Growing up in a house full of music, brothers Ed and Scott Cash each pursued their own musical career. As touring artists, they had the opportunity to become involved with the ministry of Young Life. “I met Jesus at Young Life camp. Ed played music at Young Life camps early on in his career,” Scott says, “so Young Life has really been a foundation for us in our faith and in our band.”
Their touring days came to a halt when each became a father. Ed became an award-winning songwriter and producer. Wanting to spend more time with his family and less time on the road, Scott went to work with Ed as a writer and producer. Both brothers also lead worship at their church as well as play music at Young Life camps.
Another set of siblings, Ed’s kids – Franni and Martin, also grew up surrounded by music. Now they were ready to pursue their own music career. Along with friend Andrew Bergthold, the family came together to form We The Kingdom. The forming of the band was a dream deep within that sprung about naturally.
“I think it was a dream that was deep in all of our hearts, but it was almost too raw to actually bring it up because it was so, so precious and so dear to us. I think it’s really beautiful how God weaves stories together, and not only that, but gives dreams and desires for the appropriate season,” says Andrew.
The Formation of We The Kingdom
Scott asked the other four to help him lead worship at a Young Life camp in Georgia. Late one night, the group gathered to write a song for the campers. But, the song was actually something that they needed to hear personally. “We were writing a song for those kids to tell them about the beauty of the Father’s love and how much He lavishes that over them,” Ed remembers, “but now I see that He was telling us that truth. In that moment, we really needed to hear that.”
As they continued, the formation of the band and the writing of music as a group came naturally. “Sometimes songs feel like they fall out of the sky and you didn’t have anything to do with it at all, and that song definitely felt like that,” Franni says of what became “Dancing On The Waves.” “It felt like the light came back into our life in a lot of ways through that song. It felt like it was our story to tell.”
The Identity of We The Kingdom
After their Young Life gig, Scott was hired as a worship leader at a local church in Nashville. Once again, he asked his family/friend bandmates to join him. Soon, We The Kingdom established their identity.
As a family, the band has seen the best and worst of each other. That allows for some incredible depth and tension in their songwriting and performing. “We have seen the best and the worst of each other, and that actually is a very beautiful thing, because there’s freedom to be 100 percent ourselves,” Franni shares. “Being able to have complete vulnerability to talk about whatever we’re going through, knowing that it’s a safe place, opens doors to much deeper songs and much deeper conversations.”
Family also experiences the ups and downs of life. Walking through hardship and tragedy as a family allows for security and an intense connection.“I think when you go through war together, when you go through tragedy together, it breeds a real compassion and a real loyalty,” Scott says.
Because of their unique position as family, We The Kingdom’s sound reflects the very nature of their situation. Through the closeness of their family, they offer raw, penetrable music. “We want to write songs about the rawness of life,” Scott offers. “It’s OK to sing about our filth, and it’s OK to be honest in songs. I think that brokenness in a corporate setting leads to a greater catharsis as we praise God and as we lift His name on high.”
The band marries their lyrics with worship, rock, soul, Country, folk and pop. Even though they are family, each member represents a different erra and perspective. Meshing four generations of music provides a textured sonic background for their vulnerable (and often gritty) lyrics.
Worship with We the Kingdom
Once established, the natural next steps for a band is to hit the studio and record an album. But, We the Kingdom, went back to their roots. By heading back to Georgia, the band recorded Young Life campers authentically singing their original songs. “As we have continued on this journey, I’ve noticed that it can be easy to forget where we came from – and that’s with anything in life. Recording our first project together at this camp has been such a timely reminder to us all to remember where we’ve been planted and not to step outside of ourselves.”
A few years later, We The Kingdom sets out to release another live album. This one is Live At Ocean Way Nashville.
We The Kingdom is passionate about sharing their gifts through songs and stories. But what really captures their heart is hearing other people worshiping the Lord. Ed explains, “We love to praise God. We love to sing to God.” He continues, “I love the sound of God’s people singing together. The more I have had the privilege of being involved with a lot of other worship records, the more the sound of people singing together is just the sweetest thing.”
To We The Kingdom, worship isn’t just about praising God through song. It’s offering one’s full self to Him – the good, the bad and the ugly. The primary purposes of the band is to help others know that it’s okay to be a mess. It’s okay to be uncertain. It’s okay to not have it all together. Scott proclaims, “We want to bring people who don’t know the freedom found in Jesus to the cross and to lead those who already know Him to the throne room.”
Jesus heals all wounds and He is ready to meet us wherever we are. This message is accentuated by the belief that worship doesn’t have to happen in the church. There’s so much opportunity to praise the Lord throughout life’s circumstances. “Worship is so much more than music, and if worship is confined to a sanctuary, that is a great tragedy to me,” Ed says. “Our hope is not only that worship pours out of the sanctuary and becomes a daily part of life, but also that the mess of daily life is welcome in the sanctuary.”