Angel Smythe is a gifted woman of faith, compassion and conviction, serving as a worship leader at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. We were able to catch up with Angel the day after the release party for her latest release “A Stronger Me.”
HD: How did you get involved in leading worship?
AS: I have been involved in music in the church since around age 9. However, when I was in college, a friend of mine began leading worship at a small church and invited me to come and help him out on numerous occasions. From there, I served in worship ministry at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa with John and Lisa Wickham. Watching their hearts to serve with such humility was an amazing beginning for me. Other opportunities began to follow for me to move from serving on a team to stepping into the role of “worship leader,” if you will.
HD: Now, if my memory serves me you were also involved in the Maranatha! Kids Praise group Hi Tops as well, so you’ve been involved in ministry a long time. What are you doing now?
AS: I’ve been leading worship at various churches for many years. My home church is Saddleback and I have always served at a home church as a base, while stepping out into opportunities to serve elsewhere.
I began writing songs in 1993. After several years of writing, I was able to begin recording demos of the songs. In 2006, a long time dream was fulfilled to record my debut CD, “The Journey,” that was essentially my life testimony through song. I’m most excited about this new collection of songs on the new CD. They tap into significant areas of growth in my life.
HD: It sounds like you have the opportunity to see a broader view of the Body of Christ, what would you want congregations to know about worship?
AS: Worship is not just music; it is a position of the heart and a lifestyle. Many people struggle with feeling like their worship isn’t valid or pleasing to the Lord if they were not gifted with a voice that could be on stage or on a recording. I would love to encourage people from all walks of life and all different giftings and skill sets to live out a life of worship by who they are from the inside out.
HD: What are some of your most memorable worship moments?
AS: I remember leading worship in a “tent” setting and there was a massive power failure right in the middle of a worship song. I wish I could remember the song right now. I do remember that I didn’t stop, the band didn’t stop, the congregation didn’t stop…we just kept on going and didn’t miss a beat. It was an AMAZING experience.
There have also been so many fun experiences…this one is embarrassing: I was leading worship on a Sunday that happened to fall on Mother’s Day. During sound check, I said in all innocence, “All right, all you mothers, clap your hands!” Well, my band and singers who clearly had their minds in the gutters just stopped and rolled on the floor (almost literally) laughing. Thank the Lord for sound checks and rehearsals. They STILL tease me to this day.
HD: If you were to speak to the heart of worship leaders all over the nation, what are the top three priorities you would encourage them to focus on?
AS: Just three? 1. Staying in the word of God and living obediently and sold out for God 2. Developing, sustaining, maintaining relationships with people 3. Always honing and sharpening your skills and talents both in excellence and growth combined.
FEATURED INDEPENDENT PROJECT – A STRONGER ME by ANGEL SMYTHE
Angel’s latest release is released independently and titled “A Stronger Me.” It is her strongest release to date (no pun intended). Produced by Keith Everette Smith (known for his work with Point of Grace) and Josh Auer (formerly with Pax 217), her line up of musicians includes Dan Bailey who tours with Phil Wickham, Tim Neinhuis from the Harvest Crusade Band and Tony Lucido who recorded with Toby Mac.
One of the songs that stands out is the title cut, “A Stronger Me.” Angel told us the story of how this song came about…
While having a conversation with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, I was sharing how God had been working in my life and how He had brought me to a place of victory. I was sharing that I wanted to begin to share with people that I was “a stronger me.” She said, “That’s the title of your new CD.” I hadn’t even written anything yet. That resonated so deeply within me that I began writing that song. I really wanted to share about the victory over the bondage of fear that can be paralyzing, and that I am strong because of the power of the hand of God in my life. The songs that followed for the rest of the project also came from this new perspective.
A Stronger Me is available on iTunes. For more information you can log on to AngelSmythe.com.
If you like to be featured as an independent worship artist, please feel free to contact Holland Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.