Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam, a worship leader and songwriter from Houston, Texas released her highly-anticipated debut album, RADIANT YOU (independent) on September 18, 2012. Produced by Marshall Altman (Audrey Assad, Brooke Fraser, Josh Wilson), RADIANT YOU is a beautiful, eclectic mix of true, heartfelt worship. Rebekah began writing new music as she was studying and preparing for worship from week to week. Soon, these new melodies formed into worship songs that her church family embraced. It was the start of something life-changing for Rebekah and her family. She would continue to write new music, share it with the congregation of her home church and hear God telling her that the music was meant for more. "From the beginning, I heard God telling me that the music needed to get to more people and more congregations. I knew that from the start, but I had no idea it would happen like this. God is so faithful."
Meeting producer, Marshall Altman was part of God's story and his plan for Rebekah's music. Having such a talented producer and friend believe in Rebekah's gift and want to invest time and energy into making each song better, has been a true treasure to Rebekah and to the music. The crowd-funding campaign began and ended with success, placing Rebekah in a very vulnerable position asking friends, family and fans to take a leap of faith with her before she ever made her first record. They did! Rebekah's campaign ranks in the top twenty-five "most funded" indie projects of all time since Kickstarter began. And, every detail of this record and this process fell into place. It was an amazing "God thing." He has been in it from the start.
Spending two weeks in Nashville, the wife and mother of four, trusted that she was doing what she was called to do. With the support of her husband and entire family, she was able to focus on the music and the message and make a really great record.
"Radiant You," Rebekah's debut album is eclectic and exciting and showcases Rebekah's talent for song-writing, her vocal range, unique vocal sound, and various styles that will captivate and engage congregations and listeners. It's a perfect mix of big worship anthems, simple praise songs and heartfelt ballads. Rebekah's songwriting is simple, touching and inspired by God's Word. Her husband, Moustapha, collaborated with her in writing four songs featured on the project. Her voice is all her own. It's beautiful and unique. It's Rebekah. Her love of the Holy Trinity and belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is interwoven throughout the music. She calls on the Holy Spirit to "Shine on Us" and through us in the title track "Radiant You" and her declarations only get stronger through the entire album. All 11 songs will soon be available on CCLI.com for churches and worship leaders throughout the world.
The imagery in the 11 song album is spirit-filled, full of hope, promise and declarations that although we may struggle with hard times in life, God is who He says He is. "Radiant You" refers to Romans 12:11, where the Bible tells us "Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord." 2 Corinthians 4:6 says "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." "Radiant You" tells of our ability to truly shine through God's light. Serving Him with our whole heart and being aglow with the Spirit. This album calls on the Spirit to shine on all of us.
Rebekah includes some of her spiritual inspirations under each song title in the album insert. Her hope is that the album will inspire many to worship God with their whole hearts and that they will want to know more of the light of the Holy Spirit.
The album "Radiant You" starts with a favorite worship tune from Rebekah's church, "Give Thanks to the Lord." This powerful, upbeat, "get up and praise God" tune is based off of Psalm 118. "Give thanks to the Lord! For He is good, so good to us! His love endures forever. He has set us free..." It sets the tone of the record. Making God the focus as we sing, "This is the day that the Lord has made."
The first single released to radio is entitled "The Glory of it All." It is a song about Rebekah's personal salvation experience. Finding God, being lost and only finding Him again when coming to a place of change. The realization that this life is about so much more than us and really about God's kingdom makes many of the every day heartaches seem trivial. "It's not about me. It's all about You. The kingdom You have made. And, the Glory of it All."
In the track, "Be My Vision," Rebekah adds a new chorus to the traditional hymn "Be Thou My Vision" while singing the original verses in her own style. The song is classic with a contemporary touch and the new chorus is strong and beautifully simple ,"Be my vision. Now and always. Be the first thought all of my days. Let us sing out to the beauty of Your call. Be my vision, O ruler of all." The vocals in this track are spot on. Beautifully sung, with chill-bump spirit and effort-less grace.
In the album track "Your Promises," Rebekah tells the universal story of facing a heartache and a hard road, only to claim God's promises as the "only way that I can breathe." The verses are written from the perspective of Rebekah's mother as she chose to "hold tight to" God's promises raising her beautiful daughter, Rebekah's sister, Melinda, who has Down's Syndrome. The song is a power ballad, giving us many promises that we can "hold tight to" even in hard times.
"I've been on a changing road for many years," Rebekah says. "Marriage, moving, having four children, loss of employment, the unexpected. Life lessons have been in it all. It's change. It’s life. It's remembering that God is in control and reigning sovereign through it all. And, that we can have hope that His grace will fulfill our every need. He can meet our core needs."
The journey, as a mother, as a wife and a person who wants to do more for God's kingdom, is evident in Rebekah's debut album. It's mature. It's simple. It's truth. And, it's what Rebekah's heart is saying now and what she wants to share with others. Her hope is that the album can impact lives for Jesus. "If we can all impact one life for the kingdom, the world would be a much better place," Rebekah says.
To Rebekah, making this album with such an amazing producer and band is a "Dream Coming True." Rebekah says, "I feel really blessed." Altman adds, "Yeah, me too. It's been a good project. I'm really pleased with how all the songs have come out." Altman tells Rebekah "I'm really excited for you."