TCB Exclusive: Q&A With Kim Walker-Smith Of Jesus Culture Music

Capitol Christian Music Group and Jesus Culture Music are preparing to release a ninth live recording on January 15, 2016.  The album title – Let It Echo – captures the heart of the community of the one-year-old church in Sacramento, CA seeking Jesus with a desire to know Him more and to see this passion spread from cities to nations. The project's songs were written from experiences the church community encountered together. This album includes 12 new songs featuring Kim Walker-Smith, Chris Quilala, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, and more. Just days before the release of this highly anticipated new album, Jesus Culture Music President Kim Walker-Smith took a few minutes to talk with us about the new project!

letitechoWe've heard Jesus Culture worship leader Chris Quilala talk about the title of this new album and how the title track is a prayer asking for God to infect our lives, from our small cities to all the nations. If there is one take away message you hope "echoes" with people after listening to the new album, what would it be?
For me, it is joy. I would love to see more people be filled with the joy of the Lord. I think we need more of those songs in our worship times.

With this being the first album to be recorded live over several weeks in front of the Sacramento congregation, what were some of the pluses and minuses you noted about this new recording process?
The biggest plus was being able to try out the new songs with our community and see how they responded and how easily they did or didn’t connect with the message of the song. For me personally, the hardest part was that it was recorded over such a long period and was very time consuming for me as a mom with 2 babies.

"In The River," the first single to be released from the new album, is absolutely infectious! You can't help but listen to it over and over again. What was your reaction when you first heard this song?
When Chris first played the song for me, I was very excited that he was asking me to sing it. I felt joy immediately and knew that is what others would experience as well.

Which track from the album was the first one that you really identified with personally and said "this has to go on the record!”
“Alive In You” is a song I wrote with my husband and friend Jordan Frye. It is the song I identify with most. It is truly a reflection of what this last year has been for me, and the one that I was most excited about putting on the record because I think it is a message a lot of people can identify with.

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You've talked about how this past year was a tough year for you personally and for others in the Jesus Culture family. Are there any specific stories you can share that influenced the songs on this new album.
We had 3 ladies (Chris Quilala’s wife included) lose their babies, all within a month of each other. I lost my dad a few months later. It’s hard to find God in the midst of so much grief and turmoil, but He is always right there. I love the line in Chris’ song “Fierce” that says “Before I called, before I ever cried, You answered me, from where the thunder hides.” Sometimes, we don’t even have the strength to call out to Him, but He runs to be with us and lift us up above the pain. All of these songs have come from a deep place within us and reflect what we have walked through with the Lord. They also reflect our resolution to never stop worshipping Him, never stop pursuing Him, and never stop believing in His goodness and kindness despite any hardship we face. 

Are there any songs that you know of that were particularly challenging to write or record?
I think all of them came with a degree of challenge because we were so emotional! These songs are coming from a deep place and have a lot of meaning for us.

Can you talk a little about your experience with Outcry 2015. And, are there additional tour plans in the works for 2016?
We loved getting to lead worship and share a stage with so many other worship leaders. It was a powerful experience to witness so many in worship and to see so many different denominations represented. We will be on Outcry Tour 2016!

Tell us what it's like to have the opportunity to combine your passion for music with your love of Christ. And, how do you deal with the pressures from the business aspect of the music industry?
It’s truly a blessing and an honor to do what we love and are gifted to do, with Jesus and for His Kingdom. I try to always keep that heart of gratitude. As far as the pressures, the hardest one for me is dealing with the pressure to travel, tour, etc. I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and being on the road a ton doesn’t work for us. So I’m learning how to balance all of that and not feel the pressure to have to be out there all the time. My first priority is to my family, not the music or the ministry.

Our sincere thanks to Kim for taking time to talk with us! Click here to pre-order 'Let It Echo' today!

Jesus Culture will be debuting the new songs live at their annual conference in Sacramento on January 23rd-24th. To register please visit www.jesusculture.com. Jesus Culture will also be appearing on the OUTCRY tour in the spring. See the complete list of dates and cities here.