Dave Frey, lead singer of the contemporary Christian group Sidewalk Prophets, is about to start his 20th year with the band. During that time the award-winning group has produced four major studio albums, five No. 1 hits and eight top-five songs.
However, Frey has had another dream most of his life — to write a book.
After four years of bringing it to fruition, Frey is set to release his children’s Christmas book, “The Luckiest Star.” “It’s pretty surreal that this has happened,” he noted.
“The Luckiest Star” is based on the Sidewalk Prophets’ song, “Hey, Moon,” written about 10 years ago. Both projects came out of Frey’s love of anything Christmas.
“I always cite [“Hey, Moon”] as one of my faves mostly because it just meant Christmas. It means a lot to me. I love celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love the family, the gifts and all those things that come along. And now I have a two-year-old son so it means even more.
“Even before I had a wife, before I even met my wife, when we wrote that song, in the back of my head I was like, ‘I’d love to write a Christmas song that I could someday sing to my kids if I have kids.’”
‘The idea guy’
Ben McDonald, a former member of Sidewalk Prophets, came up with the idea. He proposed writing a song from the perspective of the moon talking to the Star of Bethlehem about the night Jesus was born.
It quickly became a fan favorite and the band is asked to play it throughout the year.
“Now here I am, a dad of a two-and-a-half-year-old and not only do I get to sing this song to him but I get to read a book inspired by the song to him,” Frey said.
The idea for the book also came from McDonald, the “engine of the band” and “the idea guy,” according to Frey.
“The book shifts perspective to the star just trying to find his place and what he was made for,” Frey explained. “There’s a lot of books talking about who you are and that you’re special. I wanted to make sure it was like, ‘God made you special.’ Even when people see the things you do as flaws, maybe there’s something that God’s wanting to use for Him.”
Frey noted his son is tenderhearted, silly and laughs a lot. Those traits might be accepted in a two-year-old “but the older you get, the more the world seems like it wants to pull that out of you.”
Frey applied the idea: “What if we wrote it from that perspective of a little star trying to find its place?”
It took four years, three writers and an illustrator before they felt the book was ready to share.
“Sometimes there’s too many cooks in the kitchen,” Frey acknowledged, “but I think that was the right amount of cooks for this recipe to be done well.
“Then along comes the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Finally, after four years of revising, kind of forgetting about it for a year and then coming back to it,” Frey recalled, “I think we got it to where we thought, ‘Oh man, this gives me goosebumps when I read it.’”
Though it was something Frey wanted to do for years, he is content that it was God’s timing.
“I don’t know that it would have been the book it is and would have been complete without me having a son,” he explained. “If we had written it four years ago, I don’t know if some of the things I would have put in it differently. I think that time and experiences have led to this moment.”
Reason for the season
Frey now has the song and book he wanted to one day share with his child, and he’s using both to teach his son the real reason for Christmas — Jesus.
“The Luckiest Star” is available at Sidewalk Prophets Christmas concerts or https://sidewalk-prophets.myshopify.com/collections/the-luckiest-star.