Tree63 Bio - ChristianMusic.com

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About TREE 63

Tree63 is a South African band with a pop/rock/alternative/worship sound. The group, which formed in Durban, South Africa, hit it big in the United States in 2000, and have been touring with contemporary Christian artists such as Rebecca St. James, Audio Adrenaline, Toby Mac, MercyMe, and Out of Eden. This success, though, has taken them far beyond what they ever dreamed or imagined God would do in their lives.

In 1996, John Ellis and Daryl Swart, both feeling the need to do something different with their lives, played at a music festival in Durban after only practicing together for 6 hours. They had 5 songs and no name, but the crowd went wild. The two, along with friend, "Scoop," who played bass guitar, continued to have jam sessions for fun and play for live audiences into 1997. The response continued to grow, and the group began to realize that they had something special.

In April of 1997, the group independently released their first album, Overflow, which was produced by their good friend Martin Engle. They chose the name "Tree" because it was short and to-the-point, yet full of imagery. Revelation 22:2 sums up the group's reason for exisistance.

The band went through some difficult times after this and even broke up for a while. When they reconvened, they began working on their next project, 63, which was released in July of 1999. 63 was used as the title because Psalm 63 was the inspiration behind the lyrics that John wrote for the song "Earnestly."

Early in 2000, Tree63 went to the United States for the first time to meet with InPop Records, a US label based out of Nashville. A deal was established, but the group could not use "Tree" as their name because another group was already using it that had it tattooed all over their bodies. They decided to go with Tree63 because that's what their last album said anyways. In October of the same year, Tree63 was released and went on to win the 2001 Dove Award for Best Rock Album of the Year.

Despite the change of two members, Tree63 went on to release two more albums: The Life and Times of Absolute Truth in 2002, and The Answer to the Question in 2004. Their rendition of Matt Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name" was the number one song on the radio in the US for 2004. The song has also been nominated for two Dove awards.

Band Members:

John Ellis... Lead Vocals, Guitar

Daniel Ornellas... Bass

Thenius (Tain) Odendaal... Drums

Former Members

Martin Engel . . . Bass, Vocals (2000-2003)
Darryl Swart . . . Drums, Vocals (til 2003)

Tree63's next project is due out in the fall of 2005. As they continue to build success and reach more and more people, their purpose remains the same. They want their music to excite people and let them know that being a Christian is the most awesome thing that anyone could possibly do with their life. There is no greater joy!

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