Today I have the pleasure of talking with Alifted – An extraordinary family duo comprised of brother and sister that has exploded onto our thriving UK Gospel scene with accolades such as Praisetek Gospel Awards – Best Gospel Song 2016 and Black Youth Achievement award Nominee 2016.
Lifted is thirteen and his younger sister Alice, eleven.
These are easily the youngest professional artists I have ever interviewed so as we begin, I lean over to sip my coffee and take pause to acknowledge just how magnificent it is to witness God working through His people of all ages.
So.. Let’s start with who plays what and what motivated you to first start playing.
Alice – I play the saxophone and my brother plays the piano, drums and produces on the computer.
Lifted – Our Dad encouraged us to play. He is a saxophonist and is always playing in the house. We grew up hearing music all the time.
How much has your faith played a part in your musical journey and development?
Alice – Lots!
Lifted – Yes, our whole family serves in the church and are members of the choir too. We do it all for Jesus!
Who and what are your musical influences?
‘God !’ they exclaim in melodious unison, smiling.
Alice – And Dad!
Lifted – Yes, and Dad. Also Minister Sinach, Mike Aremu and Kunle Ajayi – he’s a saxophonist.
I can see you collaborated with MOBO nominee Andrew Bello and others such as FunmiSAX on your current album. Who would you like to collaborate with on your forthcoming album – ‘Prophetic Vitamins’?
Lifted – We’d like to work with Uncle Sam Okposo …and any talented young people or members of our church choir. If they are young, talented and love God we would love to work with them!
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the current release?
Lifted – We are inspired to work for God and use our talents for His glory.
Alice – We wanted to do something amazing for Jesus.
Lifted – Yes, especially while we’re still young.
How much time went into it?
Lifted – A year? (looks at Dad who nods affirmingly). We wrote and rehearsed for a year and went to Nigeria to record part of the songs.
What was your writing process? How did you come up with the songs and develop them?
Alice – We write together as a family. We brainstorm and Daddy will then make a structure. Lifted puts the melody to the song and does some producing. He produced two songs on our current album – ‘Glorious Cook of Heaven’ and ‘What A Bliss’.
Is this a process you think you will continue or will you try different approaches in the future?
Lifted – My Sister and I are being taught how to write songs without running out of ideas by our Dad through the process of practicing free-writing daily – so definitely in the future when we have matured as musicians, Alice and I will be writing more independently as a duo.
I’m intrigued. With so much going on, how have you managed to balance school and music?
Alice – That’s easy! We practice for an hour everyday after school once we’ve finished our
…And do you plan to carry on studying after school?
Alice – Yes!
Lifted – Definitely!
OK. So tell me, what do you guys enjoy doing outside of music that contributes to your creativity.
Alice – Lifted loves making beats and playing drums – I know that’s music too but he loves it. I enjoy art and playing the clarinet.
Lifted – Alice won ‘Best Musician Of The Year 2017’ at the community music school in Barking and Dagenham.
What are your feelings, if any, on social media and the music business?
Alice – We are still young so don’t know too much about it all.
Lifted – It’s all new to us but we plan to work towards understanding it as we grow within the industry.
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer to young people who would like to start a Christian-based band?
Lifted – Follow your heart and start with your church.
Alice – Use your talent for God – no matter how young you are.
Lifted – Put God first and ask for direction. Also, have a mentor and ask questions before making any moves.
Alice – Our Dad is our mentor! (Dad smiles)
Is there anyone you would like to thank for their financial or emotional support?
Alice – We are always thankful to God. He made this all possible.
Lifted – Yes, God made this project a reality. We would also like to thank everyone who came to support us at our ‘Triple Blessing’ album launch plus ours pastors – Pastor Thomas Aderounmu and Pastor Bunni Akintujoye for all their support. And of course we want to thank our family for all their encouragement.
That’s great. So what are your plans for the future as a band?
Alice – We’re going to work on our second album – ‘Prophetic Vitamins’ which will feature our eight-year-old brother – Faithfull, who is also a singer, rapper and plays guitar.
Lifted – We plan to release ‘Prophetic Vitamins’ next summer with a minimum of seven original songs and two praise medleys.
Wow! Sounds very exciting! It’s been a pleasure talking to both of you. We at aStepFWD wish you all the best for what God holds for your undoubtedly bright future!