Interview with Danielle Kimmey
Out of Eden has danced around the fringes of the Gospel arena and jigged with the best of those who do what the industry defines as CCM.
But at the heart of what they do is what we as Christians know to be more important than any musical classification, and that of course, is lifting up the name of Christ Jesus.
As Out of Eden endeavors to share their musical gift with others in order that Christ be shared and magnified, they continually grow and learn. Having seen groups come and go, the fact that the girls (Danielle Kimmey, Andrea Kimmey Baca, Lisa Kimmey) are blood sisters may give them a one up.
Group member Danielle Kimmey spoke with Gospelflava.com.
"If one of us tries to quit, one of your sisters can say, 'Oh no you don't . I'm telling mommy!' That's one plus about being sisters! The other one would be that we have great spiritual accountability between the three of us, and with our pastors and spiritual leaders. God keeps us at a place where we are always grounded. None of us really fly of the handle and we never really get into arguments because we remember that first, we have to be sisters in Christ before we are sisters in blood."
That maturity comes from an obvious love for God and a commitment to the local Body before they go out to minister abroad.
"When we're not on the road or not doing Out of Eden stuff, we are in church all the time," says Danielle. "Mostly because we just love church. We love praising God with a lot of people. We love to be preached to. We believe that a big part of our walk is servanthood. We believe that you are never to big to serve. We also believe that when you are ministering to people, you are actually ministering to yourself."
Out of Eden's ministry goes beyond the proverbial wall of sound, glorious as that is. The three have taken it upon themselves to disciple women in Nashville, where they are based, so that, as Danielle puts it, "our ministry will not end when we step off stage."
All three sisters meet every three weeks with their pastor, specifically for accountability issues. "He checks up on us and makes sure that we are grounded. He makes sure that our hearts are staying undivided to the Lord and that our ministry is on point. For a while, we were going to Bible School, but we got a little too busy for that. We're going to try and go again, maybe in Spring of 2003."
As for now, Out of Eden are putting their focus on their current release and fourth project on Gotee Records, titled This Is Your Life. which they were able to connect with rising producer Lee Jerkins, cousin to the famous Darkchild connection of Rodney Jerkins and Fred Jerkins.
Danielle explained "our previous publicist hooked Lisa up with Lee to go write. They got together and he played a couple of tracks. He fast forwarded through what is now, "Different Now", and said 'that's not really Out of Eden. Ya'll don't want that one.'"
Another song that has been garnering acclaim is the much more laidback "Meditate". The video of the song is all over video programs across the country.
Danielle explains that "the song came out of a place where, as singers, things in life can get so busy sometimes. But that can happen whether you are in the industry or not. You literally have to put yourself away. You have to turn off the TV, unplug the computer and say goodbye to friends. Do anything that you have to do to get alone with God. We realize that that's the foundation of who we are with Christians. If we are not spending time with our Savior getting to know Him then, we are not doing much. That's what that song is all about. It's our story and what we have to do to get alone with God."
Another song that Danielle likes to talk about is "Now I Sing", since the lyrics encapsulate the passions of Out of Eden's existence.
"The song is about two things. We love singing about God and we love Gospel music. On our previous records, we haven't had a chance to delve into our whole Gospel side. We touched more on that on this record. As far as the song goes, Lisa heard the track and words just flowed through her. It's our testimony of how we praise God and how excited we are about because He's done so much for us."
As for songs that are especially meaningful for Danielle personally, she claims two.
"Praise You" is a song that I wrote, its the first song that I have ever written. It's my personal testimony. Not the testimony of when I got saved, but the testimony of what God has done in my life. You know how God transforms you from glory to glory? It's so true and He has shown himself so strongly to me in teaching me what surrendering is all about. If we're not giving God what's most precious to us then we are giving God nothing. That's what He's taught me this past year.
Then my favorite song is "Showpiece", because I feel that the world tells us in such a strong and opinionated way how we should live as Christians. They tell us that we are wrong, conservative viewpoints are outdated and that morals are old. We are here to say in just as strong way that we are going to live by the standard of the word. We are totally ignoring what they say we need to be as women.
We want to encourage other women that they can do it too. We don't have to sell out to the MTV viewpoint and the way that our culture is depicts women. We can be above that. That message is close to my heart. I tell women that we spend so much time working on our outside, but how much time do we spend on our character. Very little. I encourage women, especially the ones that I disciple, to realize that character is essential. That's what people will remember when they leave you.
Danielle also has plenty of advice to offer for the many aspiring artists who are aiming to make it to the regional, if not the national stage.
"Then you should practice your talent. You want to make sure that you are at the top of your game and that you bring a product that has quality to it. Try to save some money. There are a lot of people with home studios now. Find someone that can put together a song that you've written or a song that you like to sing of somebody else's material."
"We encourage people to look on the back of your favorite artist's CD. You'll see the record company's address. Send it to that address in care of A & R( that's who listens to demo tapes). Make sure that the packaging is good. If the packaging not good, then they won't even listen to it. Give them something that will stand out like a picture or an imaging concept that will stand out."
"Make sure that you know what you stand for, so you won't compromise your belief. Have a mission and be about something."
"We also advise people to watch out for 'celebrity spirits'. We are trying to break that here in Nashville because it's really strong and it's really ugly. Nobody wants to be around someone who thinks of themselves as a star. It's not easy to stay humble, but that needs to be the focus of every artist. We pray that God will help us to be humble."
Danielle concluded by summing up the purpose of Out of Eden, and explaining how that fits with some of their intriguing upcoming plans.
"We're trying to impact our culture. We want to impact our younger and older generations. We want to raise a standard. We're actually searching out new venues in the political arena. We are trying to find new ways to get out there and to make a difference."
"We are doing a video for women, age preteen and up, dealing with a couple of different issues like, 'How do deal with estranged parental relationships?' 'How do you deal with sex and dating?' Also, topics such as friendships and modesty. So we'll be talking about these issues along with other artists. Hopefully we will have some people in politics involved also. It will be an open forum, but it will be biased on the Word. The Word will have the final say."
Out of Eden has big dreams and big vision to reach the world. With the new album, This is Your Life, they are looking to continually "enlarge their territory and expand their coast", only for the sake of kingdom building.
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