A Conversation With Reborn Records’ President

Last year, Stephen Alexandersen formed Reborn Records, and has since signed numerous artists including award-winning vocalist Bonnie Keen, legendary guitarist Rick Derringer, and country gospel singer Eric Horner. Stephen is, himself, an accomplished pianist and songwriter, and recently re-released his 70s album in CD format.
Q: What prompted you to start a record label?
A: I had been in the fledgling Contemporary Christian Music industry in the 70s/ early 80s (the “Jesus Music” era), and had much success at the time with the album “Let The Music Move Me”. From there, I tried “crossing over”, dealing with a couple of mainstream record labels. This absolutely wasn’t God’s will. As a result of taking well-intended but incorrect advice I walked into serious disobedience to God, which set me on a path that eventually led me out of music altogether. To be perfectly frank, God put my ministry on the shelf for awhile until I turned around to obey Him. Consequently, I personally started getting further away from God in my life. But God has a way of keeping your attention, and early in 2002 I finally submitted to His will for my life and took steps to get back into Christian music. Part of that step of obedience to God’s will and calling involved a vision to give the pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music who are still in ministry a place to call home, a base from which to work. But we’re also looking for those new artists who are more interested in ministering the Gospel than being “the next big thing”, who know that they have been called to do so through the Lord’s gift of high-quality music. Reborn Records slants everything we do toward the benefit of all of these artists and their ministries, as opposed to just keeping an eye on the bottom line.
Q: How do you determine which artists to sign?
A: First of all, an artist or band must be spiritually mature; secondly, they must know that they are called of God to minister, either evangelistically or to the Body of Christ; thirdly, they must be actively ministering in a way that is doctrinally correct (based on scripture, not necessarily according to a given set of dogma or denominational regulations); last but not least, they must be musically excellent. These are people who desire to minister and to see changed lives and hearts as a result of doing what they are called to do. I feel that musical excellence without the anointing and purpose of the Holy Spirit is just good music, nothing more. We’re praying for the opportunity to work with those who are chosen to serve the Lord and are really in the trenches fighting the good fight every day.
Q: You are re-releasing “Let The Music Move Me.” Why did you decide to do that?
A: Well, I did not originally intend to do that, but the project has never been offered in CD format. I’ve had people over the years ask me why the album was no longer available, and tell me that they would love to have a copy of it. I still hear stories of how God used something on that album to minister to hearts and lives, which is very humbling to say the least. I prayerfully decided to re-release it with the addition of three new songs to let folks know that He has still given me something to say that is relevant today. My style of expressing myself through music revolves around the piano, guitar and vocals, and I still gravitate toward more prophetic or evangelistic lyrical content. My greatest desire is to see the lost come to Him as well as to minister to the Body of Christ the incredible excitement of living for Jesus, and I would hope that the music still reflects that.
Q: When did you learn to play the piano?
A: Being legally blind, I couldn’t really play or do much else with the other kids on the block when I was small. So when I was 5 ½, my late grandmother taught me my very first chord on her piano, and I just went on from there. With her encouragement, over the next nine years I taught myself to play seventeen instruments before focusing on the drums semi-professionally at fourteen. After I was saved two years later, the Lord intervened through the Holy Spirit to move me into a more keyboard- and guitar-dominated musical direction that has prevailed ever since.
Q: You are Jewish by heritage. How do you marry that with the Christian faith?
A: Christianity is really the logical extension of Judaism. Jesus is Jewish, so I think that in reality, we all are, since His will is that we be like Him! Now that might all be a little controversial to some folks on both sides of that fence, but you can’t change the simple truth. Being born-again has, even after 32 years, made me more Jewish than I ever dreamed of being! It’s actually kind of fun to celebrate Yom Kippur, which is the Jewish Day of Atonement, knowing that I’ve been redeemed already and that Yeshua Hamashiach (Messiah Jesus) atoned for my sin forever when He endured the cross and then rose again. It’s not that being Jewish makes me more of a Christian or a better Christian than anyone else – the Bible says that we are all grafted onto the vine – but it sure feels complete. Although I’ve never felt called to a “Messianic ministry” per se, I’ve actually been getting some new Messianic-oriented songs from the Lord. After all of these years, I’m (hopefully) finally beginning to understand what Paul meant when he said “I am all things to all men”; arguably, the Lord’s will for us is that we be the most well-rounded ambassadors that we can be for Him. I try to never miss a chance to witness or minister in some way to my Jewish friends, family, or whomever the Lord puts in my path. And I still love Jewish food the best! We Jews look for any reason to have a party, to eat, to talk and (happily) argue.
Q: What makes Reborn Records different from other Christian labels?
A: Again, we put the artists’ ministries and their needs first. After all, God has given each of them their own unique calling. For us to try to “spin” that or change it just pushes out what God wants to do. Working this way really puts us in the position of being servants, which is wonderful! At the end of the day, what separates Christian music from the mainstream is the fact that this music can be used by God to literally change lives. Because of that, we’re trying to look beyond sales, demographics, hits, and charts; we want to see these artists’ ministries and the results of what they do the way Jesus sees them — and He sees them from an eternal perspective, looking at the motivation of their hearts. Jesus said “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me”. That, and only that, is what Reborn should be about.


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