The Grammy Award nominated urban gospel trio of 21:03 (Evin Martin & Torrence Greene) have grown up right before the public’s eyes. From their early days of opening for Yolanda Adams and J. Moss to their current radio smash “I’m Still Here,” they have truly evolved into a well-oiled musical machine, known as much for their high-energy dance synchronizations as for their brilliant vocal skills. In fact, their last release entitled, Evolved … From Boys To Men (PAJAM / RCA), is the title of their long awaited current CD that showcases just how much they and their music have grown up over the last few years as they have been forced to confront the real life growing pangs of illness, death and this business called music. This year the group are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of 21:03’s music ministry. After 3 albums (Stellar Award winners for the 1st, Grammy nominations on the 2nd album) & (3) top 10 singles one of which was the Grammy nominated, “Cover Me” feat. Fred Hammond, Smokie Norful & J Moss, they are thankful for this Kingdom Movement that has inspired so many.
“For our last album we took the forefront in the writing,” says Evin Martin of the ten-song album that was produced by the legendary urban production team of PAJAM (Paul Allen, J Moss and Walter Kearney). “The sound is more mature. When we first started off we were teenagers; now, we’re men – grown men with responsibilities. We’ve experienced some of life’s ups and downs.”
Those ups and downs birthed songs like “I’m Still Here,” their powerful new radio anthem. “It came from a place of pain,” Evin confesses. Almost two years ago, his mother died of multiple sclerosis complications at the age of 48. Then, his 50 year- old father died. “My father passed away from brain cancer,” he says. “We found out he was sick in February and he died on Mother’s Day.
Throughout the project, from deep tenor acts to high notes and velvet croon blends it all comes together seamlessly. 21:03 provides their fans a platter of musical treats ranging from pretty praise tunes to pulsating arm-flexers. “We can’t party all the time,” Evin
concludes in explaining the album’s diverse rhythms. “We can’t dance. We hurt. We love. We’re sad. We’re just chill today. We’re all of these things.”
With all of the different issues like “In Your Presence”, a simple but lushly produced song of praise, while the tender “All You Need” is a warm prayer of fidelity to God. The techno-styled “Incredible” marvels at God’s wonders and was initially released as a radio single last year when it rose to the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart.
The catchy “Favor” boasts a Hip Hop flavor that boasts of a “swag in the spirit” self- confidence that comes as a result of being a Christian, and therefore a “favored” soul, while the latter testifies that, “I can have what I want if I speak it out loud and believe in my heart that it’s done.” It plays off of the Biblical scripture of Matthew 7:7 in which Christ said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.”
The way that 21:03 found each other was by chance. After auditioning over 100 singers, PAJAM handpicked the original trio of Evin Martin, Torrence Greene and Sean Grant on the 21st day of January 2003 – thus their name. Over the next few months, the trio was subjected to daily drills in every aspect of entertainment, including singing, choreography, and stage presence. Their first recording was “Sweet Spirit” on the gold- selling, WOW Gospel 2005, CD. Finally, in 2006, their self-titled debut CD exploded with the radio hit, “I’m Sorry.” They hit the pavement again in support of the project. Aside from their incredible singing ability, their concerts were noted for the high-energy dance routines they performed. After the first CD, Grant left the group and was replaced by Jor’el Quinn. In 2008 they released their sophomore CD, Total Attention (Verity Gospel Music Group). It featured the Grammy Award nominated Top 10 hit, “Cover Me.” Since then the group has been condensed to the two original members, Evin and Torrence. Torrence concludes that “sometimes you just have to cut the fat and move the vision forward. God has continued to show his favor on our dedication.”
As the members of 21:03 they’ve become more so brothers than simply band mates. We are excited about the future and how this 10 year anniversary marks the next level for us. When I first started I just wanted to sing and dance, but now I know it’s much more about ministry and effecting people’s lives. I learned that I’m able to endure much more than I thought I could, GOD loves me on my mountain peaks, and in my valleys.” says Torrence. Our music is a reflection of our process, our walk through faith. Once we learn lessons in our lives and walks, it’s our job to put what we’ve learned to music for you! It’s definitely been a journey,” proclaims Evin.
“Brand New Day” is the newest celebratory/anniversary single for 21:03. It talks about not letting your trials, your setbacks, and situations bring you down. We want to minister that it’s about commanding your morning, and proclaiming that it’s gonna be a good day! It’s all about your perspective. No matter what you may be going through, you have to opportunity to react in a way that is favorable to a positive attitude. It’s about Waking the World up to Jesus and letting them know we have a savior that wishes that we be in good health and our souls proposer. GOD wants us to have happiness and joy!”