Artist BiographyIf there’s one word to aptly describe both Group 1 Crew’s artistic ingenuity and personal growth since we last heard from the five-time Dove Award-winning troupe, it’s certainly Fearless as the title to this fourth studio CD so boldly proclaims. By pushing the musical envelope towards an endlessly infectious stream of hip-hop, rap, pop, rock and inspirational confections, figurehead Manwell Reyes and his rhythmic backing band haven’t just made major artistic strides, but he’s also connecting with the masses more than ever before. Thus far into the album’s extraordinary cycle, it’s yielded three number one hits at CHR (“He Said” featuring Chris August, “His Kind Of Love” and “Dangerous”), which landed Group 1 Crew the fourth most played slot on Hot AC/CHR radio for all of 2013, followed by a massive spring 2014 tour alongside Big Daddy Weave.
“When I started writing for this record, I simply went into the studio with the desire to make songs that people would hopefully like and get something out of, but from there, I let God do the rest,” explains Manwell. “I don’t pay attention to any stats or sales or radio because God doesn’t care about any of that kind of stuff. He cares about us loving other people and loving Him. I can’t make anything in this life happen. I just show up at the appointed time and live faithfully, whether people are watching me on stage or seeing me live my life up close in my personal life where I’m a husband, brother, friend and someone who simply wants to live my life for however He wants to use me.”
Besides having that firm faith foundation to combat cravings for worldly acclaim, Manwell also found new meaning in the current collection’s namesake Fearless when previous collaborator Blanca stepped down from the group after becoming a mother for the first time (though still pledging to pursue solo artistry in the future). Though such a shift may have sent a lesser act down for the count, the scenario further reinforced Group 1 Crew’s God-ordained calling, and even more specifically, Manwell’s ongoing extension of community with listeners.