Lead singer of Mayfair Laundry, Kim Dexter is back with a brand new worship studio album, "Reaching." It will be in stores everywhere on June 10th via Nashville-based Elevate Entertainment. The worship-infused project is the follow-up to Dexter's debut solo album, "So This Is It," which spawned international radio airplay, extensive touring and television appearances.
Produced by Jerad Atherton, "Reaching" was recorded at Hollywood's legendary EastWest Studios (Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra) with an all-star cast of players that includes bassist Jonathan Ahrens (Jason Mraz, Jewel), drummer Aaron Sterling (Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer), and Dexter on keys
We are privileged enough to catch up with Kim for this exclusive Hallels' interview:
Hallels: Congratulations Kim on the release of your new worship album "Reaching." Why have you decide to record a worship album this time around?
Thank you!! It's been an all consuming, lengthy project and I'm really proud of it! It seems I've done quite a bit of worship leading over the past few years. While my earlier music was mostly filled with personal songs, telling of what God was doing in my life, I always considered them worshipful; and my highest hope was that people would be drawn more closely to the Lord through the message I was singing. I have learned something, though, about corporate worship and the need for the right style and flow to really bring people to open up and worship deeply, in a public setting. So, I ventured out on this worship project...
Hallels: If you have to choose two songs on the new record that you are the proudest of, which would they be? And why?
So, you're asking me to say which of my children I love the most? Not fair!!:) In truth, I have something or many things that I am proud of with each song, as this whole project stretched me musically and spiritually. Okay, okay so I could highlight a couple of songs: "Reaching", took a ton of working to get it to where it shined. So, knowing how much thought and tweaking went into it, makes me really proud of what it became. It also encompasses so much of what I would hope for a title track. I started writing about how far God had brought me, from a place of devastation (as was the backdrop for my last record) to absolute triumph and joy...slowly, but miraculously. Then it goes on to praise God, in a way I think the church could proclaim together, for His great love, faithfulness and nearness when we are hurting and struggling. Musically, it kind of evolves, in a Hillsong United way that I really love. In contrast, I am proud of the song "Here to Save", for it's quick, catchy, simple nature. I love that I can introduce this song to fresh ears and by the 2nd chorus I am overwhelmed by a church crowd singing out "Hosanna, you are with us....You are here to save..." it's really powerful...and the video was a blast to make! I am just so thankful and blessed to have experienced the making of this album!
Hallels: I especially love your rendition of "Be Thou My Vision," why have you decide to include a hymn on this project?
That's a good question. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church so hymns are deeply rooted in my heart. Although, I am a fan of modernizing chord arrangements and some of the additional sections that writers have taken liberty to add on to popular hymns, I think the prose and poetry of hymn lyrics are some of the most beautifully, powerful worship material I've ever sung. "Be Thou My Vision" is one of my favorites and it's an honor to have created a version of it. The content could almost sum up my personal mission statement.
Hallels: You have written songs for Bryan Duncan, Nicole C. Mullen and Jody McBrayer, how do you decide when to keep a song for yourself and when to let others record one of your own songs?
To be honest, songwriting is maybe the most fulfilling but certainly the most mysterious and struggle filled part of the music process for me. So, when someone wants to record one of my songs I'm thrilled, if not surprised. It's a huge blessing to think that more people may be touched by Jesus through something I've been a part of writing...because someone different is singing it to their audience. So, I'm never clingy about my songs. I figure I can always record it myself later as well or there are a ton of other ideas waiting to be born.
Hallels: Being a worship leader yourself, what is your view about the current portfolio of worship songs churches are singing to right now?
Oh, I am amazed at the talent and variety of really strong music that flows through the church these days. It's a really exciting time to experience worship in the church. So, all you music makers, don't stop listening to the spirit and penning your creative muse.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to know more about you or purchase "Reaching," where can they go?
Thank you for asking. These days there are quite a few outlets: itunes, Amazon, kimdexter.com, or your favorite Christian bookstore.