Break-out multigenerational family band We The Kingdom topped off an epic year with the first GRAMMY nods of their career last month. We The Kingdom’s eight-week chart-topper, “Holy Water,” was nominated for “Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song,” and their debut full-length album, Holy Water, received a nod for “Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.” Upon release earlier this year, Holy Water landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart. The acclaimed studio project features two No. 1 songs: the now GRAMMY-nominated “Holy Water” and their most recent hit, “God So Loved,” We The Kingdom’s second consecutive No. 1 radio single. In a TCB Exclusive, the DOVE Award winning band recently opened up about their monumental year, the impact of their new music and a holiday collaboration with Chris Tomlin.
Congratulations on your monumental 2020! Can you share a little about what it means for you to have released Holy Water this year?
Andrew Bergthold: It was so incredibly special because I had always wanted to be in a worship band, called We The Kingdom, for like eight or nine years now. I grew up in Kansas City and the Lord kind of laid the name on my heart about nine years ago and I tried to start a band in Kansas City and it just did not work out. So it was kind of a disappointment. I really felt like being in a band was something I was supposed to do. I moved to Nashville and met the Cash family and years went by.
When the Lord just dropped this whole thing together in the last few years, it was pretty surreal for me and just such a testimony of its goodness and faithfulness. So when the record came out, it was kind of like the nine years in the making for me. It’s just so, so special.
What is one key message or take away you want to share with others that listen to this album?
Scott Cash: I would say that your story is valuable and beautiful and worth digging into. It’s worth lifting up the hood on every chapter in your story and looking at the pain, the heartache, the beauty, the magic and the creativity. And looking into how God weaves the thread of his love into our stories despite the chaos of circumstances. That’s what this record really is for us, it’s our story. It’s like the story of the last three years and it is generally the story of the decade of our lives. I think our hope would be that people would hear their own stories and their own journey mirrored in what we’re saying about our own walks of life.
Success can mean many things to different people. What did you envision as success for Holy Water prior to its release and did you achieve success?
Franni Cash Cain: Yeah, I think with that song we were making music that felt really good. When we first wrote it, I felt like the song was going to connect with people and do really well, but it’s definitely grown so much more since it came out. I’m so glad that people have been able to connect to it. I love the scripture that talks about how the yoke that God gives us was easy and light. The first verse of the song feels like that. It’s lifting the weight of our shame and bringing us joy.
The song “Holy Water” has been out for over a year and it continues to connect with listeners. Can you share some of the reactions you’ve received that have resonated with you personally?
WTK: We were playing a show in Florida right before coronavirus derailed the entire globe. This lady walked up to me as we were getting off stage and she said ‘two months ago I wasn’t a Christian and then I was driving down the road in my MINI Cooper and your song ‘Holy Water’ came on the radio.’ She said, ‘I turned it up so loud that I blew my speakers and I became a Christian.’ That fired me up! Also, one time I was in a restaurant having lunch with my wife and I was wearing a We The Kingdom hat. This girl, probably in her 20s, came up to me and said ‘you’re in that band aren’t you, your music has gotten me through the last year.’ I was just overwhelmed, that blew my mind.
How does your connection to the music you write and record help engage listeners?
Franni Cash Cain: I was listening to a podcast the other day, with the musician Drew Holcomb, and he was talking about how he doesn’t want to listen to any music that doesn’t have heart in it. For example, music that doesn’t have an ache in it or passion. I hope in our music people can hear the heart, passion, pain and the story in it. I think the common denominator with us is that we all love good music. We all grew up with a different decade of musical influences that we really value. You know the way that music connects with people is so different from anything else. Something that we want to offer people in our songs is a lot of heart and good music and a little bit of our story to just be able to bring them in and make them feel like they’re part of it too cause they are.
In addition to releasing Holy Water this year, you were also nominated for two GRAMMY awards. Do you remember where you were when you received news of the nominations?
Franni Cash Cain: We were with Chris Tomlin and we were filming his Christmas worship virtual concert. Chris’ drummer came up to me and said ‘congrats on the Grammys’ and I thought he was kidding, I just laughed it off. Then I realized he was serious and I was just completely shocked. I’d never thought of the Grammys as even being an option for us. So the fact that it happened to us caught me so off guard. It’s so, so incredibly overwhelming and exciting.
This holiday season you were featured on Chris Tomlin’s album (with “Christmas Day”). Can you share how this collaboration came to be?
WTK: We’ve been friends and colleagues with Chris for probably over 15 years now and he’s just been such a great friend and artist to work with. We wrote ‘Christmas Day’ randomly I think two years ago. We were rehearsing for a Christmas concert at a church and we just ended up writing ‘Christmas Day’ on the spot. You know I think some of our best songs come from when we’re doing something else and God just brings the wind into the air and then we hop on board wherever that wind takes. I think for all of us, we just instantly really loved that song. For whatever reason, it really connected with our hearts. Then last year, Chris was looking to do a couple of Christmas songs and he had the idea to have us be a part of it with him and so that’s sort of how it came about. It was just an honor to get to do that with him
With 2020 coming to a close, can you share with us something you are looking forward to for 2021?
WTK: There’s so much that we are truly looking forward to. Lord willing we’ll be able to get out and play music as soon as possible. We just cannot wait!