“Our churches need to be places of celebration,” says Martin Smith, former front man for modern worship pioneers, Delirious?. Often credited as the founder of a new generation of worship, Martin is now pouring himself freely out in a new direction musically and spiritually.
“It doesn’t matter where we come from. It’s something we can all do. I think there’s just something about His heart for us. It’s one of the hallmarks of being a believer — we live in freedom.”
Wise words from one who’s been at the forefront of the passionate pursuit and celebration of God around the world… then and now…even in the midst of uncertainty…sentiments that course through the lyrics and melody of his first solo album, God’s Great Dance Floor, Step 01.
“When Delirious? ended in 2009, there was a lot of transition for us as a family,” Martin shares. “There was lots of insecurity too. These songs reflect three years of uncertainty. But, while it was sad to see something like that [Delirious?] end, God has opened a brand new landscape for us.”
That landscape is dotted with family, children, community, local church and a renewed sense of utter trust in God’s timing and mysterious works. Without question, things are looking good for the Smith family. But this wasn’t an easy or quick place to find.
“When you get involved with something like Delirious? that’s been successful over the years, you always ask the questions, ‘Is that it? Will I ever do something like that again?’”
Those questions hit home…and hit deeply. While learning to live with a new identity, a new lack of direction and a new dependence on God, Martin began to see the workings of the Father in every aspect of his life — not just music.
Since the band’s separation, Martin, his wife and six children have settled into a more normal lifestyle.
“We have a growing family,” he shares. “That was just the priority. The music has come back bit by bit and now, I’m seeing new things to sing about.”
Not only is Martin continually discovering inspiration inside of life, he’s also unearthing and exploring new ways to write and make music in general. “I’ve done a lot of co-writing with lots of different people,” he shares. “It was a very organic process. No deadlines, no labels. I just really went in a new direction putting music out by myself. It feels great.”
It sounds great too. Turns out as Martin was growing as a husband and father, he was also refining his own sound and covering new territory both lyrically and sonically.
“The album does push the boundaries sonically,” he shares. “There’s more of an electronic side to make things bigger and brighter. I’m really excited that I got to work with some younger producers.”
He also worked alongside younger writers and players, resulting in a sound that’s fresh and filled with possibility and marries the spiritual maturation that comes forth in the lyrics within a wonderfully harmonious intersect.
“I think it’s all about the writing,” Martin says. “I have a great team of writers I can share stuff with. I want the songs to be as good as they can possibly be. Using the younger musicians has just been a joy.”
That joy has overflowed in Martin’s home, church and heart.
“It’s been great to be involved more locally in church,” he continues. “I love to feel the heartbeat of our local congregation. It’s been great for the kids.”
The pulse of his community absolutely offers endless inspiration, but also provides an infrastructure of life that is new to the Smith household…only fortifying his assurance that God’s plan has led him all over the world and back home again.
“My life has been very separate in many ways, being out on the road so much,” he shares. “Coming back to family has been powerful. I think that’s the key. As parents, we have to be authentic. In the end, our kids love knowing that we’re really the same inside and out.”
That bit of knowledge is what nurtures not only relationships, but passion…which in turn comes full-circle.
“Relationships are powerful. They create passionate churches,” says Martin. “Then the world sees passion, it grabs it. He passionately wants to be in our lives. I believe He wants good things in our life. God’s always doing something new everyday.”
The newness of God distinguishes not only Martin’s music; but also challenges his heart, gives him reason to celebrate every new grace and mercy and relentlessly pulls him to the middle of the dance floor to celebrate with abandon.