Newsboys is one of the biggest bands in Christian music history, having sold more than 10 million units across 23 recordings and garnering boundless accolades, including 1 RIAA Platinum certification and 8 Gold certifications, 33 #1 radio hits, four GRAMMY nominations, two American Music Award nominations and multiple Dove Awards. With signature songs like “We Believe,” “Born Again” and the unstoppable mega hit “God’s Not Dead”—which birthed a film franchise of the same name—Newsboys have continued to collect career-defining accolades at full speed ahead. For over three decades, the band has toured extensively throughout the world to present their unparalleled high-energy shows, from their formation in Australia to their current residence in the United States, and everywhere between. This year, current band members Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis return to the marketplace with “Magnetic,” an uptempo pop song about the consistent love of God. The song is the first from the band’s upcoming album, expected in October 2021, marked by a fresh sound set to a timeless and eternal message.
Capitol Christian Music Group
“This record is about a deeper sorrow and a higher hope,” says Ellie Holcomb of her latest album, C A N Y O N, the third full-length solo project from the singer/songwriter. For eight years, she recorded and toured full-time with her husband’s band, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, before stepping off the road when her first child was born. Her solo debut, As Sure As The Sun (2014), landed her a Top 10 hit at Christian radio with “The Broken Beautiful” and a GMA Dove Award for “New Artist of the Year.” Her critically-acclaimed sophomore LP, Red Sea Road, followed in 2017. In subsequent years, Holcomb has released two children’s books—each with a companion EP of original music written specifically for kids, the second of which earned her a Dove Award for “Children’s Album of the Year” in 2020. She’s consistently writing, touring and performing while raising three kids with Drew in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. (They’ve been dancing in the kitchen to the new songs on C A N Y O N, and she can’t wait to share them with the world.)
Singer/songwriter Anne Wilson always dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Excelling in math and science, she visited NASA when she was in 8th grade, further heightening her enthusiasm for the profession. She had a plan. She would graduate from college. She would meet all the requirements and complete all the training; and one day she would be on a mission to space. Her aspirations of exploring galaxies light years away seemed within reach until one fateful night in the summer of 2017. And suddenly, everything changed.
The youngest of three siblings, Wilson grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, in a Christian home. However, it wasn’t until she was in middle school that she came to know the Lord for herself. “I didn’t really know Jesus personally. It was more following a list of rules, and if I go to church on Sunday, I’m good,” Wilson shares. “But when I was 12, for the first time in my life, I understood who God was and felt His presence. I really fell in love with Jesus. He completely saved my life, and I began to pursue Him.”
Her unwavering commitment to Christ came at just the right time. Three years later, tragedy struck, and had it not been for the cornerstone she found in her faith, she says the events that took place might have destroyed her.
In the wee hours of June 7, 2017, police knocked on the front door of the Wilson home and shared news no family ever wants to receive. Wilson’s brother, Jacob, had been tragically killed in a car accident. He was only 23.
“It was such a dark moment in my life. I remember feeling so hopeless and devastated and broken,” Wilson recalls. “I was so incredibly overwhelmed with emotions that I literally couldn’t even cry.”
Standing in her living room, just minutes after her dad had given her the news, she heard the voice of God.
“I heard God say to me, clear as day, ‘Anne, are you going to trust Me?’ I turned around right in that room, and I spoke to Jesus, and I said, ‘Jesus, I trust You.’ And then God spoke again and said, ‘I’m going to give you what you need to push through this tragedy,’” Wilson remembers. “All of a sudden, the weight of death was lifted fully off my shoulders, and I felt like I could breathe. I had this assurance that God was going to pull me through this tragedy to the other side.”
In the agonizing days that followed, Wilson watched both her sister and her parents grapple with grief. “It was really difficult for me to even get through the day,” she admits. “It was very hard to get used to life without my best friend. It was hard for my mom and dad to process how to live without their son.”
Wilson often retreated to her room, finding solace in worship. Having played the piano since she was 6 years old, she began playing the melody for Hillsong Worship’s “What A Beautiful Name.” When her parents overheard her singing, they asked if she would perform the song at Jacob’s funeral.
After prayerful consideration, she reluctantly agreed. Outside of occasionally leading worship for her youth group at church, it was the first time she had ever sung in front of an audience. More than a thousand people gathered for the service honoring her brother that day. “I sat down to play, and God said, ‘This is what I’m calling you to do. I’m calling you to praise and worship my name,’” Wilson shares. “Up until that point, I had never dreamed of being a singer or singing for God.”
Without warning, it was as if God released her dreams of dancing among the stars and replaced them with a new dream—a dream of writing and recording music from a place of deep pain and authentic worship.
The video of Wilson singing “What A Beautiful Name” at Jacob’s funeral was passed on to a friend of a friend, who happened to be an artist manager. Intrigued by Wilson’s mesmerizing voice and visible hunger for Jesus, the manager contacted Anne six months later. She eventually signed a deal with Capitol Christian Music Group.
“Now, almost four years later, I literally could not imagine doing anything else,” Wilson admits, “and it blows my mind every day that I have a record deal and that I’m putting out music. It’s insane.”
Following her brother’s death, Wilson began journaling as a way to process her emotions. Those journal entries became the building blocks for lyrics—lyrics that belie her 19 years on the planet. Currently living in Franklin, Tennessee, she references past entries as she crafts songs for her debut EP.
Her first single, “My Jesus,” was literally ripped from the pages of her journal as she quickly realized that any time she wrote about her relationship with Christ, she always described Him as “My Jesus.” For Wilson, Jesus is personal. And her introductory song is a warm invitation to experience Jesus in the same intimate way.
“When I came to know Him, I quickly realized that Jesus is a personal Jesus. Through losing Jacob, I saw that more than ever. Jesus was specifically there with us through every single moment. He was carrying us through every single second of tragedy, loss and grief,” Wilson shares. “What I really want people to know and understand when they listen to this song is that Jesus can be personal for them, too. He can be their Jesus, too; and He’s going to carry them through every tragedy and every loss they go through.”
Rootsy instrumentation surrounds Wilson’s captivating vocals on the deeply personal anthem she co-wrote with Jeff Pardo and Matthew West, reflecting her musical influences—the southern sounds of country royalty like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton married with the heart-on-your-sleeve transparency of Steffany Gretzinger and Lauren Daigle.
It’s a sound she’s quietly honed in the wide open spaces of her grandfather’s farm in Kentucky—the final resting place for her brother and a special plot of land that holds fond memories of time spent with him there. Wilson often retreats to the farm to write and connect with her Savior. And just like she feels God draw closer to her through the natural surroundings on her family’s acreage, she hopes listeners feel His presence through her songs.
“I want people to come to know Jesus more intimately through my music. I also pray that Jesus would heal people’s hearts through my music and that He would enable them to let go of any anger or resentment they’re holding toward Him through my songs,” she emphasizes. “It’s really not about religion; it’s about relationship. I want people to know they can have a personal relationship with the Lord when they hear my songs.”
It’s this personal relationship that’s changed everything for Wilson. Loss doesn’t define her story. Instead, God used a moment of unspeakable tragedy in her life to write a far greater narrative—one that speaks to the power of holding to an anchor in the midst of the storm.
If anyone wants to know what a genuine relationship with Jesus looks like, all they have to do is take one look at Anne. Her smile is evidence that joy comes in the morning, and her voice is proof that God’s plans are better than our own. She might not be exploring the stars like she imagined she one day would, but the hope she radiates shines brighter than them all.
Singer/songwriter Stephen Stanley makes music with immediate emotional impact, revealing a depth of talent that comes from years of devotion to his craft. At the age of nine, the Mansfield, Georgia-based artist learned to play his mother’s guitar after suffering an accident that rendered him deaf in his left ear, and quickly uncovered an innate musicality and remarkable gift for melody. By age 13, he’d added piano and drums to his repertoire, in addition to writing songs and leading worship at the church where his father served as a pastor. Over the last decade, Stanley has honed a distinct and dynamic voice as a musician, bringing both raw emotion and a profound sense of purpose to everything he creates.
“My whole life I’ve known that I wanted to be in the Christian music world, but it took me a few years of writing to figure out exactly what I wanted to say,” Stanley notes. “At some point I started to use my songs as a way to talk about mental health, and about how God has helped me to get through things like anxiety and depression. The way I write now is to try to be as introspective and open about what I’m feeling as I possibly can, with the idea that it will hopefully translate to other people who are going through something similar.”
Originally from McDonough, Georgia, Stanley first found his love for music thanks to the ’70s and ‘80s rock bands his dad often played at home. When a jet ski mishap left him deaf in one ear, he spent the next year holed up with his mom’s old guitar, and later discovered his passion for piano and drums (“Whenever I was angry or frustrated as a kid, I’d just go to church and bang on the drums—it drove everyone crazy,” he recalls). Though he attended college for two years, Stanley ended up dropping out to dedicate himself to music full-time. “I went to Bible college mostly to help with my writing, because I didn’t want my songs to say anything that wasn’t based on scripture,” he says. “But then eventually I told my parents, ‘Give me a year to really focus and get this music thing going,’ and they supported me 100 percent.”
Over the next few years, Stanley spent most of his days writing and recording, scraping together money for studio time by working odd jobs (cleaning homes, selling guitars, playing house concerts). Working with esteemed producer Mitch Parks (whom he’d met at an industry social in Atlanta), he soon came up with a song called “Rhythm”—a slow-burning but radiant track that marked his first-ever release. As he continued collaborating with Parks and branched into co-writing, Stanley began playing showcases in Georgia and in Nashville, ultimately catching the attention of Capitol CMG and landing a record deal in early 2020.
On his debut project for Capitol CMG, Stanley shares a batch of songs exploring everything from self-doubt to sorrow to irrepressible hope, each track spotlighting his warm vocal presence and supreme melodic skills. Produced by Parks at his Atlanta studio 1971 Sounds, the EP finds Stanley joining forces with musicians like Christian Paschall (a drummer who’s worked with Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile) and Dan Alber (a bassist who’s toured with Lennon Stella), forging an indelible blend of alt-rock and irresistibly timeless pop.
The luminous lead single from Stanley’s debut, “No Hopeless Soul” offers a powerful introduction to his sound and sensibilities. With its bright rhythms, graceful guitar lines, and beautifully soaring vocal work, the track strikes a perfect balance between thoughtful reflection and full-hearted rejoicing. “No Hopeless Soul’ came from thinking about how a lot of people feel condemned by things in their past, or by something about themselves that they’re not proud of,” explains Stanley, who penned the track with Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Jeff Pardo (Lady A, Ben Rector). “We all have days where we feel like we’re not good enough—I know I feel that way sometimes—but God doesn’t just reject you because of something you’ve done wrong. The truth is that everyone is redeemable, and that’s the message that I wanted to send with this song.”
Now at work on his full-length debut, Stanley feels more confident than ever when it comes to crystallizing his vision. To that end, one of his main intentions is to infuse an element of hope and compassion into the musical landscape, especially at such a chaotic moment in time. “I feel like my generation wants to try to change the world, and we’re slowly learning that it’s not that easy,” says Stanley. “I really believe that love—and specifically the love that God offers—is the answer to so many of the problems we’re dealing with right now, whether it’s hatred or injustice or lack of unity. I hope my music helps to remind people of that, and helps them to feel a little uplifted and encouraged whenever they get overwhelmed.”
2020 hit me hard. Death and Decay and Discouragement. This year, all that was once stable and familiar in my life was turned upside down. My family, my occupation, my country, and my world was turned on it’s head and I found myself face to face with the terrifying existential questions of doubt and purpose and meaning. Night after night, the questions kept me awake:
Why am I here?
Do I matter?
If there is a God of love and truth and light and joy, why is there so much pain?
So much pain in me?
I wish I could tell you that I weathered this storm with courage and bravery. But it was not always the case. In fact, it was a low year. A year of regret and dismay. A year of discouragement. My body ached in new, horrible ways. For the first time in my life, I began to have anxiety attacks- having trouble breathing with a fire burning in my chest. I was depressed. Moody. Angry. And frustrated.
I fought hard against this year. And the year has won.
Looking back at the year, I have so many moments I wish I could handle differently- with my family, with my bandmates, with my friends. It was a year of growing pains. A year of surrender. 2020 was an unwanted gift, a stern tutor that faced me to learn lessons that I had been avoiding for years. 2020 taught me things that I’m not sure I could have learned any other way. But the journey that brought me here was not completely in vain. In fact, I would not trade it even if I could.
Somewhere along the way I began to realized that pain is not the enemy. That doubt is not the enemy. That loss and fear and destruction are not the enemy. I began to embrace the upheaval of our times as a clarifying agent, reminding me that temporal systems of meanings like fame or finance cannot provide eternal security.
I began to realize that the fertilizer of doubt and despair and pain can be a generous soil for beautiful things. The soil of life is messy, filled with worms and decay and broken dreams. The soil of my soul was (and still is) scattered with the rotting ideas of what I thought this year would bring. And yet, my dreams and hopes lay lifeless in the dirt. Ended prematurely. But these broken parts of us are often the very place where future beauty can bloom.
2020 taught me that seeds do not grow well in a garden overgrown with other plants already thriving. New growth comes from the soil of decay. The rotting balance of their dreams past are the fertile ground where future dreams can grow. This broken year was a year of weeding, clearing the garden of my mind to make room for something new.
2020 taught me that even theft itself is not the enemy. Nothing that we possess is ours for long. Everyday we are afforded opportunities to give ourselves away. We will each have to face our own demise one day, and dying to self is a lifelong education.
2020 taught me that Death is not the answer, it’s the question. Death is the ever-present frame of the moment, reminding us that this canvas of life is bounded, asking us all “What we will make of the life you’ve been given? This moment you hold in your hands?”
2020 taught me that rebirth is possible ONLY after death, surrender, and loss. That whoever finds their life will lose it.
During the lowest moments, I turned to meditation, prayer, and songs, attempting to find a vehicle to sing into this new storm of doubt and despair. That’s where this album was born.
This is an album born of the journey, not the destination. “Departures” is not a record of bold proclamations, but instead of whispered confessions. Attempting to come to terms with who I am and who I am not. This is the soundtrack for the uncertain questions. These are odes to the open door. Songs of wander and wonder. Songs of loss and lament.
“Departures” is a story told backwards. An album that attempts to embrace the moment we’re in. Embracing not only the pain and fear and the doubt and the loss but also the joy and the beauty and the longing present in the moment. This album is an open armed embrace of my own limitations. An embrace of who I am, and who I am not. An embrace of what is worth living for, and what is not. Of who God is, And who he is not.
I pray that “departures” would awaken sleeping souls to a horizon beyond the loss and pain and doubt and death of our times. May these songs awaken you. Like clarion call reminding you of all that is good and true and beautiful. Awakening that which is within you that is still alive! There is a heart yet beating within your breast. Let us rise once more. That we might live while we still can.
JUDAH is the surfacing of a compelling and raw journey expressed through shouts of praise and tumultuous reflection. Not only does he have story to tell but has been gifted with an honest ability to connect with people through music. The hope for JUDAH is to scream out Christ’s love to followers and doubters alike, and share the real grace and redemption that’s been found by someone walking in their shoes.
JUDAH is unapologetically authentic and straightforward, ripping through the layers of stigma and discomfort. He comes with a fresh approach that reflects his personality and style of praise and worship through music.
Angie Rose is a dynamic powerhouse Pop/Hip-Hop artist from the Bronx. From Puerto Rican roots, the Latina inspires her fans to be unstoppable through a combination of raw energy and undaunted lyrics. Her music promotes diversity and overcoming all obstacles, pulling from her past experiences with loss, drugs, and hurt.
MOSAIC MSC, a collective of some of Los Angeles’ most talented and culturally diverse singers and musicians, scored their biggest Billboard hit to date in March 2018 with the soulful anthem “Tremble,” which spent 33 weeks on the Hot Christian Songs chart. The group, which has garnered more than 100 million streams and one million monthly listeners around the world, is the heartbeat of Mosaic, a church founded by cultural pioneer and best-selling author Erwin McManus.
“We wanted to write a song that let people sing God’s words over their life – that they are good, wanted, and chosen by Him. This song has served as a powerful reminder in worship of how grateful we are that God loves us—and that He views us as worthy of His love.” – Brooke Figueroa, Mosaic MSC
Bryan and Katie Torwalt are worship leaders and songwriters who have a passion to see lives changed through encounters with the presence of God. This is the foundational premise from which their music is derived. The songs they write are declarative anthems for the body of Christ that reflect their passion for freedom, healing, and the assurance that God’s goodness surrounds us in any circumstance. Realizing the likeness in vision and spirit, the Torwalts joined with the Jesus Culture Music label in the fall of 2010 as they began working on their debut album "Here on Earth.” As they brought pen to paper, they had no idea they were crafting one of the biggest worship anthems of this decade. The song "Holy Spirit" has since gone on to win a Grammy for best Christian song of the year and it continues to be a staple in worship sets around the world. Their second album, Kingdom Come, is full of dynamic songs of faith and praise. The latest offering from Bryan and Katie, “Champion”, conveys a message of the victory we have in Jesus, even in the midst of hardship, and is full of prophetic declarations of the ever-present God who has overcome for us.