Husband and wife singer/songwriters Tori & Shauna recently released their 'Share Your Love EP, Vol. 1'. Louder Than The Music chatted with the couple about making music together, what inspires them, and how they plan to help people through life's difficult times.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got involved in making music?
Well, we are husband and wife Contemporary Christian Duo, from Cleveland, Ohio. We’ve been in ministry together for over 18 years, but solely as a husband and wife duo for over 7 years. We now travel as a lot as worship leaders and artist across the country. When it comes to our music, we’ve been committed to writing and recording songs that really honor and exalt the name of Jesus, and not our own.
Tell us about your 'Share Your Love' EP and what the inspiration behind it was?
Sure, this new music came through a lot of prayer and patience, waiting on God’s direction. We wanted to make music that, as we mentioned really lifted up the name of Jesus. We often hear songs that are meant to encourage people, and lift people, but we realized we are created for worship, and how much it is a privilege to stand before the Holy God, and be able to honor him through the ability he blessed us with. Just worshiping him alone, gives us that hope and refuge and encouragement we all need. So when we wrote these songs, it was intentional to make songs that truly honored the Lord and who he is, with the EP. These selected songs are actually our first recordings as a duo, and God made it possible that we got connected with our amazing producer Jonathan Crone, who also co-wrote several of the songs on the EP, as well as Josh Wright, a phenomenal lyricist and songwriter, who as well, co-wrote on the EP. Our first major hit from this EP was the single titles “The Love of Jesus”.
Which is your favorite track on the EP and why?
Shauna: Well, I honestly love them all, but if I had to pick one, it would definitely be “The Love of Jesus”, it is such a powerful song. The simplicity of the words, have been life changing, and that constant reminder people need to hear, especially in the times we are living in today. We want to put a limit on everything in life, and the one thing that is immeasurable and endless is the love of Jesus.
Tori: I would agree with Shauna, I love all of them as well but if I had to pick one it would probably be “Share Your Love”. One of the last words that Jesus told the disciples before he ascended up into Heaven was to “Go Make Disciples of All Nations” and a part of Making Disciples is sharing the Gospel of Jesus. Likewise as believers God has given us that same call to make disciples and Share the Gospel and Share His Love!
What message would you like people to take from your music?
That it is not about the music, but about the message of hope in Jesus Christ manifested in the music. We want people to worship Christ through life’s ups and downs and know they are not alone.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
We are CCM artist, and our influences and backgrounds definitely shine through our music. We’ve always been versatile in music, which we try to convey in each song from our gospel to soul music roots, to our southern gospel, contemporary worship style. We think you get a bit of all of that, when you listen to EP. Growing up listening to artist like Marvin Gay, CeCe Winans, Lauryn Hill, Frank Williams, David Ruffin, Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond and Whitney Houston, were all influential singers for us.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Shane & Shane, Chris Tomlin, and our favorites William McDowell. All of today’s most influential songwriters in worship music. They really capture the true essence of worship in the music they put out, and that is where are hearts are in our music.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Success is meeting the expectations God has set for us when he put us together. If we are reaching hearts, helping draw hearts to him, then we are believe we have been successful at what we do. A truth we now understand, is that fame means nothing, if we are only in it for ourselves and making our name famous. In Christian music, it should never be about us, but growing the name of Jesus is what this should be about.
What is your favorite album of all time?
That is a tough questions [laugh].
Tori: Alone in his Presence by CeCe Winans, one of the first albums I listened to when I first got saved
Shauna: Although he was not one of my favorite artist mentioned prior, this album was so anointed and amazing. “Kirk Franklin & the Family (Live)” album, definitely one of my favorites. But “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”…is one as well.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Shauna - OK. One song if I can choose our own, it would be “The Love of Jesus” if not “Your Grace and Mercy” by Mississippi Mass Choir, featuring Frank Williams
Tori- If I’m stuck on an Island and only have enough battery life to listen to one song… Wow that’s a tough one…I’d probably have to go with “Rest In The Arms of Jesus”
What does the next year hold for you?
We have a new EP Vol. 2 in the works, hoping to release it later this year, and as well, planning to get a release tour on the schedule as well. With so much going on today with COVID-19, we are patient and in no rush to try and move faster than God allows. So we are steadily writing for this new EP.