Grammy winner Michael W. Smith says it's a 'God thing'

Dru Willis

It has been a year to remember for contemporary Christian musician Michael W. Smith — and he’s not done yet.

All five of Smith’s children are now married, he has two grandchildren on the way to add to the six he has already and he completed a successful world tour.

Now, it seems as if a new chapter is forming.

“I feel like my best work is yet to come and I really say that with all the humility I can,” said Smith. “Something good is coming.”

This would certainly be an accolade and epic chapter for the pianist, singer and songwriter, who has garnered great success as both a contemporary Christian musician and as a mainstream artist over the past three decades with songs such as “Friends,” “Place In This World,” “Above All” and “Breathe.”

In total, Smith has earned three Grammy Awards for gospel music, 17 No. 1 albums and a slew of hit songs. Smith more recently released his second full-instrumental album, “Glory,” in 2011, and in 2010 he released “Wonder.”

“There is no way that I could have orchestrated any of this. This is a God thing … being there at the right time, marrying an amazing woman from Tennessee. I pinch myself every day saying, ‘Wow, what a gift! What a gift,’” Smith said during a telephone interview. “And then basically you don’t worry about the future, you can’t change the past. You just live in the moment, man. You live in the moment. And this is the only moment we have.”

The singer says that right now, he is not locked down to doing anything else for a record label for the first time in many years.

“I have no publishing deal. Basically, I am free from any obligation. And it really feels right to me. So right now I am just taking my time, because I don’t want to make just another record,” Smith said.

It is a new day and for Smith the question is, “What’s the new big idea?” If he has to wait a year for that idea to hit, then he will.

“I really sense something really wonderful coming along,” he said.

Future music

Ultimately, though, it all comes down to the song, and Smith has no intentions of doing just another 10-track pop album with two songs perfect for radio. That’s not his mindset.

“I am trying to raise the bar really high and try to get out of my comfort zone a little bit and work with some people I haven’t worked with before. And we will just see what happens during the creative process,” Smith said. “I am really pumped up about it.”

Smith has hopes of doing something that has never been done before, and uses Adele’s “19” and especially “21” albums as an example.

“To me that’s the big idea — she maybe didn’t know it’s the big idea, but it’s the big idea. She hit on something that resonated with people from 8 years old to 75, which is rarely ever done,” Smith said. “Gosh, is there any way for something like that to happen in my business? I think there is.”

Smith has been in the music business long enough to know it will be a matter of finding a careful balance of “really going for it” and just letting it happen. The key lies in not striving for the success.

“Obviously, you have got to let your motivation be pure. This is not about being a rock star trying to sell a million records,” Smith said. “It’s about hitting your sweet spot and hoping and praying for divine inspiration. That something will sort of come out of the sky and you go, ‘Oh my gosh, what was that?’”