Angel in the House Music

Sponsor – 21st Annual LA Music Awards

Angel Smythe


Some churchgoers spend their whole life in the pews because it’s safe and comfortable, fully missing the narrative in each of the gospels where Jesus makes a holy ruckus and overturns the tables of the moneychangers.
That’s the spirit of rock and roll, right there in Scripture. That’s also the inspirational fire Angel Smythe brings to her empowering, critically acclaimed album A Stronger Me.
The Orange County, Calif.-based powerhouse grew up knowing her calling was music. She had more than a crazy dream (and the edgiest pop/rock voice this side of Kelly Clarkson) on her side.
Hard to know if the L.A. Music Awards prints up a special gold pass for the Almighty, but no doubt He was there with her at the Avalon Theatre Nov. 10 when she walked the red carpet and became the first Contemporary Christian artist ever to win three top prizes at the 21st annual event celebrating the best in indie music making. In trouncing her secular competition, Angel won for Record of the Year (A Stronger Me), Best Female Singer/Songwriter and Producers Choice for Contemporary Christian Album.
LA Music Awards Exec. Producer Al Bowman praised, “With 350,000 music artists in southern California, Angel Smythe stands out as one of the best. Her performances as part of the 21st Annual L.A. Music Awards Showcase Series and main event were truly memorable. She rocks.”
LAMA’s Executive Producer Susanna Griffie added, “In 2011, Angel Smythe was the single most remarkable artist I worked with. Her spiritual approach to handling her live shows makes her a gem to showcase. She is probably the best recipient we have ever had as a part of our multiple awards programs.”
Angel’s dual victory was probably in the cards since she tore down the house at the Whisky A Go Go on LA Music Awards voting night in September. Angel topped all other participants in bringing an enthusiastic fan base of 100 people to cheer her on.
Angel achieved her two big goals for that night: bring Jesus to the Whisky and show everyone that there is Christian-themed music out there that is not substandard. “It was fun watching the crowd go wild,” she says, “and to hear that some thought I was the best performer of the night. It’s all so far away from my typical world, but I think that’s the point of all this, being surprised by wonderful moments upon taking risks.
As part of her ministry, Angel has performed in recent years at some of the biggest churches in America, to crowds of over 20,000. She’s shared her music with children in Mexico and women in local prisons.
Encouraged by her success with the LA Music Awards, Angel is determined to make A Stronger Me the foundation of a larger branding effort geared towards empowering women to overcome fears in their lives with divine guidance just as she did. This effort will include a book about her life experiences (the same ones she shares with church audiences across the U.S.), a devotional book and developing a women’s conference. In addition, “Entertaining Angels,” a song she wrote with OC based jazz artist Tony Guerrero, has been submitted to the organization Musicians With A Cause; proceeds from its sale will go towards raising money to fight homelessness.
The road to this point has been littered with a lot of struggles that might have shaken the faith of a lesser spirit. Angel came from a broken home and spent years defining herself by the opinions of other people; the track “Breakthrough” is about smashing through that cloud of oppression and learning to see herself the way God sees her. Her initial venture into recording was a seeming failure at first too, with the so called big shot Christian music producer she hired taking $15,000 of her money and essentially doing nothing. Angel’s friend Guerrero stepped in and helped her produce the tracks that became The Journey and she believes the album turned out better than it would have otherwise.
Angel ups her game even further on A Stronger Me, which was largely produced in Nashville by Keith Everette Smith (Meredith Andrews, Anthem Lights, The Bolts) and includes the work of top session players like drummer Dan Needham (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Michael McDonald), bassist Tony Lucido (Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa), guitarist Mike Payne (Matthew West), drummer Dan Bailey (Phil Wickham), drummer Justin Glasco (Jeremy Camp, Vicky Beeching), and vocalist/vocal producer Josh Auer.
Not that all of these names will impress the new fans she is making in the secular music world, but over the course of Angel’s years in ministry, she has worked with top Christian and pop artists like Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Jaci Velasquez, Tim Davis (“Glee”),Tommy Walker, Mandisa, David Pack, James Ingram, Lou Rawls, and Jadon Lavik, among others.
As part of her ministry, Angel has performed in recent years at some of the biggest churches in America, to crowds of over 20,000. She’s shared her music with children in Mexico and women in local prisons.
“It feels really good to be able to confidently take steps in my career that I once felt too paralyzed to do,” Angel says. “I’ve been afraid about what may lie at the end of that road, but I’ve learned it’s best to just step out there and watch God do miracles. When I finished recording A Stronger Me, somehow I knew it wasn’t the end of something, but only the beginning.”