Dustin Smith is an Integrity Music Artist, Song Writer and Worship leader, who has a desire to see the nations ignited with a passion for worship. With an unyielding love for God and His people, Dustin has been able to cross denominational lines with his music. He has an attitude that gives God all the glory, and that attitude transcends age, race, color and creed.
As a songwriter Smith has written songs for Aaron Shust and Michael W. Smith. Smith is set to release his second Integrity Music album "Coming Alive" on September 23. We are honored to be able to catch up with Dustin Smith for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Thanks Dustin for your time. I was very impressed when you said in your press release that you do not write songs so that we can have better church services. Rather, it's the heart of God you are chasing. Would you like to develop more on that? Why is it important to write songs that allow us to chase after God's heart?
Dustin: While I definitely believe the songs we write can help people have better church services, that's never the goal of the songs I write. My goal is to connect people to God and connect God to people. The Bible says, "He abides in the praises of His people," and that, "His eyes are searching the earth, seeking a people whose hearts are completely His; that He might show himself strong on their behalf." And so the songs we're writing are trying to reveal our hearts to God and also reveal God's heart to people. And that's really the purpose of why I write songs.
Hallels: You were not only a pastor's kid but your grandfather was also a minister. Did such a Godly heritage give you an advantage in terms of your calling as a worship leader and song writer?
Dustin: Of course growing up as a pastor's kid, also with grandparents as pastors, has pluses and minuses. The minus side of it is that you can tend to deal with a lot of religious tradition and just going through the motions. I did a lot of that, growing up. But on the other side of it, my parents and my grandparents always taught me to love God with all my heart. Growing up that way, as a pastor's kid, definitely helped me as a worship leader and a song writer because both of those functions have, a heart after God, as a prerequisite.
Hallels: Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your live worship album "Coming Alive." What do you hope this album will do for those who listen to it?
Dustin: When we were writing songs for this album, we were wrestling through the idea of not just talking about coming alive, but rather creating songs that would breathe life into people. For those who lack hope or those who are just caught in a rut, hopefully these songs will be prophetic unctions that bring life back to dead places. So just like Ezekiel saw the dry bones come to life, our hope is that the church would come alive and that these songs would be anthems for them to, not only declare who God is, but also who we are supposed to be. We hope that these songs might help others to look beyond what's going on around them and the struggles that life can bring, and, instead, to look on the promises and the greatness of who God is, and on the things He's done and the things we know He's going to do.
Hallels: On this album, you have co-written with many notable Christian songwriters including Michael W. Smith. How did you come to know him and write with him?
Dustin: Yeah, I had the chance to write with some pretty incredible song writers on this album. Michael W. Smith had actually done a couple of my songs from my last album, Rushing Waters, and that's how I met him. Through that process, I had this song (He's Alive) given to me that Michael W. Smith, Michael Farren and Seth Mosley had started. I had the chance to get in, help finish writing it, and had the privilege of putting it on this album. It is definitely one of my favorites!
Hallels: In the recording of this new live album, what was the most memorable part of the evening?
Dustin: Man, it is hard to pick just one part of the evening that was the most memorable; the whole evening was powerful. One of the things I love about doing live albums is that so many great moments are created by passionate worshippers. Probably my favorite part of the evening was just after one of the songs. After the song, Breathe on Me, we started singing, "Bring the dead to life," over and over. The strength and the power of a group united, making a declaration over their city, was probably one of the most memorable moments of the evening for me.
Hallels: Being a veteran worship leader and song writer, how would you define a good worship song?
Dustin: There's a couple things that would define a good worship song for me. Number one would be: Is it biblically founded and scriptural? Number two: Is it something the body of Christ can grab on to and own? Can they sing it with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength? The most important thing, the thing that really makes a good worship song, is the heart and the intent of the person singing it. Not the voice as much as the intent of the song and the intent of the heart. That's what really makes a good worship song.
Hallels: If our readers would like to purchase "Coming Alive" or find out more about you, where can they go?
Dustin: You can find the album, Coming Alive, as a download on iTunes or Amazon. (It will be available online and in stores beginning September 23.) You can also buy a physical copy at dustinsmith.com.