Created specially for Asia Conference 2010, CHC’s latest album celebrates the gospel of Jesus and God’s divine love.
Timed for the start of the Asia Conference, City Harvest Church’s much-anticipated new music album is out this week. CHC’s music ministry is known for bringing a contemporary twist to traditional church music, producing popular music that would not sound amiss on the pop charts today, but at the same time these songs are rich with spiritual depth.
Music is one of the strongest characteristics of City Harvest, one that has attracted media attention. Music director David Yem and creative director KC Gan appeared on Channel NewsAsia’s Get Rea!, a top-rated documentary series on contemporary issues that appeal to Singaporeans, to talk about the unique style of songwriting that has become a signature of the church.
Work on Reign began at the start of 2010. Gan told City News that while the process of song-writing is always ongoing for the CHC music team, for this album, they started conceptualizing and exploring different musical directions at the start of this year. He said, “The musical styles vary, from anthem praise to intimate worship. We spent a considerable amount of time rewriting the lyrics, melodies and arranging the music until the ‘feel’ of the songs was right to us.”
Sun Ho, an international pop singer, spent two weeks in Singapore to collaborate on this project. She co-wrote the title song with Yem and Gan, and penned another—“Perfect Sacrifice.” A church member now based in Los Angeles, Mark Kwan, wrote two songs in this album: “Sing” and “You See Through Me.” He also sang on three tracks
Reign will feature 14 songs in a double-disc album like 2004’s Cross.
With new concepts and new songs, there is freshness with every new album. The production of a music album is a collaborative effort between the producers, songwriters, singers and musicians. Many a time, differing opinions need to be reconciled.
|CN PHOTO: Kenneth Tan
One of the singers on Reign, Calvin Ho, who was the lead vocalist for several songs on previous albums like Writings On The Walls and Light Of The City says, “The part of the recording process I enjoy most is when I can sing in a way that captures the right type of sound the songwriter or music producer wants to hear—yet with my personal input in it too.”
Ultimately, says Ho, it is his aim to deliver the desired quality of vocals and unique flavor to the whole song. He is happy to be part of the new album, especially since it’s going to be released to people from all over the world this week at Asia Conference.
“To be able to contribute to this album in the little ways I can, gives me great satisfaction, a privilege I am grateful for.”
Another singer on the album is Indonesian Sendy Bolang, who has been a professional singer outside the church for 10 years. The daughter of an Indonesian pastor, she started singing in church when she was 9 years old and recorded her first Gospel album when she was just 15 years old. She was a back-up vocalist for the number one male and female artists in Indonesia for three years before coming to Singapore.
Bolang records in English for the first time, having only cut Indonesian albums before this. “All the songs are anointed. Each line has deep meaning. These songs are so real—they reflect our daily lives as human beings and as Christians. I love all the song and I enjoyed every moment of the recording—even though we were singing at 3 a.m.! It was so fun!”
Ho hopes that through the songs in Reign, CHC will be able to bring the voice and spirit of the church in its global message of the Cultural Mandate, the Great Commission, and the Great Commandment to the worldwide body of Christ and beyond to the unchurched and unsaved world.
So what’s going to be that X-factor in Reign?
Yem says, “May that be the ‘Cross-factor’ in the message of the album! Our desire is that the cross of Jesus be the central focal point of everything in our lives. Today, we can approach boldly before our heavenly Father and worship Him, all because of Jesus’ perfect and finished work on the cross.”
Yem hopes that the songs will bring listeners a new revelation of God’s divine love and that worship will be the response of an overwhelmed heart.
So why the title? Gan explains, “As we look to Jesus daily and let His presence reign in our hearts, we can overcome life’s challenges and experience His peace and joy. May the songs in this album remind us how close Jesus is to us.
“Truly, as a church we are called to rule and reign with Him in this present world and society, just as Christ is, so are we.”
Reign will be launched during the Asia Conference 2010. For more information, readers may also search for its page on Facebook.