Picture this: You’re in a small home studio with a band that feels like family and a shared passion for worshipping the Lord. You begin to come together on Tuesday nights to record and sometimes stay until 2 a.m. to finish a song. This is how the members of Radiance Wrshp — a band from Light & Life Christian Fellowship in Long Beach, California — experienced life from May 2016 to February 2017.
Then, last July, all their hard work came to fruition when they dropped their first EP, “Revival Story.”
Ely Fournier, a Light & Life pastor and worship leader, didn’t plan for his band to record and produce an EP. It all started when he added a song, “You Are Holy” (which he and his wife wrote long ago), to his Sunday morning set list.
“The response was really positive,” Fournier said. “It triggered the conversation of ‘we really need to put out these songs for the people that want to hear them.’”
Fournier grew up in a small Spanish-speaking church of about 100-150 people. They had no one to lead worship, so he and his brother began to pick up the necessary instruments. Despite not having a musical background or training, Fournier learned to play guitar by ear.
“I believe my love for music and worship came from the Spanish church I grew up in,” Fournier said.
After the positive response to “You Are Holy,” Fournier came together with his band and began to record. In two sessions, Radiance Wrshp was able to record the whole song and found a natural chemistry among the members. The more time they spent together, the more creative they felt.
Band members spent the last three years enjoying barbecues, studying the Bible and building a family-like community together. They write music with the desire to co-create, collaborate and share ideas with one another.
Fournier recalls telling Lead Pastor Larry Walkemeyer, “You know, I think we have something good here. We’ve been writing a few songs. I really think we should put out at least an EP.”
“You Are Holy” triggered the larger outcome. At the time, Light & Life was going through a sermon series about really hearing and desiring God. Band members created songs about their different encounters with the Lord.
“For all of us, that really kind of brought everything together with what God had and has been doing at our church in this past year,” said Fournier, who added the church is full of “stories of people’s lives being transformed and just the spiritual renewal happening in the body.”
The EP includes six songs with an electronic and alt-rock feel. A Hillsong United remix album served as inspiration and showed Fournier that worship music isn’t limited to one style.
“Every song doesn’t have to fit musically in this specific category or have these specific elements,” Fournier said.
The EP is available for purchase digitally through iTunes, Google Play and Amazon or for streaming through services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube. Otherwise, individuals can purchase a physical copy for $10 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and providing a mailing address. Shipping is free, and the buyer will receive a free poster with purchase. All proceeds go back into producing more worship music.
Christiana Long earned a bachelor’s degree in English writing from Spring Arbor University and a master’s degree in organizational communication from Ball State University.1