About Group 1 Crew
With diversity to inspire them, not to mention their unique faith backgrounds that makes new Fervent artist Group 1 Crew stand out in a crowd.
And if their hybrid of hip-hop, rock, funk, soul and even Spanish-language rhymes wasn’t enough to distinguish Group 1 Crew, their impassioned message of hope and encouragement can’t help but set them apart – especially in a genre of music that typically glamorizes violence, the degradation of women and the acquisition of all the luxuries money can buy.
They share a passion for making a unique contribution to both the Christian and mainstream hip-hop scenes. In addition, one of the group’s main priorities is reaching its peers with its message in a relevant, non-Christianese way.
The group got its start when Manwell, a former solo artist and veteran emcee started a Bible study with his friends and fellow musicians Pablo and Blanca. A few years later, Manwell met Jeff Adams who would quickly become the band’s manager. Jeff set up a showcase for Fervent label execs in Nashville and the group signed a record deal not long after.
They made their debut with their hit song “Can’t Go On” on WOW Hits 2007. Soon after they released their first album I Have a Dream EP (2006), followed up by Group 1 Crew (2007). Their song “Love is a Beautiful Thing” charted into the Top 20 in May 2007 on R&R magazine’s Christian chart.
Their top-notch beat making is the bedrock of such numbers as “Movin’” and “Gimme That Funk,” two dizzying, multi-layered romps that see Manwell, Blanca, and Pablo serving as masters of ceremonies to some of the biggest party-starters of 2008. The celebration continues with the horn-dabbed “Critical Emergency,” a song that wraps a serious message in a swath of disco, soul, pop/rock, and R&B.
And if there’s one thing for sure about Group 1 Crew, it’s not like anything you’ve heard before Whether it’s the pop sound of Your Song or the candid account of personal hardship the group addresses in Forgive Me. Ultimately, Group 1 Crew hopes, too, that even people who don’t normally attend church will easily be able to identify the hope in Jesus that has personally changed each band member’s life.
"We want our show to be one that everyone can come to and walk away experiencing the love of Christ in a non-threatening way,” Manwell says. “Our music isn't for one specific demographic; it's for anyone with a pulse. There’s love in our music, and it has meaning for anyone out there. I think once people see that, they’ll get what we do.”