Grammy-winning Australian brother duo for KING & COUNTRY have a hit with “Together,” a collaboration with gospel legend Kirk Franklin and pop star Tori Kelly. As the duo’s Joel Smallbone tells ABC Audio, they initially weren’t sure about when to release the song…until COVID-19 turned the world upside down.
Joel and his brother Luke wrote the song in January, and then, after running into Kirk Franklin at the Grammys earlier this year, they invited him to add his musical tough to the track.
“I called Kirk and I said, ‘Hey, man, we got this song…We would love for you to collaborate on it…” Joel recalls. “And he said, ‘You know what? I’ll not only collaborate, I’m going to bring my band in, I’m gonna bring my choir in,’ and he went above and beyond and did just such a lovely job.”
But then COVID hit, and the duo had to cancel a Canadian tour they’d scheduled for March.
“We played two shows out of 12 or 14…and then we packed up and went home to try and get across the border before it closed.” Joel says.
“And Luke walked off the stage at, I think it was Toronto. It was the last show we would end up playing before quarantine. And he said, ‘That song is for this time. We need to release it now.'”
According to Joel, they needed one more element to make the song perfect.
“We knew we wanted a strong female voice represented on this,” says Joel. “[My wife] Moriah and I are good friends with Tori Kelly and her husband. And I…sent her a video message: ‘Hey, here’s the song. Would you sing on it?'”
“Within, like, three or four days, she’d sent back her vocal,” he notes. “And then we released it!”
By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.