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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Wes King: What Matters Most

  • 2001 7 Dec
  • COMMENTS
Wes King: What Matters Most
ON DISCOVERING THE GIFT OF MUSIC

Wes: I asked my mother one time, “How do I know where a song is going to go even if I’ve never heard it?” She said it was because I had an ear for music. That’s as far back as I can remember.

ON HIS COMEBACK

Wes: [The time off] was a culmination of circumstantial things as well as trying to figure out exactly how I was going to continue. I never had a doubt in my mind that I was going to continue doing [music], but I had questions as to how to do it. I was with Sparrow Records and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them.

By the time it came for me to do another record, my wife was suffering from a heart condition after a difficult pregnancy. Sparrow was saying, “We’re ready for another record, but we really want you to tour and have management. … So I finally concluded that I didn’t really want a manager … since what they wanted was for me to hit the road for most of the year. … I didn’t want to do that.

A lot of the upheaval in marriages in Christian music, including artists and those who work in the industry, was concerning me. The common denominator, I think, was probably time away from home. … Maybe priorities in my life were mistakes. I can say with my mouth that God and my family come first, but if my career said jump, I’d always say, “How high?” I didn’t want to put my family second, third or fourth.

ON WORD ARTISAN: THE KEAGGY CONNECTION

Wes: I talked with Sparrow, and said I can maybe do 60 shows a year, and I hadn’t found a manager who understands where I’m coming from. … Essentially what I said was, “Can we lower the expectation level?” With my past, we can sell 50,000-60,000 records. … How can we adjust everything so everyone walks away making money? Sparrow was honest with me and said, “That’s not what we do.” I respected that, and they were generous enough to let me walk away.

Everyone I talked to after that, after I said I wasn’t going to do heavy touring, they weren’t really interested. [To them] that’s the way you sell music, being in front of people as much as possible. I’m just at a place in my life where I don’t see myself being gone for most of the year.

Finally, I said, “I’m just going to do it myself. I have a studio in my house, I’ll do it real simplified and throw it on the Web. And those who want me to come in concert, we’ll do it on a reasonable level.”

I was having some computer problems and got hooked up with this guy who I didn’t know worked at Word. … He told me Word was starting a label for Phil Keaggy. He said the label was perfect for me. … No strings attached, no pressure, you do what you want to do, and we’ll put it out there.

It was the kind of thing where it’s lower money, but I’m not going to feel pressure to do 90 shows a year. I almost didn’t believe it at first, but I met with Elisa Elder and found out that’s what it was. It took me about six months to do the record, and you add it all up and that’s why it took so long.

ON THE PURPOSE OF WHAT MATTERS MOST

Wes: I was challenged by some godly men in my life to prioritize and [find out] what I value, what matters most. Obviously it was God and my family, and that’s how I decided to write 10 songs, … kind of a musical book of proverbs for my sons.

ON HIS FAVORITE TRACK ON WHAT MATTERS MOST

Wes: The last song I wrote for the record was the title cut, What Matters Most, and I think it stands out to me because it encompasses the mark of a wise man, transformed by the Gospel. Not that I’m wise, but just the scars, the victories and the losses over the past few years, they culminate in that song.

ON WHAT MATTERS TO WES KING

Wes: What matters most to me is not always relevant. What [does] matter most is the revelation of the Scriptures that God is with us. To love God with all your mind, heart, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. That’s what matters most. And the whole record and that song are based on 1 Corinthians 13. It’s the greatest things that matter. Faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.


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