Album well received
An album of original music released two weeks ago by a Wellington church has become the first church album to make the national music charts. It had previously topped the iTunes charts.
God Alone, by the Arise Church, was produced at STL Audio in Wellington by Nic Manders, who worked with Brooke Fraser.
‘‘It debuted at seventh and held that position the following week on the New Zealand music charts (restricted to New Zealand music),’’ said Arise vocalist, musician, and one of the main songwriters, Shehan Joseph of Tawa.
‘‘It was 16th highest selling album in New Zealand last week, placing it ahead of Queen and Coldplay.
‘‘The album is an expression of praise and worship in our church.’’
The boost in album sales sprang from the Arise Church annual conference in Wellington a fortnight ago.
It was attended by 5500 people, with representatives from more than 300 churches nationwide.
The title track, released as a single, is also in the singles charts.
This follows the album’s first top 20 single, I’m in Love with Jesus, which entered the iTunes top 10 24 hours after its release last December.
Though Joseph was surprised at the level of sales, he said chart success was not a priority.
‘‘I don’t really think about the charts as much as I think about people getting closer to God,’’ he said.
Joseph is pleased many will take the music outside the church walls, and into cars, lounges, iPods and bedrooms.
Arise senior pastor John Cameron said he was encouraged and excited by the creativity within his church.
‘‘We believe music of this kind is great for the heart, mind and soul,’’ he said. ‘‘Music is a vital component in how Arise conducts its services.’’
The album, and associated videos, was self- funded, with volunteer musicians and technicians.
‘‘We did it on a shoestring budget,’’ Joseph said.
Joseph, who has a music degree, is already looking to the future. He has a few songs that could surface for another album, but in the meantime he and his church friends are looking to tour the album early next year.