Hands to Heaven: Mosaic MSC Explores Eternal Relationship on New Release
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In 2016, fledgling worship artists Mosaic MSC released a song called “Tremble” that went on to have a tremendous impact in churches across the land. Spending 33 weeks on the Hot Christian Songs chart, the song eventually peaked at number 19. The single was part of a live album, Glory and Wonder, a release that eventually went to number 16 on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart.
Needless to say, the Los Angeles based worship band finds themselves with a tall task in trying to top the unbridled success of their initial musical offering. That opportunity has come with the release of their first studio album, Heaven, a collection of seven songs co-produced by Grammy-nominated Chad Copelin and Mosaic Worship Pastor Mariah McManus.
I recently spoke with Mosaic MSC band member Carlos Pimental about the atmospheric and textured sound of the group, their number one goal in creating music, and whether they felt any pressure to top “Tremble”.
What I love about your music is that you seem to have the ability to paint a musical canvas of sorts that creates a sound that is unique to our current culture. How would you explain your musical sound to someone?
That’s a good question. Our music is a reflection of who we are as a city. It is also a reflection of our church. Our church is so diverse. The people who are creating our music are from all over the world. We have two guys from Puerto Rico, a guy from Tongo, we have girl from the Philippines, we have people from so many different cultures and so many different backgrounds that when we all come together we just create that unique sound and flavor. But it’s also the reality of how diverse our city is. In a way, Mosaic is a culture, something that isn’t super intentional in creating a space that seems unique. But at the same time we are not trying to create a sound. You know, it’s a reflection of what we are doing here. The music that we are trying to create is music that our friends who don’t know Jesus will listen to and say, ‘Alright, I like this even if I don’t completely understand the lyrics. Even though I don’t understand what you are saying but I feel connected to it.’
As musical artists, what is your number one goal and priority in creating and performing your music?
Well, we don’t see ourselves as creative artists or as a performer. We see our music as being so integrated into our church. Every song that we play is a song that we first play in our church. We try them here and depending on how people respond to them that’s how we know if the song will be on an album or not. It is so connected to our community. It’s a huge part of what we do every Sunday. We have five campuses in LA and one in Mexico City. We talk to our worship teams and get a sense of what is working. It’s inspired and so connected to our church. Even our traveling team, we are all worship leaders and when we are not on the road we are leading worship here at the church. It’s all connected.
The song “Tremble” has quickly become a staple in church worship services all over the country. It spent 33 weeks on the music charts and continues to have a major presence on YouTube. What can you tell me about the origins of that song and the response it has received? Were you surprised by it?
“Tremble” is such an interesting song because when we first wrote and recorded it, we listened to it as a team we thought that, honestly, that it wasn’t going to work. It was different than anything else we had ever done before. We decided to see what the church audience thought. We thought it was just going to be another song that we would write and doesn’t work, like many others we have tried on a weekend. But with that particular song, when we played it for the first time we felt the connection in how people responded to the song and how people got into worship so quickly. We felt that there was definitely something special about this song. I think it has a lot to do with its simplicity. Also, it is such a profound declaration but at the same time it’s the simplicity of what happens when you call on the name of Jesus. When you say His name when you don’t know what to do, it’s an easy thing to do when you find yourself in situations where you feel overwhelmed by life. You just call out His name, raise your hands, and say, “I know you can turn back the darkness and turn it into light.”
Essentially, the success of “Tremble” has served as a tremendous springboard into your latest album release, Heaven. At first listen, it seems to be a concept-type album. True?
Yes, we wrote songs that were connected to the idea of what is heaven. We had the title but we didn’t have the songs. We already had one song that ended up on the album called “Maker of the Heavens”. But it was definitely a concept or idea. So, virtually every song is aligned with the idea of what heaven is and the idea of having an eternal relationship with Him. We went on a writing retreat and wrote about 30 songs. Out of that, we ended up recording seven songs that make up the album. Seven is an interesting number because it is profound but at the same time we were trying to have fun with this new album and do something we like from a creative perspective. We are so excited to start playing these songs live.
One of the first singles to be released will be “Never Let Me Down”. What can you tell me about that song?
It’s a beautiful, upbeat arrangement that has a simple statement that is really profound, especially for young people. It should resonate with them at a really deep level. It’s the idea that God will never let you down even when it feels like we are alone and by ourselves. It’s a good reminder, a declaration, and a song of praise that says I know you are never going to let me down because I know my hope is in You and You are inside of us. You are inside of our hearts. Whenever we feel You are not there it’s something that we are not seeing. He is there with us all the time. It’s a really fun song that we love.
After people have listened to Heaven or have come out to one of your shows, as an artist what is the one thing that you would like your audiences to get out of the experience? What is your greatest hope for the new album?
That’s a great question. I think part of it is that people who listen feel more connected to the whole. It’s a good thing for us to get to travel and go to different churches, venues, and places to play our music there. Sometimes you can feel disconnected. But we are a team from LA who go to different parts of the world to sing and it can sometimes feel like our concerts are a quick stop. But our hope is that somehow we will find people in every room that we play at that they feel connected to us in a profound way. That they feel like they are not alone and that there are people fighting for them. That we are people they can relate to in a fresh and new way. We just had a show in Guatemala in this massive church a couple of weeks ago and it was so beautiful to go to a completely different country and somehow find a thousand students who felt connected to our music our message and how we do music, how we sing songs, and how we approach worship. And our hope is that we always find one or two people who feel more inspired, more compelled to change the world, and that God is placing something in them that is very special. There is so much to do. We need an army of people who are willing to give their life to this mission of serving Christ.
Watch a music video for Mosaic MSC's new single "15":
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