother, sister to sister. We are family and only the Spirit of God can do that— and only the Gospel can bring us together in that kind of way. And what is the goal? The goal is that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places. This was in accordance to the eternal purpose that He has created in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In addition to the release of One Voice, you also have another ongoing project – a podcast called Freemind. Can you share some of the inspiration behind starting this podcast and what listeners can expect when tuning in?
Yes, we started the Freemind Podcast in January 2019 and have released one episode per week since then. The tag line is “freedom from captivity to the spirit of the age, and freedom to increasingly take on the mind of Christ.” We analyze current hot topics and events from a biblical perspective. We have addressed quite a range of issues, including abortion, social justice, progressive Christianity, LGBTQ activism and much more. We have had the privilege of interviewing many leading Christian thinkers such as John Stonestreet, JP Moreland, Sean McDowell, Nancy Pearcey and Alisa Childers, and we hope to have more incredible guests in the coming year. We started this podcast because we saw so many people drifting away from biblical Christianity on important subjects—many of them leaving the faith altogether. I have a background in apologetics and biblical worldview training, so I felt compelled to do something about it. We thought a podcast would be the best platform to tackle these tough issues.
What is your vision for Freemind’s growth this year?
We’re hoping to increase the number of guests we interview this year. We hope to eventually add more than just one episode per week, as well as more video alongside of the audio episodes we produce. We are ramping up our social media presence as well, hopefully giving people a place to interact with the ideas and have some helpful dialogue.
What are you most looking forward to in 2020 aside from Freemind and the release of One Voice?
We just moved from Florida to the San Francisco Bay area to join a church staff there. This happened pretty quickly, so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. But we are so excited to dig in. We believe God has something special for this area, and that He has mercifully brought us here to allow us to be a part of it. We can’t wait to see what unfolds this year.