[INTERVIEW] The Walls Group Helps Reveal ‘The Other Side’

The Walls Group
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The Walls Group Uplifts & Creates A Voice For Those Who Feel Misunderstood With Their Latest Album

Urban contemporary Gospel group, The Walls Group officially began in 2009. Consisting of four siblings, a pair of brothers and sisters, known separately as Rhea Walls, Ahjah Walls, Darrel Walls, and Paco Walls.

They stepped onto the scene in 2009, but in September 2014 they officially made a name for themselves with their debut studio album, Fast Forward. The album took them to new heights as it reached the Billboard 200 charts at number 39 and became Billboard’s Number One album on the Gospel chart.

The Walls Group’s mission is to spread a positive, uplifting word to those willing to listen, and to reach out to the younger generation without exactly telling people what to do or how to live. They want to be able to give people something worth listening to that doesn’t sound similar to every other Gospel song, while also having a fun sound. At the same time, they want to be a voice for those who feel they don’t have a voice of their own and can’t be who God designed them to be.

The Walls Group
The latest album from The Walls Group, The Other Side accomplishes their mission, and much more. Ahjah explains that the whole concept behind the album touches on the fact that most church people only know church or what they’ve been taught.  They don’t know the side of experiencing a relationship with God minus other people’s beliefs and conceptions.

The album provides a positive message for everyone, AND it’s packed with quality music!

The Other Side was released on November 3rd and has quickly climbed up the charts. The album includes the lead single “My Life”.

Being a group that is still evolving, this album allowed Ahjah and Rhea the opportunity to develop and showcase their writing skills as they penned some of the songs themselves.

A week after the release of the album, The Walls Group unveiled their colorful visual for “My Life” on BET.com.  Watch the video below and check out our exclusive interview with The Walls Group.

Parlé Mag:  Talk to me about the concept behind this latest album, The Other Side?
Ahjah: I think Darrel explains it pretty well when he said that most church people only know church. They know what they’ve been told all their life, kind of just that side of Christianity and just the religion part.  But, I think the relationship part is what most people don’t really get into and I think as we’ve gotten older, and as we’ve grown to know the Lord more in the relationship realm, I think The Other Side to us just means forget peoples beliefs, forget people’s conceptions, forget all of that. The other side is kind of what’s real and coming from us.

Parlé Mag:  So I know on this album you worked with two great producers, Eric Dawkins and Warryn Campbell, can you tell me a little bit about what that experience was like?
Darrel: Warryn Campbell is one of the coolest guys in the entire world. He’s one of the most incredible musical people we know.
Ahjah: Yup!
Darrel: They made the experience very, very relaxed and it flowed very well. They didn’t come with a format like we’re going to do it this way, and that’s it. It was more so like whatever ya’ll want to do.
Ahjah: And it flowed naturally.
Darrel: Yeah, it flowed really good. They were like we want the authenticity in this and we were like, ‘cool, let’s go!’ And they made everything we did so fun, and that was something we appreciated.

Parlé Mag:  Can you tell me a little bit about the creative concept behind your lead single “My Life”?
Darrel: Well, “My Life” comes from a place of us. So, a guy named Damien Thomas who produced along with Warryn Campbell came in with the track and he was like, ‘listen I got something for ya’ll and it’s fire’. We were like ok, let’s listen to it. We played it, we were like alright this is it, we like it so Uncle Warryn was like what you doing, what you got? So what we decided to do was take what happens in life to us and put it on the track. Basically, people think that we’re unqualified due to the fact that were young and were very radical, and unorthodox. People think we’re very, very unqualified to do what we do or we don’t represent what Gospel is supposed to represent, and we wanted to come back at that and say, ‘listen God created us all to do something and it never looks the same’.
Ahjah: Right, it’s not supposed to.
Darrel: Think about David who was supposed to slay the giant but they wanted him to wear the traditional armor and he couldn’t do it in the armor, but he did it with his slingshot and a rock. So, it’s the same concept with us. Listen, we don’t have the traditional armor for you, but we got our sling shot and our rock and this is how we do it, you just gon have to accept that! It is what it is, let us live our life.

Parlé Mag:  I know as a writer, sometimes it can be hard to get the creative juices flowing. What was it like for you to write and create this album?
Ahjah: Well for some of us, we were new to writing. Me and Rhea we hadn’t really written much, so the whole process was kind of nerve racking at first, but like Darrel said, Warryn and Eric created a very breathable atmosphere, and so I think that it didn’t seem so much like work. Just so much as, what do you have? What has the Lord given you for this song? What has the Lord given you period? And that’s how we would come up with ideas and concepts, and whole songs would come just from this is what I feel like the Lord has given me.

The Walls Group
Parlé Mag:  I know you created this album for the fans, but tell me, exactly what type of person is this album for? Who would you say should listen to the album or even just one song?
Darrel: The person who feels like they can’t be themselves or they don’t have a voice, we wanted to create a voice for that person. That person that feels like man I’m misunderstood, I’m not gotten, I have to do everything by myself, or whatever. That guy, or that girl that feels like that, that’s who we created the album for.
Ahjah: Because we are those people.
Darrel: They always feels like if you want to get something done you got to do it yourself. Nobody’s got our backs like we got our backs, but the truth of the matter is there is someone who has our backs and that is God. So we created this album for those people.

Parlé Mag:  What has been the hardest part thus far growing as a music group in the music industry, particularly Gospel?
Paco: The hardest part has been staying true to yourselfnot staying true to yourself, but you know getting other people to realize this is who we are and we’re not changing for anybody. We are what we represent, and you know its very easy to be a sore thumb in this industry of look-alikes, and everybody doing what everybody else is, and so its been kind of hard to be the game changers and to be accepted as the game changers cause that’s who we are and going to remain. So, we haven’t lost heart, its something we’re going to keep up and keep at and hopefully everybody will follow too.
Rhea: Definitely!

Parlé Mag:  Would you say working with your siblings makes it easier or harder to get things done?
Ahjah: Both! Sometimes they don’t want to cooperate, and it’s different if you work with a business partner, or like people you don’t really know cause it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m not really comfortable so maybe I just have to go along with it cause I don’t want to be the sore loser, but its like I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what you say, I’m not gon’ do it.’
Darrel:  And then you have to do it.
Ahjah:  And then you have to do it, but I think it makes it easier because we’re more likely to get along than people. We can’t just fall out with each other, we used to live together, but we still got to see each other, we still family, we still have the same blood. You can’t fall out with me and think we’re just never going to address it again, like we’re just not going to be friends. We gon’ talk about this!
Darrel: We’re family, we all have the same common goal. I don’t want to see her fail, him fail. We all want to see each other win. So it’s always good to have that balance.

Parlé Mag:  So when you guys aren’t busy working on music, what do you do?
Ahjah: Sleeping!
Paco: I’m always at the Gym. I’m either home or at the Gym, or sleep.
Ahjah: I like to be home, I like home.
Paco: Downtime is a luxury these days. We get downtime, its like we got downtime??? Yes, wow! Please I need that. I get to be home, oh yes!

Parlé Mag:  What advice would you give someone looking to pursue a career in the Christian music industry?
Ahjah: Make sure this is what your called to do. I think that most people want it so bad that they won’t ask or seek guidance from God, like, ‘Lord, is this really what you’d have me to do? Or is it what you called me to do?’ Also, I think most people should understand that instead of chasing fame and notoriety just chase after God and let him guide you and if this isn’t what you’re supposed to do don’t let that discourage you. Find out what it is your called to do, and do that to the best of your ability.
Darrel: Because your call could still be ministry, just not on a giant scale.

Be sure to check out The Walls Group The Other Side album, out now…

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