about our music

How we (Joël & Nellen) started creating music.

I’ve always been very shy, too shy to talk to strangers or even to raise my hand in class. I wanted nothing more than to overcome this, despite being told endlessly I was incapable of change, I was determined to prove everyone wrong. In 2012 I decided to face my fears, so I joined a choir. I sang my first solo in front of 1,300 people; I was scared to death, but I did it. The decision to step out of my comfort zone and face my fears has led me to overcome my social anxiety and overall shyness.

In 2015 I started a pop-parody-band called “On Fire” together with some peers from my church, after just two or three gigs, we disbanded. Everyone but the drummer, pianist and me (the singer), left. Together we searched for new musicians in our church and founded the hard-/alternative rock parody band “Vanguard”.  We had a great time for four years, we were nicknamed the “Band of Brothers” because we had grown so close. But in 2019, I was compelled to leave the church I grew up in after various cases of sexual, spiritual and financial abuse were brought to my attention. And leaving that church, meant leaving the band.

One year later, happily married to my wife, Nellen, I spoke her old roommate who mentioned he was producing music for several artists. Nellen and I were very interested in having a song recorded, and we had decided upon a “test run” for a song I had written in 2018. We asked him if he’d like to help us finalize and record it.

Between editing the song and finally recording it, I had thrown away all the lyrics except one and a half verse. I didn’t like the message I was getting across through the song, I had decided to focus mainly on God’s love and grace rather than what I used to be like before I gave my life to him. On the day it was to be recorded, I didn’t have a chorus yet. And the recording itself was the first time I ever sang the entire song.

We initially decided to name our music “group” Agapē, because we wanted to focus on God’s unconditional and irrevocable love. Our first song was actually released under that artist name on Spotify, iTunes and Shazam. But even though we still focus on God’s love, we thought it would be easier merging two projects into one and just releasing music as Joël and Nellen.

Now, we’re on Spotify, iTunes, Shazam, all major social media platforms and we’re still growing and improving our digital footprint, hoping to reach as many people as possible through our music.

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