Hillsong Young & Free has been on a hot
streak in the Christian music genre for the past three years, and not just
because they count megastars like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez as fans and
supporters. The group nabbed a GRAMMY nomination for their last album “Youth Revival,” and their latest single “Love Won’t Let Me Down,” off their much-anticipated
debut studio album “III,” is quickly climbing the charts.
Access touched base with two of the group’s
members Aodhan King & Alex Pappas to get the scoop on “III” and what makes it so different than their last album “Youth Revival.” Plus, which song do they think is the best off their
new album, which drops June 29?
Let’s get to know everyone! Names and where you are from!
Aodhan: Aodhan King from Sydney
Pappas: My name is Alex
Pappas. People call me; Pappas, Pappy, Papp and/or PapDawg. I am originally
from Long Beach, California the LBC!
What’s one fun fact about each of you? Any secret talents?
Pappas: I can do virtually any accent. Try
me. My German and British are my specialties.
King: Pappas can do virtually any
accent. Laura watches FRIENDS every single day.
did you all even meet/get together!?
Pappas: We met at church.
Actually I think I met Aodhan at McDonalds, but basically church. We all became
friends from a mutual love for cheeseburgers and doughnuts. Also Jesus… and
would you describe the sound of your new album compared to your last album
Youth Revival (which was Grammy-nominated by the way!)?
Pappas: I would say it’s
sounds better. (Lol) But in all seriousness it feels like the next step in the
evolution and growing up of Y&F.
Aodhan: Yeah, I would say
it’s the next step forward for us. We’ve taken risks both sonically and
lyrically but it is the most honest depiction of who we are now.
What are your favorite songs on the album? Is there one that is particularly
Aodhan: Always the hardest question! And the answer always changes
depending on the day. Today it’s First Love.
Pappas: My favorite song
on this record is a song called Days Gone By. I love it because it’s each of
our story in a way… we see Jesus in retrospect. In the moment of our
circumstances it’s hard to trust that He’s taking care of everything, but
looking back we know he’s working all things together for good.
6. You have songs that feel a lot like club
jams — like they could be by a famous DJ? Was that an intentional move to make
Christian music feel a little more current?
Pappas: We write music that we would want to listen to. Music that’s fun
and gets you going. And we LOVE to write music that connects with people today.
Whether young or old we write to bring life to all situations and seasons.
Aodhan: The music we make is always just a
reflection of what we listen to and naturally love. I know we all feel a
certain responsibility to not be boxed in by the sound of the “Christian music”
genre and we continue to make the effort to take risks and do things
7. How difficult is it to break-through into mainstream music when you’re in
a specific genre?
Pappas: I think good music is good music. People don’t need to subscribe
to the lifestyles defined in songs to like the music. But music has a way of
breaking through barriers that we couldn’t without it. We pray that our music
will knock down doors and connect with people.
8. Are there any challenges to being in a group this big, with so many
different creative opinions and ideas?
Pappas: Of course with lots of people there are going to be challenges,
but we’re a family and families have conflict, but the strength of the family
is moving forward together.
Aodhan: Yeah, I think it’s also our
greatest strength. The more the merrier. Having so many different creatives and
talented people helps us to achieve more and learn from one another
9. You have some pretty famous fans – Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber! What
does it mean to you to have such mega celebrities love your music?
Pappas: We set out from day one to write songs that would connect with
people right where they’re at, no matter their status or circumstance, so from
the famous to the nameless, if our music reaches them, I think we’re doing