“Go big or go home” has never rung more true for a South African artist than it does for singer André Venter, who has joined forces with two multi award-nominated and bestselling international stars from the USA and Canada to form the new super-group, the global man band, reBORN.
And local audiences are the first to get a taste of reBORN’s debut radio single, Invade, which was penned by the group themselves, including Venter (formerly of the group Romanz and a solo artist in his own right), Ben Utecht (Dove nominated artist and NFL Super Bowl Champion) and Mark Masri (Grammy nominated artist).
As Venter recently revealed, they are three men from three nations with three different stories that now form the one voice of reBORN; a name that has significant meaning for the group – ranging from the birth of this new path in all three their careers on one side of the spectrum, right through to the spiritual significance of evaluating what truly matters in life and what impact the group can have by using their talents to leave a legacy behind of one that brought about positive change on a global scale.
To put things into perspective, Masri has competed in recent years against the likes of artists such as Céline Dion and Sarah McLahlan for Contemporary Album of the Year at the Juno Awards (the Canadian “Grammy Awards”), while Utecht is also a world renowned speaker and author over and above his successful singing career that followed his magnificent Super Bowl sporting achievements.
And to top this all, reBORN is mentored by none other than six time Grammy Awards winner Bill Gaither of the Gaither Vocal Band (also nominated for a staggering 19 Grammy Awards) – one of the most successful singer/songwriters in American history, with a career that stretches over several decades.
Commenting on ReBORN, Gaither says: “These are the kind of men and voices that when brought together can start a revival and speak to the heart of a nation!”
The sound and mandate of reBORN
Venter says that he is delighted to finally “let the cat out of the bag” by being able to talk about reBORN – a project that was started over a year ago. “It feels so good to talk about something that I’ve been so incredibly excited about! We call ourselves a ‘man band’, not to reference a grownup boyband, but a group with a mandate made up of strong, real men delivering songs with a purpose.
“The group exists to make world-class music for sure, but more importantly, to mobilise a movement that brings the message of authentic identity, significance, and purpose to a culture that’s aching for relevance,” he enthuses.
Venter further adds that ReBORN has a sound that penetrates the soul with cinematic-pop foundations combined with Top 40 production, giving their music undeniable originality. “However, what truly sets us apart and makes us special is the fusion of our voices. From towering moments – that will literally pick you up and inspire you to live better – to tender phrases and gentler moments – that will draw tears of pain, hope and sincerity – reBORN’s sound redefines the modern male group through originality, messaging and harmony. We truly believe that audiences will agree with some of the big names in the music industry who are completely blown away by the material we’ve recorded thus far,” he says.
The birth of reBORN – the union of three men from three nations
Masri recalls how it all started: “My phone rang right before one of my concerts during May last year, yet something inside compelled me to answer although I was about to go on stage. It was Ben. He said to me that he couldn’t explain it, but it felt like he was supposed to ask me whether I would ever consider creating the next great male singing group.
“It felt like someone had just thrown a bucket of ice water over me as unbeknownst to Ben this was the very question I’ve been asking myself, waiting for some sort of sign!”
Masri had someone on his heart for this for some time too, even though they were separated by an ocean, and as soon as he could, Masri called Venter to ask him the same question.
Venter adds: “Now that was one phone call that I answered with so much joy as I’ve been praying for this exact kind of opportunity. Of course it was a massive ‘yes’! That following August, the three of us journeyed to Nashville and met in person for the first time to explore our idea.”
As Utecht says, from the moment the three men stepped into the recording studio to write and sing, they immediately discovered a vocal and spiritual connection that would change their lives forever. “That experience just solidified the vision for what was becoming a radical new sound. reBORN emerged and our trajectories would be indelibly impacted,” he states.
Not long after, reBORN shared the stage together for the first time in front of 10,000 people in Toronto, bringing them to their feet with their performance of the inspiring Instrument of Peace: The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.
reBORN ready to “Invade” the airways
Commenting on reBORN’s first radio debut single Invade, which is just one of the songs that the group recorded in Nashville with top producer Riley Friesen, Venter comments: “Although the word invade can have negative connotations to it, if you let the greatest gift of all, namely love, invade your heart, soul and mind, you will live the ultimate life you possibly can as everything you do will be driven by something so sacredly pure. That’s what the song speaks of – surrendering completely to love and letting it invade every part of your being.”
Utecht in turn gushes about the affect his wife had on his life when talking about the hauntingly powerful song: “When a man finds a good woman and the right one for him, her love invades every aspect of his mind, his heart and of his soul – it’s all encompassing. When I met my wife and she came into my life, she made me better. She helped me become the man I am today. Her love, her heart and her personality invaded my everything and made me the best man I could be. That’s what makes Invade so special to me!”
For Masri it also applies to his spiritual life. He explains: “For me Invade applies to experiencing a greater love than myself – a divine one that can only come from God. It’s about experiencing love in the highs and lows, love that doesn’t make sense at times. If we want to experience true change in our lives and this world, we should surrender to that one true love.”
Utecht concludes: “This whole process has been a providential dream. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought that two of my best friends would be from two different countries from around the world, unified by one voice. We’re so excited about what lies ahead as everything about reBORN seems to have been predestined.”
Get to know more of reBORN
reBORN’s music is now available on all popular digital platforms.
For more information, visit www.reBORNthegroup.com.
Also join the conversation on Facebook (reBORNthegroup), Twitter (@reBORNthegroup) and Instagram (@reBORNthegroup).