2013 Dove Award “New Artist of the Year,”
Debut Album Crave included in Billboard magazine’s 2012’s Biggest Debuts list
Their latest album: Into The Silent Night, Word 2013
Have appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Access Hollywood,” FoxNews’ “Huckabee”
Cuts of songs aired on CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva"
for KING & COUNTRY: How Music Makes a Difference
The 700 Club
CBN.com - A FAMILY AFFAIR
The Smallbone brothers grew up in a Christian home in Australia where music always had a strong presence. Their dad was a successful concert promoter who moved the family to Nashville in the nineties. Their sister, Rebecca St. James, released her first album at the age of 16 and was on the fast track as a young contemporary Christian artist. Her brothers, Joel now 29 and Luke now 27, were her stage managers. They handled everything for more than ten years. When Joel and Luke talked about starting their own band, they already had hands-on training. Running Rebecca's music ministry allowed them to have a real vantage point into the power of music. "We understand how music impacts peoples' lives. We want people to leave with value and hope," says Joel.
Luke and Joel wrote 150 songs for their first record. Their hit single, “Proof of Your Love,” was a song written based on 1 Corinthians 13. Joel wanted to write a song that would gently nudge and encourage people yet challenge them at the same time. The song hit the Top Ten and their video topped the iTunes Christian Video Charts. Shortly after their record released in February 2012, Luke was diagnosed with a serious digestive disorder. The rigorous demands of the tour proved to be too much. Luke was bedridden, and Joel was forced to perform 40-50 shows without his partner. At 6’4” Luke lost so much weight and was down to 125 pounds. “Even our mother was alarmed at his weight loss,” says Joel.
Eventually, Luke worked through the mental, physical and emotional toll his body was going through and by the grace of God, Joel says, “he somehow turned the story.” Luke is not out of the woods yet, but there is a newfound kindred spirit that has developed between them as partners and brothers. “Not to be cliché,” says Joel, “but the key to our success has been that this is God’s journey and not our own.”
One of the things that the Smallbone brothers believe is that God’s Word is living and fresh. “It’s not stale and stagnant,” says Joel. “It’s fresh and revolutionary and hopefully we present that in a way that God willing, people will respond.”
RESPECT AND HONOR
Rebecca was a popular women’s conference speaker during her career and both Joel and Luke were exposed to quite a bit of female conversation. They learned a lot about a woman’s worth. “It’s time for men to step up in relationships,” says Joel, who has been married for 4 months. Luke has been married for 3 years. “Society suggests that women talk, act or dress cheap,” says Joel. “We believe there’s a God who thinks women are priceless.” This is a message Joel and Luke try to share at every opportunity. “It’s astounding to see the heart to heart connection with women,” says Joel. “It’s shocking to hear the response.” They believe women are worth more than all the money in the world.
While picking a name for their band, Joel says they thought of “All the King’s Men,” but it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for. While in the studio, their producer said, “What about for King and Country?” The history of that phrase goes back to the olden days when the British soldiers would shout “for king and country” before going into battle as an anthem for fighting for something they believed in. Joel and Luke looked at each other in the studio and knew they found the band’s name.
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