January 6, 2014
While Seth and NIrva may be new names to most, chances are, if you’re a concert-going CCM fan, you’ve probably seen them live! They both got their start singing background for various artists like TobyMac, Kirk Franklin and Chris Tomlin, just to name a few.
After years of ministry apart, however, the couple (who have been married for 7 years) felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to walk in a different direction together. That path has led them to the forthcoming release of the first album, I Need You.
CCM got to chat with the duo about marriage, ministry and music…
CCM: After such amazing solo gigs, how did this new moniker and EP come about?
Nirva: We’ve made careers of singing background for Christian artists and other artists and have finally been afforded the opportuniy to make this EP.
Seth: We’ve loved being a part of other people’s ministries. After we got married, we decided to do ministry and travel together. We started working on stuff, but we have somewhat busy somewhat busy lives… It took five years to do six songs. But we’re ready to jump in and get started !
CCM: Given the diversity of the artists you’ve worked with in the past, how would you describe your sound?
Nirva: The collection of songs is petty diverse. There pop, funk, soul, hip hop, R&B all mixed together to create a message of hope.
Seth: When we started four or five years ago, I took a few songs she’d already been working, looked at some of my songs an started noticing there was a nice flow to the content thematically. Basically we laid it out and saw a theme of testimony—testifying to what He has done. In a sense the album is that testimony. It goes in to free people. God sets us free through gospel and spirit.
CCM: Is your personal testimony reflected here? What do your faith journeys look like?
Nirva: I didn’t grow up in church. I was born again in college. I sang with a traveling ensemble group and one night we visited a church while they were having a revival. I ran to the altar before she was even done preaching. I found Jesus and began to work with him personally.
Seth: I did grow up in a Christian home. My parents were very dedicated with their relationship with Christ. It was a blessing. But when you go off to college, you have to make your faith your own. College was a struggle for me intellectually. That’s part of what has motivated me to be in young adult ministry. I’ve been the young adult pastor at Crossing Church in Tampa FL for two years. Tampa is one of the most un-churched cities in the nation. 60-80% of young adults leave the church after high school. I thought it was an intellectual issue, but more times than not, realized it was relational. A lot of people feel like there’s a lack of authenticity in the church. Which is why you have to connect with people and get to know them. It’s about being in life with people.
CCM: On the relationship note, how have you two managed to work together creatively, while maintaining a happy marriage?
Nirva: We naturally get along well, which makes it a lot easier. We definitely work at it. It takes understanding and a willingness to work at even knowing how to work at it. It all comes down to God-given grace.
Seth: The further we get into this adventure, the more we’re seeing some potential issues. We were working on a Christmas program once and I was in producer mode. I took the liberty to ask her to change some things she was doing. She then took the liberty to tell me to ask her if she wanted to change things.
Nirva (laughing): Whenever we are stage together, it feels natural. I feel so much stronger and have so much more fun with him.
Caroline Lusk is editor of CCM Magazine.