10 Questions with ... Kim Dexter
November 3, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 1999 New & Improved (Mayfair Laundry)
- 2006 So This Is It (solo project)
- 2014 Reaching (solo project)
1. Brief History / Synopsis
I was born in Augusta GA but grew up in Phoenix, AZ. I was blessed to attend 2 amazing Christian schools: Scottsdale Christian Academy and Grand Canyon University (music major). After college I moved to Dallas to do a music internship under Tim Miner. He taught me the ropes of studio singing, co-song writing, and singing back-up on the road. I stayed there for several years continuing to grow in my musicianship and relationships with the studio musicians there. It was during this time that I started writing kid's Christian pop for Pamplin's Bible Man and Heaven Sake Kids projects. This lead to a record deal with my pop/ska band Mayfair Laundry. I moved to Newport Beach, CA in 2001for songwriting work in Los Angeles and have stayed ever since....working on my solo stuff and taking care of my 2 kiddos.
2. What does a normal day look like for you when you're off the road?
What is a "normal" day?:) It's always different depending on work, the season, and kid's activities...and my mood-ha! I'm not a scheduled person but I do strive to be consistent with certain disciplines, even when I'm on the road or not feeling my best. So, when I'm home and not super focused on writing, my day might look like this: I first get kids up and ready for school, spend time with the Lord, then I'm off to work out: which consists of either yoga, weights and cardio at the gym, or my new love- tennis. Next, I'll run errands, meet a friend for lunch, or work at home on bookings, media, songwriting, and management of our music school- Dexter Music (we offer in home private music lessons for all instruments), until I pick up kids at 2:30. Then, I balance getting the kids to their various activities, cooking healthy meals, and working on my music. When I'm in songwriting mode my schedule is definitely dictated by where I am in the process of writing and recording....I may have late night sessions or work all day - then everything shifts. I've always been pretty crazy with my hours...having children has evened that out a bit but I still tend to gravitate to chaos:). Days when I don't drop from exhaustion, my husband and I will read our daily bible together and pray and/or watch a show before bed. We're also pretty social so we make time for bible studies and going out with friends quite a bit.
3. What's the song that you can't get out of your head right now?
To be honest, the songs from gigs are usually the ones stuck in my head for days afterwards...last weekend I did worship at a church in Phoenix and we did a blend of "For the Sake of the World" and "Your Grace is Enough"...and that's what's still ringing in my head. Also, there's a song from the movie soundtrack, "Begin Again", that I'm obsessed with- "Lost Stars" - Adam Levine kills the vocals...it's amazing! His licks, (which I could never manufacture)stick in my head.
4. How much do you travel, what are the hurdles?
Wow- it's such a challenge. It's almost like when I'm on the road I want to be home, and when I'm home I can't wait to get back out on the road. I absolutely love the challenge of the road and the ministry that happens when I'm face to face with folks, but my heart is always with my family. I'm so blessed that they often get to travel with me, especially during the summer. During the school year I do a lot of weekend gigs where I can come and go pretty easily. Or I do small tours 5-10 days or so. If longer tours come up, I'm trusting that God will make a way for them or make it clear what I should do. So far He's made everything that I do, musically, possible and I face every new opportunity with much prayer and seeking God's wisdom. My husband is completely supportive and involved in my music so it's awesome to be able to share my passion with him!
5. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced, personal or professional?
My first year of marriage was rocky to say the least. My husband, Paul, and I came into it with some past baggage and poor ways of dealing with conflict and were heading down a dire road. I witnessed change in my husband and marriage that was literally miraculous. We were both seeking God's best will but just didn't have the tool to fix our issues...but that's all God needed...for us to turn our faces to him... that's it. He began a change that took time and was a process, but lead us to a deep, rich, healthy relationship. We are now a strong unit, and consider our challenges in marriage as an opportunity for more growth and a testimony of God's grace and hope to show the world.
6. What's the last book you read?
I'm almost finished with David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. It's not a Christian book per se but I have been inspired by the theme of the book- that much can be accomplished by the so called underdog. That what seems to be a disadvantage or struggle, coupled with faith in God, may be the very thing that derives beauty and power to accomplish great things. It's encouraging to me as I have felt like an underdog at times. It gives me a new perspective, not only in the fact that God can do all things through us, but that I shouldn't cower from adversity as it may be the very thing God is going to use to form the positive results I so wish to see in my life.
7. When did you become a believer?
I came to know Christ as my savior as a little girl. I grew up in a Christian home and learned early on about God's love and Jesus' amazing, sacrificial life on earth, and knew that there was no better path I could take in life, than following Jesus. I think the Holy Spirit just drew me in early and it was an easy faith to grasp. Once I discovered how much I loved to play piano and sing, I just wanted to do it for the Lord. The joy that comes from expressing God's love and greatness through music and seeing others connect with that, is one of the deepest I've ever known. There's been nothing else I wanted more to do with the time I've been given for ministry.
8. Tell us about your latest recording, "Reaching". How are people responding when they hear it?
My new project, Reaching, has several songs that have been so fun to sing live and seem to connect well with people. The title track, Reaching, is about God's amazing, sweet love. No matter what we do or go through, His love is always pursuing us...reaching to the depths of our hearts, bringing hope and comfort like no one else. It's great to sing this and share the ways that God has brought me through some severely dark times. It seems to open the door for others to be vulnerable and allow God's healing to seep into their broken places. Here to Save, is the first single. It's a song about pleading for deliverance and praising God, at the same time, for His promise of deliverance. That we can cry out to him, "Hosanna, deliver me, help me, save me" at any moment, and know that He will come through for us. That's why Jesus came. He is Here to Save!! I love to introduce this to new groups of folks. By the time the chorus rolls around the 2nd and 3rd time, there are hands lifted and a ton of voices singing together..."Hosanna, You are with us, by Your grace, You are here to save."
9. What service organizations are you affiliated with?
I've been blessed to help support several organizations, by volunteering time and music (writing theme songs and providing music for fundraising events), including Free Wheelchair Mission, International Princess Project, and Hope Women's Center of Phoenix. It's a huge joy to tangibly be a part of what so many great organizations are doing to bring healing and salvation to so many needy people. The enormity of suffering in the world is overwhelming and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to help serve in anyway I can.
10. Who would you most like to have a discussion with, living or dead? Deities are excused from this question :)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Corrie Ten Boom, Mother Teresa...the list goes on...these amazing people, who lived lives of such great faith and sacrifice. I feel like an hour with them would change my perspective forever.
1. Favorite verse, or life verse?
Well, I sort of have a verse that accompanied both of my solo records, which correlated with my grapplings in those seasons of my life. 1st CD- Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I was smack in the middle, and coming out of, an extremely brutal trial time when I wrote this record. It was all I could do to hold onto this promise, and it was only because of His empowerment that I got through! Now-a-days, with this new CD, it's about not looking back. Phil. 3:13 says, "...one thing I do, forgetting the past, and reaching for what lies ahead..." like Paul, I strive to keep my focus on what God has for me today and the glories that are to come.
2. Most embarrassing moment on the road?
I won't go into detail here, but way back, when I was thrown into the already existing band Mayfair Laundry, I was sent out on a summer tour after one introductory week. I met the guys, learned the songs as best I could, then was thrown out on the stage with the only band rehearsals done in the 20 minute sound check. Well, sure enough a couple of the CCM tabloids were there for opening night of the tour. Let's just suffice to say that the reviews weren't the most glowing I've ever received. Things did improve after that but it was quite humbling.
3. What artist has had the greatest impact on you?
Keith Green! I discovered him after his death but was so impressed with his passion for the truth and sharing that with the world, and how that was expressed through his music and life, that I was motivated to live my life like that.