20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About: Darlene Zschech
- Christa Farris Contributing Writer
- 2003 30 Oct
Her last name still may be problematic for people to pronounce and spell properly, but Darlene Zschech’s signature worship song, “Shout to the Lord,” has made her songwriting a household name in worship services around the world. Now find out a little more about this Australian artist, who is branching out and released a non-worship, pop record, "The Kiss" (INO/Epic), on Oct. 13.
20. Check, Please?
Speaking of that tricky name, Darlene is pretty much resigned to the fact that people are going to struggle with saying it correctly. Pronounced “check,” Darlene manages to find humor in her situation. “My last name provides many hours of entertainment. I answer to anything, really,” she divulges.
19. Singing for Her Supper
While many of us were still learning words at age 3, Darlene was already singing. And her first paid gig? “I’ve been paid to sing full-time since I was 10.”
18. Hippie Chic Is Always in Style
Although she’s not likely to sport a daisy chain or bell-bottoms, Darlene admits she’s “a bit of a hippie at heart.” When it comes to designers, she favors the creations of Australian designers Lisa Ho and Alannah Hill.
17. “Hopelessly Devoted” to Olivia
While she won’t admit just how much of a fan she was, Olivia Newton-John is a pop culture icon in Australia, the way Madonna is in the United States. “Most Australians love Olivia Newton-John for one reason or another,” Zschech confesses.
16. The Drumbeat of Love
Forget blind dates or that awkward set-up when it comes to love. Darlene met her husband, Mark, when he auditioned for a drummer position in their youth band. “Praise God, he got in!” Darlene recalls.
15. The Master of Multi-Tasking
Between touring, recording and leading worship at her home church, Darlene doesn’t always have a lot of time for hobbies. But when she does, she’s very domestic as she loves interior design and cooking. Taking pictures of her daughters and listening to music also rank high as fun in her downtime.
14. My Three Daughters
Describing them as “absolutely divine,” Darlene’s got a teen, a ’tween and a toddler: Amy is 14, Chloe is 11, and Zoe Jewel is 2.
13. Why Play the Recorder When There’s the Didjeridoo?
Like koalas and kangaroos, didjeridoos are a staple of Aussie culture. In fact, Darlene says, “We have didjeridoos at home and in my office, so we play them quite often, although I use the word ‘play’ very loosely. Even Zoe has a baby-sized one!”
12. Name That Tune
Like their mum, Darlene’s daughters love music. And with their various ages, their listening includes a broad spectrum of sounds, including Coldplay, Good Charlotte, Delirious, Michael W. Smith’s worship CDs and "Elmo and Zoe’s Dance Moves" for the youngest Zschech.
11. Pretty Woman
When it comes to her favorite movie, she’s a fan of “anything with Julia Roberts in it.”
10. She’s Got Energy in Her Genes
Watch any of her Hillsong videos, and Zschech’s energetic fervor while worshiping is something you’ll notice immediately. Apparently, this intensity runs in the family. “My mom is energetic and at the gym every morning,” Darlene reports. “My dad was also a passionate person, and my passion for Christ really does give me great focus and energy.”
9. Short and Sweet Worship
When it comes to church, she isn’t necessarily a fan of short services; but through her church experiences, she’s realized that time is of the essence. “If your church congregation knows they can trust you with their time — that is, honoring the times you advertise — they are much more likely to keep coming and bringing friends. I personally don’t believe how spiritual you are and the length of a service are at all related.”
8. Great Expectations
Being a full-time worship leader at her home church, Darlene finds that it’s not always easy “trying to keep worship passionate and creative within the 20-minute timeframe.”
7. Adventures in the Good Ol’ U.S.A
Describing it as “a nation very dear to my heart,” Darlene vividly remembers her first trip to the United States 16 years ago. “Within a 20-hour period on a stopover to the United States, we drove to Mexico and bought cheap leather jackets. Then we went to Disneyland for the first time and got back on the plane exhausted but happy.”
6. She’s Occasionally Her Own Worst Critic
When it comes to songwriting, Darlene says, “I’ve written many unworthy songs — still do. But possibly my worst moment is a song I wrote many years ago with our then worship pastor called ‘Shaping Your Destiny.’ We wrote it for a building fund campaign, and it should win a prize for one of the worst songs ever composed.”
5. Darlene’s Perfect Day
It doesn’t take extravagance for Darlene to have an ideal day. For her, a perfect day is “being with my family, going out to the beach, having a nice casual lunch and meeting up with friends.”
4. A Canine Catastrophe
Although she’s “not really injury prone,” Darlene’s most unusual injury was caused by her dog, Divinci, when he dislocated her finger.
3. An Unforgettable Moment
One of the most unforgettable women Darlene has met is Oral Roberts' wife, Evelyn. “I was in a local church seminar in the United States and heard her give a message, and I sensed the presence of God so powerfully on her life. Her life message had a great impact on me.”
2. Now for Three People She’d Like to Meet …
Making the list of people Darlene would love to meet are Billy Graham, Bono and Mother Teresa (while she was still alive).
1. Darlene’s Two Cents on Our Guest Editor, Michael W. Smith
“I was impressed with his heart. While we were on tour, he surprised Nicole C. Mullen by flying her family in for a couple of days, as she was severely missing them. Sounds like a man of God that He can trust with much!” she says.
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