We recently spoke with Tay and Tray Neely, twin gospel vocalists of Double Portion Worship, about music, faith, and using the internet for good.
TBYT: For people who are unfamiliar with you two and what you do, can you explain what Double Portion Worship is and how you got started?
Tay: We are twins, so that’s where we get the Double Portion, a double portion of God’s love. Most people call twins “double trouble,” but we say Double Portion. I started singing out more than my brother, but I always tried to get my brother to come out and sing because he wouldn’t want to come out and start singing. One day we were singing, and my brother started singing with me. And I told him that “wow, that sounds good, Tray”. And then, I guess as I started building his confidence up, he started coming out more with his singing. Then that’s when we came up with the name Double Portion because we figured out that when we worship, it’s so much better when we do it together. The worship is so much stronger. Then that’s when my mom came up with the name, and that’s pretty much how this whole thing got started.
TBYT: How long ago was that?
Tay: About five years ago.
TBYT: I know you also play the keyboard and the drums. How did you get started playing music?
Tray: I started music by playing the drums. My mom bought us a drum set when we were little. And I always liked to beat on things in school, like you would catch me in school just beating on the desk. I really had a passion, and I liked playing the drums for churches and stuff like that. I also was on the drum line in middle school. My brother and I were both drum line captains. So I just really had a passion for playing drums my entire life. That’s really how I started. I started young in school. Doing what God has called me to do.
Tay: I play keyboard. When I was little, I never thought I would be playing the keyboard. My passion at first was drums, but my dad bought a keyboard. He was in his music room trying to figure out how to play this keyboard, and I would always be in the music room with him because I just loved to be surrounded by music. So one day I was just playing on the keyboard, just playing around with different notes and stuff, but then as I was playing around, I was actually teaching myself different things. I pretty much learned how to play by ear. Me just playing around actually turned into something that I love to do. I actually love playing keyboard more now than playing drums.
TBYT: One of our main goals at Think Before You Type is to encourage young people, but also people of all ages, to use the internet in a positive way, and you both have really been able to do that. Can you talk a little bit about how your faith has affected the way that you go about using the internet and your online presence?
Tray: Everything that we do is all for the glory of God. We go on Facebook live and just worship because we know that a lot of people are needing healing and restoration. We just want to make sure that we are doing something positive because you see a whole bunch of negative things on the internet. You just want to be saturated in the presence of God sometimes.
Tay: When we go on live, we are not actually trying to be seen because a lot of people today put things on social media to try to get attention. Like you said, we are doing something positive through social media, and that is pretty much all we are doing. We are trying to reach youth, our generation, because our generation is lost. So that is how we reach our generation because they may not listen right then, but it is always going to stick with them in the long run. Like these twin boys that are doing the right thing, even though they struggle in life and are going through things in their life. They can still worship and know that everything is going to be alright. That’s what we do. We are just young, black, and positive.
TBYT: You’ve been talking about how you have seen the need for change online, and you are trying to do positive things to champion that. Can you talk about one specific way that you would like to see the internet change?
Tay: Just more positive things on there, not all bad news and not always just hearing or seeing people fighting. We just want to see the difference in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, you know. We are just tired of seeing the same thing.
Tray: Yes, like stop the bullying. Learning to encourage one another when they are going through hard times.
TBYT: You have these incredible comments on some of your videos. I’ve seen the pictures people are sharing with your T-shirts on. You’ve really been able to reach people. Can you talk about how you have been able to see God work through your ministry?
Tray: When we went live one day [there was] a lady that wanted to commit suicide. She commented on the live, and my mom caught it. We got her on the live to just encourage her, and once we got done encouraging her, she did not want to kill herself anymore. That is just evidence of how she was encouraged and still believed that whatever she is going through, she can get through it by our worship. And that she is not alone in her situation.
People are also starting to confess and just reveal everything that they are dealing with, not even just her. We see people in the comments while we are worshiping on the lives saying that they dealt with the same thing. They tell us all the things that they dealt with, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and all these things that they dealt with in their childhood. They are not afraid to come out and say it because they see us doing it, and that’s what has encouraged us to do what we keep on doing.
TBYT: Can you talk about who some of your musical influences are?
Tray: Actually our whole family sings, so we cannot escape from escape from music. My dad is a worship leader. He worships at a church in Spartanburg, SC.
Tay: I love the way Travis Greene worships. I love when he’s not up there to be seen or to have fame. I love Chandler Moore, it’s just his style of worship. The anointing on their lives, I can feel it. You can feel when someone has the anointing. They are not just up there to make themselves sound good. They are actually up there singing for God. Travis Greene, Chandler Moore, Tye Tribbett, all of those people, we love them. Those are our inspiration.
Tray: And we also have diverse music. I have a favorite R&B singer, Tyrese Gibson, and I just like his tone, I like his music. He is mostly just talking about a love song and just like a relationship with someone. And it also flows into the worship side.
Tay: That is basically what worship is, having a relationship with God. It is like an intimate time with God.
TBYT: We are sisters who work together, and we always have to ask this question when we interview other siblings. What is it like to work so closely with your brother?
Tay: I love working with my brother. This is just an example, but when I am home by myself, I may go live and do a worship video. It is a little harder to go into worship when you don’t have your twin brother sitting right beside you. Because, as a twin, it is different when you don’t have each other right there beside you. We flow together. We worship so much better. I just love my brother. I love traveling with my brother.
Tray: Also we are connected. We were connected together in our mother’s womb. So it’s like everything that we do is together. It doesn’t matter what it is. So we worship together. It’s like, if one person is having a bad day, we are all having a bad day. Just because we are so close together, and we worship through it together.
TBYT: When you are looking to the future, what are some of the goals that you have for Double Portion Worship?
Tray: What we are looking for to happen is that we want to keep traveling the world, doing what God has called us to do. Traveling and ministering to the youth and all generations. We want to make music. We just want to spread the gospel, do what God has called us to do.
Tay: We are hoping to get our first EP released this summer. Our first EP is basically going to be a worship medley. That is the type of goal that we are hoping for Double Portion. And just like my brother said, travel the world, worship, minister to the brokenhearted, and change someone’s life. Let our worship heal somebody. Give somebody another chance at life, lead them back to Christ. Those are the goals for Double Portion.
TBYT: You’re mentioning this EP that you are working on. Are these going to be original songs, or are some of them covers? What’s the plan for that?
Tay: Some of them may be originals, and some of them may be cover songs. But you have to buy it to see!