Christian music has different kinds of genres: pop, rock, hip-hop, to name a few. But, there isn't much electronic dance music (EDM) available. The EDM pop act Transform is continuing to work hard to change that. They have a mission to reach people for Christ with EDM music in a unique way, as well as create events to reach people who may have never stepped into a church.
Recently, I connected with band members Jonathan Burgess and Tim Heil to talk about how they got started, and their syndicated radio show, Movement Radio, which recently celebrated its 100th episode.
Transform has a lot of history. Tell us how you started as a band.
Tim: We've had quite an interesting journey. The band has taken on a lot of different shapes, and we've transformed (get it?) over the years. We originally started as an outreach to the rave clubs and nightlife scenes in Denver, Colorado.
John and I are both DJs, and we met in college. We had both realized that we love dance music, and we have always wanted to do something from an outreach perspective. So, a few years later, we met up together with a guy that we knew locally who was doing outreach, and said, "Let's see if we could do something." We formed what was called Tranceform Productions. We became an event production company throwing underground dance events to reach people for Christ.
We had local DJs playing, and we served sushi and other foods as ways to connect with people on a one-on-one evangelism level. From there, we hoped to get people involved in church or involved in a bible study. This was the vision we had for Tranceform Productions. We did this for a little while. Eventually, our band members started getting married and having kids, so we paused for a bit.
Later, one of the guys in our group started doing event promotion for festivals. He asked us, "What are you guys doing for dance music?" This is was when dance music was starting to take off in the U.S. At that point, we shifted into what we call Transform DJs. We started producing our own music, as well as DJing and doing outreaches.
We, as a band, have shifted again over time: we've added people. We've taken on various shapes. And, now, our wives are in the group. Our genre of music is a mix of EDM, pop, and worship. So, we went from Tranceform Productions to Transform DJs. Now, we're just Transform. There are many stories in between, but that's a little bit of how we got here.
The band hosts a weekly radio show called Movement Radio, which is syndicated through NewReleaseToday. Tell us about that experience.
Jonathan: It's been fantastic. We have a friend who was heavily involved with a syndicated CEDM show and we were able to take over production after his schedule got incredibly busy. The experience has been fantastic. We're already at episode number 107 and, as anyone who's in the radio industry knows, it's been a labor of love. It's been exciting and a great journey. We're on stations all over the world and you can sign up for syndication here.
At the beginning of the year, Transform released a song called "Tongues of Angels." What's the story behind that song?
Tim: As previously mentioned, our wives are in the band. And, my wife wrote "Tongues of Angels." It's a song that we wanted to pursue. Our dream is to use electronic dance music to lead people into worship. So, this song is a worship-EDM song that has a chill progressive sound to it. We have individual tracks that worship bands can use as a back loop for their worship sets, for bands that want to introduce EDM elements into their worship.
"Tongues of Angels" is focused on the worship side. We've released hype songs, but we also release worship tracks because it's in the DNA of who we are. My wife leads worship at our church and Jon leads worship at his church, so worship is really ingrained into who we are.
What's next for Transform? Do you guys have any upcoming projects?
Tim: We just released a remix for DJ and producer Galactus Jack for his new remix album. We remixed his song, "I Got You," which is one that I like. It has some chill and summer vibes to it.
As far as future projects, we have a couple in the works that we're trying to finalize. We're creating a release schedule for them as we speak. With everything going on, our lives have somewhat shifted in terms of what our priorities are. We're trying to accommodate schedules with everyone working from home. But, we're still cranking out Movement Radio as best we can, and we're working on music as best we can. Hopefully, soon, we'll have another release or two.
Finally, how can we be praying for the band?
Jonathan: During this time, we just want to be faithful. We obviously want to increase our audience, but what God is teaching me is to be a servant. We want to be faithful in serving in the music industry. One of the things that God has taught me is that behind every open door is a person.
While it might be the audience you're thinking about reaching, you might be reaching the sound technician, or the concert promoter, or the person who picks you up at the airport. Maybe, they're the assignment behind that open door. We want God to use our platform as much as possible, but at the same time, we want to be found faithful with the things he has put in our hands.
So, pray for faithfulness, and to make an impact. I think that's the biggest thing. The reason we exist as a band is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to share salvation. John 3:16 (NIV) says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
We also want to be vocal and defend life for the unborn. So many people don't want to go there, but we want to be the ones that speak up for the weak. We want to be faithful in that, as well as being faithful in our music and worship. Jesus, life, and worship is our focus.
Grace Chaves is a fan of all things Christian music. She is one of NRT's youngest writers. Homeschooled, Grace loves concerts, Jesus, and songwriting.
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