Artist Of The Week: Kim Walker-Smith

Kim Walker-Smith (born in Albany, Oregon)[1] is an American singer, songwriter, worship leader, and recording artist. She currently resides in Redding, CA with her husband Skyler. She produced her first solo album, titled Here Is My Song, which was released in February 2008 through the Jesus Culture record label.[2][3] Walker-Smith is best known as the worship leader for the Jesus Culture Band and Jesus Culture events, and a worship pastor for Bethel Church in Redding.[4]

Her rendition of the John Mark McMillan song, “How He Loves“, has been viewed over 1.2 million times on YouTube.[4] Her own song “Where You Go I Go” has over four million views on YouTube.[5]

Early Life

Kim Walker was “raised in a small farm town called Klamath Falls, Oregon.”[1] Her parents divorced when she was four years old and her family moved frequently, causing her to be shy and withdrawn as a result of always being “the new kid”. Walker stated that her family “for generations has been very musical and my mom put me on a stage when I was three. I grew up singing and was very involved in musical theater.”[1]

Career and Personal Life

In her early adulthood, Walker moved to Redding, California to attend a Christian college, but was struggling with her grades and wasn’t happy attending university. One night while driving around she cried out to the Lord, and came across a 24-hour prayer house that had been recently set up by Bethel Church. Venturing inside, Walker was captivated and attended their church service the following Sunday. After a year she left university to attend the [School of Supernatural Ministry] (BSSM). She graduated from the BSSM after completing their two-year program, and after two more years was hired by the church as a worship pastor. [1] Walker has stated that the “greatest desire of [her] heart is to see God’s kingdom and power manifest for people to be set free, healed, and radically changed as they encounter God in worship.”[6]

In 2005, Walker’s “powerful voice won her $25,000 cash in an “American Idol” type of competition called “So You Want to Be a Star,” which aired on Chico television station KRVU. [She] is considered by many to be a forerunner in a new kind of worship referred to as prophetic worship.” [7] Walker has cited Misty Edwards of the International House of Prayer and Suzy Yaraei of Morning Star Ministries, both prominent worship leaders in the evangelical community, as her greatest musical influences. [7]

In 2009, Walker married Skyler Smith, another worship leader who also does graphic design and photography; they now live in San Francisco.[8] She now releases music under the name Kim Walker-Smith instead of her maiden name.[7] In addition to her career of solo albums, she is also a member of the band Jesus Culture, which began as a youth worship band at Bethel, but now hosts multiple worship conferences around the country and produces a live record each year, in addition to frequently leading worship at Bethel. [9] In 2010, Walker-Smith stated that she was “at Bethel once to twice a month right now. We travel about three to four times a month. About 40 percent of that is Jesus Culture.”[1] She has also expressed a desire for her music to expand into the secular community, expressing a passion for social justice and “to see the arts and creativity restored and a new standard set”[6]…”I’ve always looked at music as a vehicle to get me to people”.[7]

Discography

  • Everything with Chris Quilala and Melissa How (2006)
  • Your Love Never Fails with Chris Quilala and Melissa How (2008)
  • Here Is My Song (2008)
  • We Cry Out with Chris Quilala and Melissa How (2008)
  • Here is Love with Bethel Church featuring Chris Quilala & Kristene Mueller (2009)
  • Consumed with Chris Quilala and Melissa How (2009)
  • Come Away with Chris Quilala and Jesus Culture (2010)
  • My Passion EP with Chris Quilala and Jesus Culture (2010)
  • Awakening with Chris Quilala and Jesus Culture (2011)
  • Live from New York with Chris Quilala, Martin Smith, and Jesus Culture (2012)
  • Still Believe (2013)

1st Quarter Of The Year On The Gospel Music Scene…

 January 2013
January 8
.Capital Kings Capital Kings [Gotee]
.Overcome No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets. [Facedown]
.The Rocket Summer Anna Single (independent)
.Kim Walker-Smith Still Believe [Integrity]
.Starflyer 59 IAMACEO (Vinyl/Download) (independent)
.Karyn Williams Only You (CD) [Inpop]
.Chris Tomlin Burning Lights [SixSteps]
.Twenty One Pilots Vessel [Fueled By Ramen]
.VOTA Love Found Me (independent)

January 15
.Jason Castro Only A Mountain [Word]
.Hearts of Saints For All of Us (independent)
.The Hymns Collective Session One [Integrity]
.Britt Nicole Gold EP (Digital) [Capitol]
.Planetshakers Limitless CD/DVD [Integrity]
.Sho Baraka Talented 10th [Lions & Liars Music/Syntax]
.Terra Terra Terra The Space We Create [Round Kid]
.Wavorly Something Like Fiction (The Lost Album(s) (independent)

January 22
.Meredith Andrews Worth It All [Word]
.Casting Crowns Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1 [Reunion]
.Carman Anthems of a Champion [Sparrow]
.Dynasty Beyond Measure [Facedown]
.Love and Death Between Here and Lost [Tooth & Nail]
.SPEC Trax, Christ & Videotape Vol: 1 [Clear Sight Music]
.Various Artists From the Inside Out [StarSong]

January 28
.Rend Collective Experiment Campfire: Worship and Community Reimagined (independent)

January 29
.Alert312 Of Vice and Virtue [Humble Beast]
.Arrows & Sound Arrows & Sound (Bandcamp release)
.Byron “Mr. Talkbox” Chambers Show Me The Way EP [Save The City]
.Da’ T.R.U.T.H. Love, Hope, War [Xist Music]
.Colton Dixon A Messenger [Sparrow]
.The Ember Days More Than You Think [C&L!]
.Fiction Family Fiction Family Reunion (CD, Vinyl) [Rock Ridge]
.Charlie Hall The Death of Death (independent)
.Playdough Christopher Collabo (Mixtape) (independent)
.The Rocket Summer Not Right Single (independent)

  February 2013
February 5
.Daniel Bashta The Invisible [Integrity]
.Canton Jones CJ Talks [Universal/Arrow]
.William Murphy God Chaser [Verity]
.RED Release The Panic [Essential]
.RED Release The Panic: Deluxe Edition [Essential]
.RED Who We Are: The Red Anthology [Essential]
.Sanctus Real Run [Sparrow]
.Sanctus Real Run (Deluxe Edition) (Digital) [Sparrow]
.Jenny Simmons The Becoming [Fair Trade Services]
.Those Who Fear Unholy Anger [Facedown]
.Various Artists Love Never Fails [Benson]

February 12
.Jeremy Camp Reckless [BEC]
.Jeremy Camp I Still Believe: A Memoir (Book, Expanded)
.Steven Curtis Chapman #1’s: Volume 2 [Sparrow]
.Je’Kob Faith Hope Love [Save The City]
.Spoken Illusion [eOne]
.Various Artists Mars Hill Worship Sampler (Digital Release) [BEC/Mars Hill]

February 19
.Christine D’Clario Deep & Faith+Full [Integrity]
.Christine D’Clario Mas Profundo [Integrity]
.Elevation Worship Nothing Is Wasted [Essential Worship]
.Elevation Worship Nothing Is Wasted: 2-Disc Deluxe Edition [Essential Worship]
.Heath McNease Jesus Shuttlesworth: The Mixtape (independent)
.Paul Wilbur Your Great Name [Integrity]
.Various Artists iWorship Resource System DVD Z DVD [Integrity]

February 25
.V.Rose The Electro-Pop Deluxe [Clear Sight Music]

February 26
.Arrows & Sound Arrows & Sound (iTunes release)
.Hillsong UNITED Zion [Sparrow/Hillsong]
.Kutless The Worship Collection [BEC]
.NewSong Swallow The Ocean [HHM]
.Britt Nicole Gold (Mainstream Re-Issue) [Capitol]
.Plumb Need You Now [Curb]
.Salvador Make Some Noise [Inpop]
.Tal & Acacia Black & White (independent)

  March 2013
March 5
.Susan Ashton Thief EP (independent)
.Beyond The Ashes Living In The Moment [Stow Town]
.Bethel Music Without Words [Integrity]
.KJ-52 Dangerous: Deluxe Edition [BEC]
.Don Moen Don Moen: Ultimate Collection [Integrity]
.NEEDTOBREATHE Caercas Blancas EP [Atlantic]
.Glenn Packiam The Mystery of Faith EP [Integrity]
.Various Artists iWorship NOW/NEXT [Integrity]
.Various Artists Jesus Firm Foundation: Hymns Of Worship [Reunion]
.Various Artists Nashville Publicity Group Presents TEN [Integrity]

March 11
.Steven Curtis Chapman Deep Roots [Reunion]
.Andy Hunter Glowing Collision (independent)

March 12
.Audio Adrenaline Kings & Queens [Fair Trade Services]
.Francesca Battistelli Hundred More Years: Deluxe Edition [Fervent/Word]
.Citizens Citizens [BEC/Mars Hill]
.Steven Curtis Chapman Icon (Hits collection) [Sparrow]
.Jason Crabb Love Is Stronger [Gaither]
.Family Force 5 The Third (Re-Release with different tracklisting) [Tooth & Nail]
.Finding Favour Finding Favour EP [Gotee]
.Fit For A King Creation | Destruction [Solid State]
.Gaither Vocal Band Icon (Hits collection) [Sparrow]
.Amy Grant Icon (Hits collection) [AG/Sparrow]
.JJ Heller Loved [Stone Table]
.Kingdom Kingdom [DREAM]
.Newsboys Icon (Hits collection) [Sparrow]
.Passion Let The Future Begin [Sparrow]
.Seventh Day Slumber Love & Worship [BEC]
.Alexis Spright L.O.L (Living Out Loud) [Universal]
.Various Artists The Bible: Music Inspired By The Epic Mini Series [Word]
.Various Artists Mars Hill Worship Sampler (CD Release) [BEC/Mars Hill]
.Various Artists Worship Central: Let It Be Known [Integrity]
.CeCe Winans Icon (Hits collection) [Sparrow]

March 18
.Jars of Clay Under the Weather – Live from Sellersville, PA EP (JarsofClay.com only; includes bonus track) [Gray Matters]

March 19
.Hope For The Dying Aletheia [Facedown]
.Jars of Clay Under the Weather – Live from Sellersville, PA EP [Gray Matters]

.Darlene Zschech Revealing Jesus [Integrity]
.Darlene Zschech Revealing Jesus Deluxe Limited Edition CD/DVD [Integrity]

March 26
.The Advice The Advice [Inpop]
.Jason Gray Nothing Is Wasted EP (Digital only) [Centricity]
.I Am Empire Anchors [Tooth & Nail]
.JJ Weeks Band All Over The World [Inpop]
.Phil King Phil King [SoulStride/EMI Gospel]
.Shawn McDonald The Analog Sessions [Sparrow]
.Stryper Second Coming [Frontiers]