OK it was a week later than I said it would come out at our ministry planning meeting last year (we wanted it to be released on 11/11/11) but 18th of November 2011 – it arrived!
The heart behind ALL THE WAY
After experiences and conversations that were similarly themed with books like “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan and “Radical” by David Platt, I felt heavily on my heart to begin to write songs that would inspire people back to the cross of Christ, where Christianity has it’s roots and culmination.
THE CROSS: His extravagant love for us… His relentless pursuit to glorify the Father… His heart for the broken, as he became broken… His desire for us to go deeper in Him… and us finding our purpose in worshiping Him. These are some of the themes that we chewed on for over a year, meditating on relevant scripture.
At the heart of it all came the catch phrase:
Because He went ALL THE WAY for us… We will go ALL THE WAY for Him…
One of the things I most enjoyed working on this album as opposed to our last project, “ABOVE” (2009) was the growth in collaboration within our worship and creative team. Everything from the arrangements to the artwork was collaborative. We spent two months in intense rehearsals, where enhancements would be made. What often would be presented initially as shells of songs with bare melody/lyrics would come out sounding astoundingly multidimensional. We were all brimming with excitement!
It was great to collaborate with other songwriters like my good friends Mhel Benito, Rhea Gonzales, Mike Blanding and of course, my singer/songwriter sister Alarice Thio. Then to have my brother IlyMark Maniano as music director, and the band affectionately yet unofficially known as The Elevators helping with the musical arrangements, there was a deep sense of God glorification happening. Add to this the wonderful contributions of our great engineer Kevin Foo, and of course our mix-master Josh Telford at Grove Studios in Sydney and this album kept feeling like God’s project, because none of us single-handedly could take credit for it.
When you listen to it, it’s hard to put your finger on it genre-wise. For instance, listen to the song “Who Will Go” – our “Great Commission song”. Alarice’s beautiful melodic voice blended with my hard-recited rap lyrics. For some reason it works – I think it’s a Holy Spirit thing.
The launch with Citipointe Live at Cornerstone Community Church
The collaborative nature of ALL THE WAY did not end with the production of the album – we launched ALL THE WAY at Cornerstone Community Church here in Singapore which was a huge blessing to us. So thankful for Pastor Yang and his team for making us feel so welcome in their newly restored auditorium.
To top it all off, we had our good friends from Brisbane, Australia: Citipointe Live come and launch the album alongside us. What an honor it was to have them come alongside us and help us give this project the lift off we felt necessary! Shout out to Aaron and Becky Lucas and the whole Citipointe Live fam… (They really are like family to us!)