Famous for their heartwarming and tearjerking performance of “Heaven’s Not Too Far” on America’s Got Talent, Josh, Bethany and Manny are finding much-deserved success in music. Better known as We Three, the sibling trio just wrapped up their debut national tour and released a new mix of their hit single, “Lifeline.” Amidst their busy promo schedule, I talked with the band to learn more about their iconic AGT performance and sibling partnership.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the role music played in your family early on.
We Three: In our younger years, music was always happening. We were either listening to, practicing, performing or creating music. It was a part of our school curriculum. Mom and Dad were really good at finding outlets for us to perform and create. Dad was also an active musician while we were growing up so on the weekends we’d often go help set up, watch his band perform and even perform with them. So growing up, we had music as a big part of our everyday life and routine.
AZ: When did you decide to turn this passion for music into a career together?
WT: A career in music was always in the back of our minds but we weren’t exactly sure how it was going to play out. In about 2010, after our song “Fairytale” was written and recorded, our recording engineer pulled us aside and said, “this is really good – what are you guys doing with this music career thing?” After that conversation, we decided to jump all in and give it everything.
AZ: What encouraged you to audition for America’s Got Talent? Were there any doubts going in?
WT: An AGT casting producer found us on Instagram and emailed us. We’d never looked into getting on a show like that before. They reached out at a great time when we were looking for the next step in our career.
AZ: The audition song that touched the hearts of people around the world was “Heaven’s Not Too Far.” The performance was extremely personal. What was going through your heads while you were on stage?
WT: We wanted to just play the song and do what we do. We had no idea if it was “good enough” for what they wanted on the show, but we felt really good about it. We were also extremely excited and a bit nervous, of course, to share it with America.
AZ: Similarly, many of your songs have been very personal. At times, has the writing, recording, and performing been difficult?
WT: Definitely! When the song was first written, Manny shared it with us and we all and it took us right back to that moment mentioned in the song. It was very painful but strangely healing at the same time. We put the song away for a while after that, thinking that it would probably just be for us. Nine months later, AGT found us and asked us to send in an audition tape. We all knew this was the song that we needed to share. It was very difficult to rehearse it and get it ready for the show, but we knew it was time to share it.
AZ: Overall, has music proved to be cathartic? How so?
WT: Music is a way for us to breathe through life. It’s so much a part of who we are and how we process the good and the bad in life.
AZ: Tell me about the inspiration for your latest single, “Lifeline.”
Manny Humlie: “Lifeline” is honestly as real as it gets. It was a rough time full of lots of pressure pouring in from so many different directions. I just sat at the piano and basically started talking…and the chorus came moments later. The song is about breaking down the stigma of having to fake “being okay” when you’re really not. It’s about being honest and vulnerable no matter how terrifying what you’re saying is. Just saying it.
AZ: Walk me through your writing process for this song.
MH: I like to start writing with a chord progression, and once I find a progression that makes me feel something, I start adding melody and lyrics. The first line I sang was “Can you call my lifeline cause I give up” – that line hit me hard. I don’t like to ask for help even when I’m at my lowest, and that can be a huge detriment at times. This song is basically a reminder to me and hopefully other people that it’s okay to be at the end of your rope, and it’s okay to ask for help when you are there.
AZ: Do you each have different roles when making music, or do you collaborate on everything?
WT: It’s evolved so much over the years. We’ve written together in the past but more recently, the songwriting has been happening separately. After the melody, lyrics and harmony have been written, we’ll bring it together to add the production. As music and technology evolve, so does our creation process. There are no rules.
AZ: How do you separate being siblings and bandmates?
WT: Honestly, we’re still figuring that out! Haha.
AZ: What has been one of the most memorable moments of the last year?
WT: Our first show of the “Lifeline Tour” was incredibly memorable. The crowd was electric and sang with us on literally every song. It was a moment we’d been dreaming of for years.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring artists who may be experiencing some hardships in their life, what would it be?
No one’s done it like you. Work your butt off, and be kind to everyone you come in contact with. Be you.
Any last thoughts?
We have so many things in the works right now, and we can’t wait to share them with all of our fans!
Interview has been edited for length and clarity
Featured image courtesy of We Three