One of the most popular acts in both Christian and mainstream music scenes, The Fray began as just a jam session between two school friends, Isaac Slade and Joe King. The band would go onto expand and release its first single which was a widespread radio hit, “Over My Head” (2005).
The band’s second single, “How to Save a Life,” was inspired by Isaac’s encounter with a teenager addicted to crack that he reached out to and mentored. Made popular through the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy,” the song resonated greatly with audiences, and inspired some motivated listeners to start a nonprofit organization called “Save a Life.” The organization is devoted to changing lives by encouraging positive decisions in the lives of loved ones.
While they don’t consider themselves specially a “Christian band,” the group’s faith is front and center in many of their lyrics, including in “You Found Me” from the band’s recent self-titled album. Growing up in church, Issac often lead worship at his local Denver congregation, but had an important epiphany about songwriting and how that relates to his faith as he worked as a Starbucks barista. "None of my friends outside the church understood any of my songs; we had a different set of vocabulary," Isaac told Christianity Today. "So I went home and threw away all those songs."
"If I handed somebody a double grande mocha latte and told them, 'Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,' they might throw it back on me,” Isaac shares. “If we grow up in the church, it's easy to think it's our Christian duty to preach to every single person because God is the most important thing. And he is, but I'm a musician first. This is my job. We're not pastors. We're not preachers. We're not even missionaries."
But in their minds, the best way they can truly represent their faith is by being the best practitioners of their art. “"If you're a painter, paint, but you don't have to have Jesus in every picture,” Isaac says. “Paint well, and if you paint well enough, they might ask you why you do that."
Just Say Jesus
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