Brandon Scott Smith is a passionate singer, songwriter and worship leader. His greatest passion is to magnify Christ and show His glory to the world so that others would see that only the person of Jesus can satisfy the longings of their soul. Brandon and his wife Kim lead worship in different parts of the US as well as other countries around the globe. They, along with their 4 children, are committed to taking the gospel of Christ to the nations, and helping lead the church to know, treasure and worship Christ our Savior. They believe in the local church and in assisting pastors and their staff to help lead their local congregation towards spiritual maturity. They have helped start churches, participated in and led many Bible studies and small group discipleship groups, and they personally have a passion for leading people into a more intimate and passionate walk with God. Brandon’s desire for his music is to take his personal experiences with God, family and life in general and try to communicate them in such a way that others can relate to and learn from the lessons he’s learned along the way. Brandon’s desire for his ministry is to see those without a relationship with God start the most amazing journey of their lives by accepting God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and for those who have a relationship with God to grow in their passion for Him by understanding that true joy can only be found in His presence. Check out the God glorifying songs from a worshiper of Jesus Christ who just Can’t Get Enough of His God.
Christian Music that sounds similar to Third Day, Jeremy Camp, and Kutless.
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Sometimes the most ambitious artistic breakthroughs are birthed out of the most unexpected circumstances, or more accurately in the case of Kutless'To Know That You're Alive, a painfully annoying accident. Having front man tear his shoulder might seem like an unlikely muse for songwriting and sonic sculpting- especially considering the band's sold over 1.5 million CDs, performed in front of nearly two million fans and conquered Christian radio with numerous singles since its debut in 2002- but it results in one of the band's most immediate, expressive and aggressive discs to date.
"I have a tendency to be accident prone because I'm really active in sports," says the leader of the BEC Recordings-based alternative rockers. "I've had a handful of pretty serious accidents that involved surgeries and broken bones, and most recently, had a skiing accident that tore my shoulder to pieces. It required two operations and a lot of physical therapy that just ended as the writing for this record started. But in between I spent a lot of time lying around bandaged on my back going 'okay God, why are you allowing this to happen again?' It felt like such a bummer deal!"
But the more time Sumrall had to think about his situation, the more he realized God's perfect plan for even the most precarious situations. In fact, a piece of advice from his earthly father (who's been afflicted with back pain all his life) helped steer the singer/songwriter in a much more positive direction and sewed the initial lyrical seeds for To Know That You're Alive.
"One thing my dad told me, especially after knowing the feeling of being bed ridden, was 'every time I threw out my back, the only place I had to look was up,'" reflects Sumrall. "We get so busy in life with so many things going on- from various aspects of life to our band to this overall ministry- that sometimes we even forget our own relationship with Christ. It's funny how the Lord allows something like an accident to, which often times causes us to cry out for help. What I realized was it made me turn to God for help, and secondly, it made me appreciate what I have! You don't realize how much you use your shoulder, arm or wrist until you can't use it and I'm so glad I've been healthy most of my life. A lot of people are permanently disabled and it reminded me of just being thankful for what I have."
So with that, the title track was birthed out of the perspective that sometimes one has to hurt to realize the scope of the world around them, coupled with being thankful for any sized blessing regardless of the circumstance. And with that renewed zeal, Sumrall set pen to paper to craft a dozen more cuts of intensely personal reflections that also connect with relational appeal across an alt-rock centering that ranges from bone crunching to heart wrenching.
"On the last record Hearts of the Innocent, we wanted to bring awareness and encourage young people to get involved and make a difference in this world," the tunesmith recalls. "On this record, we're really trying to reach out and help them through difficult situations and difficult times to find hope, and ultimately, find fulfillment in life."
Of course, that means of personal gratification can only come in Christ, which is a thread that runs through the record's potent emotional framework, regardless of radio format. For the contemporary-minded crowd, "Complete" channels the idea that everyone has a God shaped hole inside their heart that can only be filled through faith, not to mention a daily walk with the Lord. For those more inclined to pump their fists, "The Feeling" (offered as a free, pre-release single download, flanked by endless internet buzz) is a rollicking romp that's sure to connect in concert, but is anchored around the common goal of lifting one's voice to bring glory to God. "Promise You" also leans towards the rock faction of Kutless' fan base, diving deep into the darkness of spousal abuse and serving as an anthem for the victims to rise above their circumstances.
"We see so many young people at shows struggling with all sorts of issue, but it's quite common to meet kids or even their moms who are being abused," suggests Sumrall. "Often times you can spot it in their body language and it's such a sad thing because they're always very quick to make up an excuse for a noticeable physical ailment. Often times in the Christian world, there seems to be this justification that we need to turn the other cheek on this person who's doing the abusing, but that's really taking that verse out of context. We're not called to be taken advantage of or beaten up, so the song is really a call to arms to make a stand and get out to a place you're safe. It's also a song of healing and moving on, especially because someone's bitterness can destroy them more in the end than the person who's hurting them."
For every dynamic topical shift, To Know That You're Alive is packed with the band's boldest artistic statements to date, stemming in part from work with producer Pete Kipley (The Afters, MercyMe, Phil Wickham). The guys also added extra fuel to the fire by packing their bags for London and setting up shop in the famed Abbey Road Studios (The Beatles) to record several spacious string sections.
"We definitely wanted to change up the formula as much as we could and we wound up recording with Pete here in Portland, in San Diego, plus on the road in everything from green rooms to underneath church baptismals," shares Sumrall with a laugh. "The more fleshed out sounds are a result of being real intentional with the time and effort we put into every angle of the musicianship. And London was absolutely awesome where we had members from the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic- most of whom played on TheLord of the Rings soundtrack and many others. It was amazing to be over there and the infamous Abbey Road was really a dream come true."
But above all the instrumental intricacies, astute session players, behind the scenes shenanigans and the sheer enjoyment derived from making To Know That You're Alive, Sumrall insists its all about impacting others and helping them reach the hopeful realization he faced during those long and lonely days of mending.
"We know life is hard, but God is good," he succulently sums up. "Both Christians and non-Christians need to hear that message, especially in a world that's so misunderstanding of Christianity and is very hostile to the way they view the faith. People need to see who God is and how God can change their lives, so we're just here to keep those ideas out in the open and talk about real stuff we're dealing with, what we see every day and anything that's on our hearts. We want to share how God's impacted our lives in all of that, and I think when people can hear the sincerity on this CD, it will hopefully reach them wherever they're at."
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