Renowned worship leader Kim Walker-Smith will release her new solo album, On My Side, April 21st. This announcement from Jesus Culture Music and Capitol CMG follows her 2013 release of Still Believe. Kim has become one of the strongest voices in worship music as a passionate worship leader bringing an entire generation into an encounter with God. Her heart is to see people transformed by experiencing God’s love and for this generation to see themselves the way God sees them. The title track to her new album, along with "Throne Room" and the most recently released track "Fresh Outpouring", are available now to fans who pre-order the record on iTunes. Kim was gracious enough to take a few minutes out of her day to share with us a little more about her new release, as well as the upcoming Outcry Tour.
First of all, congratulations on your upcoming album release! Would you please describe the challenges and highlights that inspired the new songs included on the On My Side album?
It’s the first time I’ve done a studio album outside of the Christmas album and mine and my husband’s album. So it was a very different experience for me. It’s also the first time I wrote on every song except for two songs. I wanted to express the journey I’ve been on with the Lord over the last three years. It’s honestly been a hard journey… becoming a mom, two kids only 14 months apart, post partum depression, moving, and my stepdad (dad to me) passing away. This album is the story of that journey. It was a hard journey but never without hope. The one thing the Lord kept letting me know over and over is that He is on my side. Even in the mess, in the chaos, in my anger and frustration….He meets me right where I am.
How would you say this album stands out in your discography?
Every song is full of so much emotion and honesty. They sound different from my other songs because they are done in the studio and some of them are more simplified than what people are used to hearing from me in a live setting. However, there are still songs that are the huge corporate worship anthems and a few moments of spontaneous singing that I am probably known for.
What Scripture(s) have you drawn inspiration from while writing and producing?
My favorite scripture is Hosea 2:14-17 and it’s probably the scripture that gives me the most inspiration all the time. It’s a reminder that God is with me in every season and He is the one who leads me into every season. It’s also a reminder that He gives purpose to every season; to grow me, teach me, and invite me into a deeper intimacy with Him.
What would you say separates the recording experience from the live worship experience?
I went to acting school for one year a few years ago. In my time there, we learned about the difference between stage acting and screen acting. On a stage, you can add a lot of movement, body language, and volume to your voice to communicate a message and emotions. But with screen acting, there are times the camera is only on your face and you must convey a huge emotion with only a look in your eyes and a whisper of a line. This is what the experience reminded me of. On the stage, I can convey a huge message through not just the song, but the song delivery. In a studio, it’s quiet and there is no crowd and you can communicate a big message through subtle nuances and inflections in your voice. This is why I wanted to do studio with this album because I wanted to express a vulnerability that is harder to capture on a huge stage with lots of people.
Would you please explain the story behind the first single, "Throne Room"?
"Throne Room" was written by some friends of mine (I later contributed to the song) and it perfectly communicates what beats in my heart. In every season, in every storm, and even in the mundane day, there is one place I run to and that is the presence of God. Yes, Jesus lives inside of us and we are never without Him, but there is something powerful about the posture of our hearts when we take the time out of our day to fix our eyes on Him and give Him attention and affection.
Were there any songs that were particularly challenging to write or record?
“You Define Me” was a challenging song to write. I wanted to write a song about letting God’s words be what defines you and His voice be the loudest voice you hear. Many of us have dealt with gossip, slander, accusations, and just plain hurtful things said. This is part of my journey with the Lord - learning what to do when those things come. I have worked hard in my relationship with Him to allow what He says about me be what I hold on to and define who I am.
What do you hope listeners will take away from the album?
I hope that listeners will encounter Jesus and have their lives changed. I hope that these songs can give language to the season they are in and what they are going through with the Lord. I hope the songs bless them and become fuel in their pursuit of more of Jesus.
In addition to preparing for the release of this new record, you are also gearing up for the Outcry Spring Tour. What can fans expect from the Jesus Culture set?
We are going to be doing a lot of songs from our “Let it Echo” record mixed in with a few Jesus Culture “classics” that everyone loves and knows. We will also add in a new song each night from our upcoming Jesus Culture record. People will be led by myself and Chris Quilala, along with Chris McClarney, Derek Johnson, and Bryan and Katie Torwalt for the last week of the tour.