Grammy winners For KING + COUNTRY hope biopic and soundtrack inspires people to go after dreams

Entertainment, Music

For KING + COUNTRY hope their family biopic ‘Unsung Hero’ and soundtrack inspires people to follow their wildest dreams.

The Grammy winning duo - comprising brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone - released the 2024 Christian drama movie, which follows Joel and Luke and their sister Rebecca on their life journey to become Christian recording artists, to acclaim.

Their mother, Helen Smallbone, played by Daisy Betts, was pregnant when she decided to move the family "halfway around the world" from Australia to Nashville to give them the best chance at their dreams.

The movie ends with Rebecca signing to a record label in 1993 after years of financial struggle.

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Joel said of the soundtrack released in tandem with the flick: "The soundtrack was a direct derivative of the movie. It’s our family story.

"We were originally from Australia and Dad was a concert promoter helping bands and artists down there, and he lost the equivalent of half $1,000,000. So, he and Mum decided to pack 16 suitcases and six kids when she was six months pregnant, and moved literally halfway around the world to Nashville, which is where we still are to this day.

"I co-wrote, co-directed and played our dad in the film’ tells Joel. ‘Luke produced it. So inevitably, when it came to the inspired by, we thought, wouldn’t it just be fun and fascinating to build a record that sort of is an ode to all these great moments."

The soundtrack features re-imaginings of 90s classics.

He said: "There’s all these cross pollinating of genres going on - you've got country, you've got Lee Bryson, Hillary Scott from Lady A, you’ve got rap, hip hop with Lecrae and you’ve got rock with Striper. Then there’s the ballads. Luke’s and my vocals carry the narrative in all of these songs switching in and out of genres and collaborations."

Joel actually plays his father, David Smallbone.

He said: “You're trying to channel your own story, your own heart, and then in movies you're trying to channel someone else's. And so I think I kept them pretty relegated in my focus. We wanted to channel our story and be honest about how we interpreted the songs and these lyrics vocally."

It was "emotionally captivating" to take the lyrics and apply them to their own story.

Luke shared: "Never did I understand the depth until we actually started singing them, and it was really emotionally captivating to drop these into our family story but make them into your own.

"These family stories were being lived out and the songs were being written at the same time as this."

He added: "The film talks about unsung heroes. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t have one. Whether it’s an uncle, auntie, grandparent or whatever it is, everyone's got someone that is seemingly doing the invisible things that impact our life. The song talks about realising who believed in us - These characters are the ones that change our life and in return can change generations. A lot of times, we think people need to have a microphone or a platform to actually evoke change in the world. In this case, the film is talking about our personal experience with our mother."

Making the film was no easy feat but they insist it's worth it if they can inspire others to take the risk and go for what they want in life.

Joel said: "We’ve just been able to break it out in a different way from our own bubble and our own box and there's always discovery in that.

‘I hope people recognise the power of family and faith in their lives. Everyone’s a son and a daughter. I hope people feel the encouragement of what family can do in people’s lives. It is the foundation of hopefully a happy life and infusing belief in your children. If our parents didn’t have their own parents, who maybe in a quiet moment said they wish they had risked a little bit more and lived adventurously, I’m not sure. If that’s the dream you’re chasing, go chase it. Go see what you can do. Whether it’s across the pond of the Atlantic or in our situation, across the ocean."

Listen to 'Unsung Hero (The Inspired By Soundtrack) now via Spotify.

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