If there’s one word to aptly describe both Group 1 Crew’s artistic ingenuity and personal growth since we last heard from the five-time Dove Award-winning troupe, it’s certainly Fearless as the title to their fourth studio CD so boldly proclaims. Besides pushing the musical envelope towards an endlessly infectious stream of hip-hop, rap, pop, rock and inspirational confections, it’s impossible not to notice the exponential personal growth for co-vocalists Manwell Reyes and Blanca Reyes Callahan.
“One of the main changes personally is balancing being married with going on the road, and professionally, that we went from a trio to a duo,” explains Blanca, citing long time collaborator Pablo Villatoro returning to full-time family life. “That was a very scary transition as we waited to see what God had in store for Group 1 Crew after, plus right around that time, I also lost my father. So there were certainly some big tribulations and hurdles we went through, but also some really great things like marriage, all of which really added to the record and gave Fearless a lot of heart.”
Continues Manwell: “Throughout all the soul searching, we found a sense of purpose, realizing the group wasn’t just a group of convenience, but of necessity. We’ve been on the road playing music and filling voids for a lot of people. We’ve had so many people tell us that they found us to be a breath of fresh air, which made us feel like we have a sense of duty to continue.”
After a mere spin of Fearless, it’s immediately apparent Group 1 Crew didn’t continue on cruise control, but turned in their most full-throttled disc to date that’s sure to signal their arrival to the world at large. In fact, the duo’s already being heralded as one of the most preeminent entertainers regardless of genre (as evidenced during 2012’s mostly sold out Winter Jam arena tour) with additional momentum coming from the new disc’s lead single “He Said” (Feat Chris August) already topping Billboard’s Christian CHR chart with equally impressive Top 10 status on both the Billboard Christian AC and Hot Christian Songs charts.
Check out the music video below, and hear the band share the story behind the song.
“One of the things I love about the group is our vast musical inspirations, which range from Manwell’s ’90s rock and hip-hop to my love for ballads, divas and old school funk,” notices Blanca in wake of the group becoming a core Christian radio act across literally all formats. “On this record, we’re able to incorporate all the different styles of music that we love and it’s a fun thing that a lot of bands don’t get to do. We’ll go from hip-hop to an inspirational ballad, but that’s just how we think, kind of like an iPod shuffle.”
While the ambitious sonic potpourri that could easily find a home alongside Rihanna, Drake, Katy Perry or Wiz Khalifa is certainly nothing short of Fearless, the project also exposes members’ hearts to such vulnerable degrees that fans from any walk of life can’t help but relate. Be sure to pick up your copy of their brand new album, “Fearless,” today & spread the word!
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Even in the face of craziness or the hurricane of emotions going on in your life, you need to always remain Fearless. When God’s called you to something great, don’t ever be afraid to step out in faith and don’t ever give up. -Blanca