Leeland

Rock

Praise & Worship,Pop,Atmospheric Rock

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Leeland was formed in Baytown, Texas, in 2005. Fronting the enthusiastic five-piece Texas outfit is the gifted 18-year-old songwriter and charismatic performer Leeland Mooring. The youngest group member, this unassuming, fresh-faced vocalist and guitar player writes with wisdom beyond his years. He's transparent in his love and gratitude to God and unflinching in his passion for reaching his generation for Christ.

"So many kids are lost when it comes to having a true relationship with God, even ones who go to church," Leeland says. "Whenever we play, our main goal is to be able to minister to our generation."

Leeland Mooring wrote his first song at the age of 11 as the Mooring family, including brother Jack, traveled with two evangelists ministering throughout the United States. Like flint to kindling, that single spark lit a fire in Leeland's heart for songwriting. It was during this spiritually formative season that Leeland began to sense a spiritual calling to music.

The Moorings exchanged fulltime itinerant ministry for parish work in 2000, launching a church in the family's hometown, Baytown, Texas, near Houston. At age 14, Leeland began to take his efforts to a different level. He entered Embassy Music's Ultimate Talent Search where he was a finalist in the songwriting and artist divisions. Although he didn't take home a trophy, Leeland garnered a bigger prize: the attention of contest judge and now-manager Kent Coley, who felt Leeland possessed something extra special. A year later, Leeland grabbed the attention of Eddie DeGarmo, President of EMI CMG Publishing and signed a songwriting contract with EMI CMG Publishing.

Ferrying between Houston and Nashville for songwriting sessions, Leeland eventually demoed songs with producer/songwriter Marc Byrd, putting the band on Provident Label Group's radar for a recording contract. Terry Hemmings, President and CEO, Provident Music Group, "Rarely does an artist come along that embodies both a fresh new approach musically while offering lyrical ideas that are powerful and compelling. Leeland has such a gift. I can't wait for people to hear it."

The group released its debut, Sound of Melodies, on Essential Records in 2006.

“The heartbeat of Sound of Melodies is the heartbeat of our ministry," states lead singer and guitarist Leeland. "A lot of the songs came out of prayer, so while trying to stay fresh musically, we endeavored to match the music with an intensity for seeking after God. The main purpose of the album is to inspire those who listen, both young and old, to have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.”

“What people hear on the record is five young guys that have hearts to glorify God,” says Leeland’s brother Jack, who is also a youth minister. “That’s what it’s all about for us: Declaring to God and to people how amazing He is.” Youth services at the Baytown, Texas “Celebration of Life” church where the band formed, have recently been moved from Thursday nights to Sunday nights in order for Jack to be back in town from the road to lead the service.

Passionate, progressive and worshipful are just a few adjectives to describe the band Leeland, and the heart behind its sophomore album, Opposite Way (2008). Not only did the GRAMMY and four-time Dove Award nominated band live up to the buzz from Christian music's most influential artists (including Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Third Day, Chris Tomlin and Switchfoot to name a few), but the Baytown, Texas-bred five piece exceeds expectations through eleven gems of prayerful power, and life-changing substance.

While both previous albums were GRAMMY nominated and drew a combined eight Dove nominations, Leeland’s measure of success has always been the human heart. And Leeland’s third album, Love Is On The Move was a landmark in the deepest sense.

"...God has caused a total shift in our thinking and the way we approach our ministry,” says Leeland keyboardist Jack Mooring. His brother, the band’s principal songwriter, lead singer and guitarist, Leeland Mooring begins to explain, “For awhile, we were just this band from Baytown, Texas, and all we saw was our little church where God had been doing awesome and incredible things. But He’s really been opening our vision to all the hurting people, especially the poor, around the world and making it clear we should help by being a part of spreading His kingdom.” Leeland goes on to quote from 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions... [NIV],” and he profoundly states: “If we’re not loving people, then we’re just making a bunch of noise.”

“Worship, justice and action are not separate,” explains 21-year-old Leeland. “They are united. They work together. When you have an amazing encounter with God and you experience His love during worship, the fruit of that should be your life overflowing with action and love – justice – to the world around you. ... That’s why Jesus said [in Matthew 25] on the Day of Judgment people will say, ‘God, when did I ever see you naked, or hungry, or thirsty or in jail?’ And He’ll say, ‘Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me,” and to others God will say, “Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for Me.'”

The shift in Leeland’s mission has been moving in this direction since the group’s formation in 2004 with “Tears of the Saints,” the socially conscious single off Leeland’s debut, Sound of Melodies. The band’s quest for insight continued as they befriended renowned teenage abolitionist Zach Hunter, toured with activist-rockers Third Day, collaborated with social justice advocate Michael W. Smith (Leeland, a prolific songwriter, had writing credits on seven songs on Smith’s 2006 album Stand.), partnered with Christian relief organization Food for the Hungry, took outreach trips to Africa and Asia, and attended Hillsong Church’s 2008 Conference in Australia.

The Hillsong experience set the tone for the worshipful anthems and prayers which elevate Love Is On The Move. “One of the speakers at the conference spoke about worship and justice,” Leeland recalls. “After his message, he played a clip of Bono giving an acceptance speech for an award he received for the work he’s been doing with Africa. And Bono actually started preaching and saying, ‘God is with the poor and with the needy, and if we want to be with God, we need to follow Him to the poor--where the poor play house inside of cardboard boxes.'’ He just went off. It was very anointed and it ministered to me a lot.”

When Leeland’s not on the road, band members continue to lead worship at the Baytown, Texas church the Mooring’s parents began pastoring six years ago. The band also serves regularly in their community’s Gulf Coast emergency preparedness programs and at a local food pantry which feeds hundreds of people each week. Earlier this year, Leeland and Jack were also the only musicians invited to the White House for its “Compassion in Action Roundtable” which targeted emerging leaders in developing the next generation of America’s social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. The way the band sees it, love should be on the move locally and globally. After all, doesn’t God choose to expand his Kingdom and His love by reaching out to the world through the lives and actions of His followers? Perhaps Leeland sums it up best, “Jesus was the first to be love on the move when He went to the cross. But when He did that, he transferred that love to us so we become His love on the move.”

Listen to Leeland Here



Discography

Album Title Year Label
Sound of Melodies2006Essential Records
Opposite Way2008Essential Records
Love Is on the Move2009Essential Records
Majesty: The Worship EP2010Essential Records
Great Awakening2011Essential Records

Category:

Location:

Baytown

Texas

United States

Record Label:

Essential Records

Christian Label:

Yes

Years Active:

00's

10's





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