Darlene Zschech to Release Solo Project

Darlene Zschech, the woman at the forefront of the modern worship revolution and the songwriter of the hugely popular worship anthem “Shout to the Lord,” is readying the release of a solo studio project. Titled Kiss of Heaven, the new CD is due October 14th, 2003. While staying true to her first calling, leading worship, Zschech uses this release to explore horizontal as well as vertical expressions of love and our constant need for each other within the body of Christ.
A performer since the age of 10 in her native Australia, and the producer and worship leader behind the gold-certified live Hillsongs worship projects, Zschech brings her vast musical experience to this latest venture. A prolific songwriter, Zschech has spent years collecting songs that she felt didn’t fit on a traditional Hillsongs project to record here. Those tunes range from more personal worship songs to a love song for her husband and a cover of U2’s “Walk On.”
In the past, Zschech’s orphaned songs were handed over to other artists to record, with top groups like Point of Grace making them at home on their own albums. But Zschech says she’s glad to finally be able to record some of them herself. “I’ve always had a lot of songs and didn’t really have anything to do with them so I’ve sent them around and I’ve been able to get other people to sing them. But as a songwriter, it’s really nice to sing some of these myself.”

Some longtime fans may wonder if this recording signals a departure from Zschech’s role as worship pastor of Hillsong Church Australia, a post she’s held for 18 years, but Zschech says nothing could be further from the truth. “I’m still the worship pastor there. Nothing in that is changing,” she insists. “There’s been this holy calling to see worship in truth reestablished around the globe, and that job is not done yet.”
Kiss of Heaven will be released by Nashville-based INO Records (label home to MercyMe, CeCe Winans, Sonicflood, Derek Webb and Sara Groves) with Sony providing distribution into the general market. The two successful companies represent a team Zschech carefully handpicked.

“It was actually really important to us who we did this with. I wanted to do it with great people who we could build true relationship with,” Zschech says. “We went and talked to INO and Sony, and they were so favorable. They just said, ‘What do you want to do? Do it and we’ll get behind it.’”

INO Founder and President Jeff Moseley is equally enthusiastic. “Darlene’s music — whether about worship, or everyday life — is a direct outpouring of what’s in her heart and of her strong faith. That’s why people connect so strongly with her songs and why we believe firmly in what Darlene has to offer. We respect her commitment to her first calling, leading worship for the church, and we’re honored to come beside her and play a role in getting this music out to those who need to hear it.”

While the album will certainly come to mean many things to many people, for Zschech, its message and meaning are simple. She says, “It’s just the love of my family, my adoration of my God, and my love of music. It’s me. It’s the things that are valuable to me.” This may be a very different project than past Darlene Zschech releases, but there is one thread that is common to everything this world-renowned worship leader puts her hand to. “When I do something, I want to make sure it’s always honoring the Church because it’s my passion. The goal is not to do my own thing. I’m responsible for being a steward of the gift that’s on my life.”

In addition to writing and singing, Zschech also took the production helm on many of the new album’s tracks, a role she says she originally fell into out of necessity. “I’ve been producing for a while now, and over the years I’ve become more confident in my abilities and have developed a great love for it.” Also adding to their production knowhow was James Roche from ‘Bachelor Girl,’ a popular Australian band; and Zschech’s friend of many years, a gifted musician and producer, David Holmes.
When all is said and done, though, it’s clear Darlene Zschech hopes to leave her mark primarily in the worship world. When asked how she’d ultimately like to be remembered, she says, “I would love to be known as someone who lived her life loud, inspiring others to be passionate about Jesus, worshiping Him in spirit and truth in the seen and unseen.”


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