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Interview: Lorena Castellanos of Soulfire Revolution discusses their debut album, 'Revival'

Soulfire Revolution  has been leading worship in their churches in Bogota, Colombia and Miami Florida  for about six years. The international band will release their album, Revival on August 13.

Revival  will be released in three languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese. Soulfire Revolution has a large Latin following in their country of Colombia  as well as Brazil.

The band consists of Lorena Castellanos and her husband Julian Gamba and Paola Sanchez and husband Jose Anthony Catacoli, plus Lorena’s brother-in-law Richard Harding. In this interview, Lorena Castellanos talks about the album as well as her family’s triumph after a harrowing attack.

Lorena Castellana Soulfire RevolutionTell me how the band’s name came about. Many years ago we started a youth group. The first name we came up with was Soulfire, what God was doing in our lives, the fire of god in our souls.

Three years later we started using it in our conferences, for a revolution among the young people so we basically combined them.

Tell me about the album? The first song we wrote was “Revival” and that is really an upbeat song that also represents what we are seeing in our church in Colombia, which is thousands of people getting saved every week. When we first did that song the youth, everybody was jumping, everybody got into it.  We thought, ‘wow this song could be cool.’ We spent many months just writing songs as a band and with many worship leaders in Nashville and different parts, asking them to be bring those songs for the church. After 20 demos, we decided what would be the 12 main songs.

What do you want the album to communicate? We wanted to have a little bit of everything, the upbeat, truly taking people into an encounter with God. We also did a couple of mid-tempo just try to do something creative with the worship music that it wouldn’t sound the same.

What song speaks the most to your heart?  There’s this song that we’ve been singing in church for long tine called “Awaken My Heart.”  It’s like a word that our church.  We’ve seen amazing sings in church through that song, like miracles happening, people getting healed. I think that song is an anthem at our church and just to see how the Holy Spirit move through that song, I would say that it’s my favorite one.

How have you managed to stayed focused on God, in spite of the things that have surrounded you in your country? In Colombia we had an attack of violence in the 80’s early 90’s. On the day that we got the assassination attempt it was my birthday. It was  Sunday after church. My dad had preached and  we going to my birthday party. That when two people on motorcycles started shooting and my dad got five bullets, one of them just went through his neck . My mom got a bullet that was 2 inches away from the heart.  So that was a true attack to my parents lives, to our family, to our church. We saw God take us through love and prayer and the church.

Talk about that. For 10 days my dad was in a coma the whole church and people around the world were just crying out for the pastor, my mom, 24 hours just praying. Fortunately she was okay on that day. After ten days my days my dad woke up. The doctors said it was not possible for him to be alive. If you see him today, he’s like perfect. There was a time of healing afterwards, like a year but God spoke to him and said you need to forgive those who tried to hurt you. We have praying for our country a lot and my mom’s been involved in politics.  She was the first Christian senator. We’ve seen a change now in our country today. It’s way better than what it was before. in every aspect of it, with the violence and everything. We ‘re just thankful, because we know that all of that is because of prayer and because of just trusting God that He will do something more than in our own strength.

What led you to music? When I was 12 my parents told me to start taking piano lessons. That’s how it started, but as I was getting better I started falling in love with music. I went to  a 3-day retreat; that’s when I truly had an encounter with God. That’s when God spoke to me about my calling for music. Ever since then I started to sing in the choir, getting involved in different things. That’s always been my passion, even though I love to preach, I love every aspect of the ministry. I truly feel God wanted to use me in music and of course all of those experiences cause you to have a closer relationship with God, to just really depend on him in those alone times with him.

What is worship like at your church?  We always play at church on Sundays when were not playing at a conference. Most of our songs are made to be played at churches . That’s like our vision as well. We do worship music for Sundays and youth groups.

Tell me about the great collaborations on the album. We’ve been friends with Martin Smith ever since he was in Delirious.  He would come to Bogota and Delirious was like our inspiration. We love to do that type of worship music being able to work with him was like a dream come true.  With Kim Walker-Smith, we were working with the producer of Jesus Culture, so he’s the one that was able to get her. She’s an amazing worship leader. We truly admire her, how God is using her, so it’s like another big surprise.  Tobymac that was like super to know him. We never thought this could happen, because we’re a new band. Its amazing!

Will you be touring as part of the release? We’re going to start our tour at the end of August. We are  going to do 7 cities, San Diego, Anaheim, Houston, Austin, Boston, New York and Miami. That’s our first tour for the album in the U.S. We plan to do more at the end of the year and then in the spring with a couple more cities.

What else would you want others to know about the album? The album is pretty much for anyone. Its not basically just for young adults. Everyone could relate to it. I’m sure everyone loves worship music. We’ve  known each other for a long time.  We’re not just musician, we are also leaders and pastors in our church and that’s always been our focus; the church. I think this album represents that and God being proclaimed. That’s mostly what we want people to experience in the album; a true encounter with God and the breath of life upon them.

Soulfire Revolution’s “Revival: is available August 13.

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