Artist Spotlight: A Journey of Worship and Justice, Part Two

In our NG.AC community, we want to highlight stories of people courageously answering God’s call to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Daniel DK Kim’s journey of worship and justice has led him and his family to commit themselves to fighting human trafficking in Mexico City for the next two years. They left today (with answers to prayer from the very start). Read the second part of our two-part interview with DK:

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What is the connection between releasing your new EP thefirst and your family’s commitment to fight human trafficking in Mexico City?

This EP is my first-ever studio project and I am still baffled and dumbfounded that it is complete, in print, on sale and in the hands of people who love it. It has been a dream come true and the way it happened was so sudden and unexpected, I can once again say that it’s because of God’s goodness this came about. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

I approached a friend of mine back in February to inquire about a job within his company. (This was after we decided to say yes to Mexico and decided I would need to find a job in the meantime to sustain us). He told me that he had no openings but asked me about where I stood with my musical aspirations. Long story short, he offered to help me make a CD in his studio as a way of supporting our move to Mexico City. I couldn’t believe it. What’s crazy is that just a couple days before, I was sitting down with my wife to talk about my desire to make a CD. It didn’t seem feasible since such an endeavor takes tons of money so we sort of left it at that and thought, “Maybe one day…”

I am convinced that God places dreams in our hearts for a reason and, though they may not come true in the time frame and fashion we envision, it’s amazing when God does his thing. The completion of my EP, to me, is a further affirmation that Mexico City was the “right” choice. This goes pretty old-school but that whole “seek first His kingdom and all these things shall be added to you” passage in Matthew is now in full effect in my life. I get to go on an adventure to Mexico and make a CD? Thank you, God!

The connection to this EP and our commitment to fighting human trafficking is two-fold: 1) All proceeds are going towards our family’s fund-raising goal of ($60K for 2 years) to cover living expenses and 2) the songs I feature on this EP are very much in line with the idea of compassionate justice in action as we surrender our lives in worship to God. These are songs I have written over the years and they have been birthed out of my pain, joy, struggles and revelation.

By the way, I’ve been out of a “job” since February and guess what? We haven’t had to worry about money. Still paid the rent, ate good food, and kept cable tv. The math doesn’t add up! Amazing.

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Who are some of your influences, both musical and non-musical, as a songwriter? Will you continue to write songs while you’re in Mexico City?

I love how worship songwriters like Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Chris Tomlin, and Joel Houston combine simplicity, depth, “catchiness” and musical relevance in their tunes. I also love Coldplay, Damien Rice, and U2 among many others. I would say that my biggest influence of all would be Bono of U2. I love who he is musically but I am even more drawn to his commitment to advocacy and activism. The guy just lives on a different plane from the rest of his peers and I believe that despite what the “church” has deemed him to be in the past, he is the closest thing to the “real deal.” I am in awe of how he is using his platform to be a voice for the voiceless. Basically, I want to be him when I grow up.

God-willing, I will write songs till the day that I die. My hope is that one day I could write a song that the whole world could sing regardless of race, language, economic status or belief system . . . “Happy Birthday” is probably the only song that boasts this! I want to put into song what people want to express from their hearts. I want the world to worship God without religious baggage or jargon.

Originally, I was hoping to create a second EP before I left for Mexico to feature my singer/songwriter stuff in addition to the congregational tunes I feature on thefirst. The world will have to wait for that one. Stay tuned!

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Join in DK’s story:

Support DK’s family in their commitment to fight human trafficking in Mexico City by purchasing his new album, thefirst.

Preview tracks from thefirst and download chords/lyrics at DK’s personal blog.

Keep up with DK’s journey at A City Release Movement.

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  1. […] Sometimes, learning to live a better story requires taking risks. Read part two of my interview with DK Daniel Kim about why he and his family left the comfort of OC …. […]

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