C&I gets a first sneak peek at the family band’s Story Brooke Sessions.
Credited as the fastest new artist success at Capitol Christian in 10 years, We the Kingdom are a multigenerational family of musicians, including producers and songwriters Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, NeedToBreathe, Bethel Music), Scott Cash, Franni Rae Cash, Martin Cash, and Andrew Bergthold.
We the Kingdom have toured alongside Grammy Award winner Zach Williams on the nationwide Rescue Story Tour.
Their breakout song, “Holy Water,” can be heard spinning on Spotify's official playlists Country Hits, Top Christian, and New & Bold. The band has amassed more than 100 million global streams in just a few months and spent seven consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart.
C&I is premiering the video for “Holy Water,” which was filmed, fittingly, on family property outside of Nashville.
“The Story Brooke is a place on Scott and his wife Michelle’s property,” says Franni Rae Cash. “They had this vision of a place that could be a resting place for people and so Story Brooke is that. It’s this beautiful property outside of Nashville in the country and it has a creek and a beautiful cabin. It’s detached from technology — I don’t even think it has a TV. It’s very restful and a place to reset. We’ve spent some time out there as a family, just going to sit by the campfire and to get to talk to one another. I think sometimes when you’re out in creation you feel closer to God because there aren’t any distractions, which is what that place feels like. So in the backyard is where we filmed the Story Brooke sessions video and it was such a cool day to get to be out in the beautiful sunshine at a beautiful place getting to make music that we love.”
We talked to We the Kingdom about their family band and the music they make together.
Cowboys & Indians: What would you like people to know about the band?
Andrew Bergthold: The crazy thing about We the Kingdom is that we had never set out to start a band. All five of us, individually, had written and recorded music as solo artists in the past, but it really wasn’t on our radar to start a band. A lot of us had put those plans behind us. We were at a camp, leading worship for some high school students and just hanging out with them for a week. We decided we wanted to write a song for them; it was the first one we have ever written together even though four of us are family members, I’m the odd one out, but I’ve been hanging around these guys for seven years, so it feels like family. We had never written a song together as a collective group. It’s cool to see how we all interact and work together — somehow it just works. People started encouraging us to start a band together, and we were kind of hesitant at first, because it would mean leaving the comfort of what we had gotten used to over the past few years, but it just felt right.
C&I: How did you come up with the name We the Kingdom?
Bergthold: I tried to start several different bands in high school and I remember several of them where the music wasn’t great, but we were all learning and growing. The last band I tried to start — before I left Kansas City, where I grew up — was called We the Kingdom. I came up with that name from the idea of a more collective group of people. Pretty shortly after that I moved to Nashville to pursue music more seriously and put anything as an artist on the back burner, so the name just sat there for seven years probably, maybe more, until the group started in Atlanta. When we were all sitting around a campfire talking about starting the band, I told the group, “Hey, I have social media accounts and a name We the Kingdom that I’ve always felt pulled towards. I loved the vision of the heart behind it and it’s been a dream of mine to use that name for something. The rest of the group loved it and were so gracious to jump on board with using that name. The crazy thing is that it's unlike anything I’ve ever pictured before, but so much better because of what everybody brings to the table.
C&I: How did the song “Holy Water” come together?
Bergthold: The song “Holy Water'' was actually written as we were trying to finish another song called “God So Loved.” We were kind of working on this other song and Martin sat down at the piano and just started to play some chords. It’s really important to us to pay homage and to pay attention to the spirit of creativity and the wind that blows. And as creatives we kind of always have our ears and our hearts open to that wind. When that happened we stopped and turned around and said, “Hey, what if we do this.” We started actually writing the song right there and I think pretty much all of our songs have come out of that. To this date we’ve only had one scheduled co-write. I think we all feel we’re more song-receivers than songwriters. As we were writing “Holy Water” it was just like this uncovering of What is this song? What is it trying to say? What do we feel like the Lord is wanting us to say in this moment? That’s how the song “Holy Water'' was written.
C&I: What was the process of “receiving” the song like?
Bergthold: I think there’s several pretty cool things about “Holy Water” and even just the journey of creating that song and it coming into being. It was first written as a ballad, so it was a pretty chill song. I remember in my head — I think it was mostly written at this point — that the song was still missing something, so I suggested that we give the song a little bit of edge. I said, “What if we played it on guitar?’ And we started chasing that. Even as we were producing it, we had the stomp clap for the chorus and we just soloed that with the vocals and we thought, Wow — what if that was the first chorus? It was cool to see how the song almost discovered itself as we tried things and it felt right. Then full circle after we wrote the song we talked about how incredible it would be to do a version with Tasha Cobbs Leonard. Fast-forward and months later she actually approached us and told us that she loved our music and was interested in collaborating. The cool thing is we got to revisit the song with her and that version is a bit more of a ballad, piano-driven song and was a little bit more like how “Holy Water” was originally written. So it was great to discover both versions of the song.
C&I: What role does family play in your music?
Bergthold: For us in We the Kingdom, family is a huge and vital part of our music. I remember Scott and Ed at various times talking about the culture of music around their house as they were growing up. Their dad would walk around the house with the guitar in boxers and he would be playing, and their mom is very gifted and has an incredible ear. And for me, I can remember from the youngest age hearing my dad playing the piano and organ. He sings as well and is very gifted at music. For all of us, a strong sense of family was deeply ingrained in our roots. Franni and Martin obviously grew up around so much music with Ed, who is their dad, producing and writing music their whole life. It’s really beautiful to see the history of music and how it’s been passed down through generations in all of our lives. That’s probably the most vital part of this band — the histories of our families and what a beautiful thing to be able to carry that on and to make music as a family band.
C&I: Your debut album comes out on August 7. Congrats on that. Tell us a little about it.
Ed Cash: I am so fired up about this record. We’ve been working on this, in some ways, for a very long time. Not actually in the studio, but so much of what happens in songwriting is telling the story of your life. I know for me, songwriting is how I journal and how I process life. As a band, we’ve walked through a lot together. There have been a lot of beautiful moments, but there has also been a lot of pain. What this album does is it really steps into real life and what it means to struggle and celebrate. Our deepest hope is that when people listen they will connect with the story. Each person can plug in their own life and think about where they find themselves in the song. We’re really excited to share this with everyone.