Husband, worship leader, songwriter, revivalist.
Whether he’s on tour with some of the biggest names in Christian music, leading a congregation in worship, or in the studio putting the finishing touches on a new song, the thing that shines through about Wes is not just exceptional musicianship but his heart for Jesus and other people.
“That’s how I want it,” Wes says when asked about it. “Jesus said in John that the world will recognize his followers by the way they love, and that’s what I try hardest to communicate through music. I often write songs with specific people in mind, to send them an encouraging word in a difficult time, and along the way, the songs end up in the hands of a lot of other people facing the same sorts of issues. At the end of the day, the thing we all have in common is that we are weak when we’re by ourselves, but we have tremendous hope in God’s strength and love. You can never write enough songs to fully communicate that kind of love.”
“And it doesn’t end there. Our lives must be filled with action to accompany our words. The world is hungry for something authentic, and as disciples of Jesus, we are carriers of the living water they thirst for. My greatest hope is to see a generation of people who are unafraid to step out of their comfort zones and be the salt and light of the world.”
“I kept thinking about that moment in Genesis, at the start of everything, where there was darkness, no light, no life, just a blank canvas for the Creator. And then, all the sudden, there was this explosion of light and color and life! And all of it happened because God spoke it into existence,” says Wes of the album’s theme.
“I see the same thing mirrored in the New Testament recreation of those who put their faith in Jesus. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”
Recreated is an ambitious, beautifully crafted album full of joyful anthems for the Church, intimate devotional worship, and heart-felt, compassionate offerings to those who search for peace and hope.
“The bottom line,” says Wes, “Is that I truly believe that when Christ saves us, we truly are made into new creations. We’re not perfect, but we no longer find our identity in the darkness that we once were, no longer bound by our mistakes and sin. Our new identity is in Jesus himself. We are truly recreated!”
Artist and Musician
Wes plays just about any instrument he picks up: from guitars, piano, and drums to banjo, mandolin, and xylophone. If it makes sound, he can find a way to make amazing music with it. Over the last five years, Wes has spent a lot of time on the road, playing his own music as well as supporting other acts. He has toured extensively with top Christian contemporary artist Josh Wilson, both as an opening act as well as a member of Josh’s band. As a gifted multi-instrumentalist and arranger, Wes played an integral part in helping to create Josh’s critically renowned Christmas show and album Noel. He has also written songs for, produced, or played on recordings for numerous other artists including Brettan Cox, Bright Towers, No Other Name, and Lindsey Jones.
During his concerts, Wes manages again to come across like an old friend. Whether he’s by himself or fronting his band, his shows are entertaining and engaging, all the while holding on to the honest vulnerability that make his recordings so special. Hand in hand with his ability to write and sing a song is his ability to tell a story, and he often shares some of the stories behind his music. Any chance to hear Wes play is an occasion audience goers don’t soon forget.
Wes has been leading worship for over twelve years and has played at hundreds of churches, youth camps, revivals, and conferences. In 2013, he released his second congregational worship project, The Way You Love. Wes has shared these songs in worship services across the country. His passion for Christ and his love for God’s people are clearly evident as draws others into worship. In every setting, whether it’s with a full band or just by himself on guitar or piano, Wes has an anointing to lead congregations young and old to the feet of Jesus through song.
“Worshiping with music is about connecting people to the heart of God,” Wes says. “We worship because that’s what we were created to do, and we worship because He deserves it. As a worship leader, my goal is to open hearts to the Holy Spirit and give Him the honor that only He is worthy of.”
When he’s not on the road sharing music with others, Wes can be found serving as one of the worship leaders at Christ Church in Nashville TN.
Bits and Pieces
When he’s not playing music, Wes can be found at home in Nashville TN with his wife Hannah and their dog Esther. He loves spending time cooking and cheering on the LSU Tigers. Originally hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Wes spent most of his childhood years with his parents doing full-time missions work in the Netherlands where he learned how to speak Dutch and play soccer. After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, he decided to stay in town and made music his full-time profession.
What others are saying
“I’ve hired Wes to lead worship for a wide variety of events – children to students to adults. He’s a versatile musician, adaptable to various environments, detail driven, well spoken, respectful to volunteers, and outright talented. Yet, most of all, he leads with a sincere passion to see people changed by the power of the Gospel.”
“Wes is a not only a great friend of mine, he’s a fantastic musician. I’ve played music with him since 2003, and he’s only gotten better as a singer, songwriter, and worship leader. His versatility in all three of these areas makes him a perfect fit for so many scenarios. From church worship services to youth camps to singles retreats, Wes not only leads music, but points congregations toward Christ. He’s has always written music from an authentic desire to love God and love people, and that’s obvious not only in his songs, but in the way he treats the church. Wes has a great talent, and ultimately, he uses that to serve Jesus by sharing it with others.”
– Josh Wilson, Capitol Records recording artist
“I’m a huge fan of Wes Pickering and his music! His lyrics are both informed and clever, and his melodies are original, but memorable and singable. I especially enjoy sitting down and listening to his albums through, from start to finish. He’s telling a great story, and he’s telling it well! Every time Wes leads worship in our services, I know the music will be excellent and the worship will be profound.”
“Wes Pickering is not only an incredible musician, but he has an great desire to connect people to the heart of Christ. He’s truly grounded in the Word and the Truth of the Gospel. I’m truly impressed by his ability to lead a room with confidence, transparence, and humility.”
“Wes and his wife Hannah have been regular worship leaders on our short term mission trips and other Mission Discovery events. After hearing feedback from trip leaders about how well Wes connected in worship with teams, I asked him to sing at our staff gathering last year. That day, I experienced what others had been saying. Wes and Hannah have found a place to not only share their worship gift but also words of vulnerability. Wes has a the kind of passion for worship that helps change paths. ”
“In a modern-day glut of talented singers and musicians all scrambling to make a name for themselves, Wes Pickering stands apart. A deftly skilled musician, vocalist and lyricist, Wes pursues his artistry with a passion and purpose that transcends temporary grabs at fame. An excellent communicator both on and off the stage, his greatest strength may be his desire – and his ability – to use his unique gift to serve others, and to give voice to the unspoken questions, fears and curiosities we all experience on life’s road.”
– Constance Rhodes, Founder, FINDINGbalance. Co-Founder, The True Campaign. Author, Life Inside the Thin Cage and The Art of Being
“I downloaded Wes’ Being Born EP two months ago now, and I still have the melody of “Little Darling” go through my head at least twice a day. The whole project is intimate and elegant, sparse yet complete. This recording is a great snapshot of the artist Wes is now, and an exciting picture of the one he’s becoming.”
–Andrew Osenga, A&R manager Capitol Records, Singer Songwriter, Caedmon’s Call, The Normals
“Listening to Wes’ music is truly delightful. His tenderness and passion come through in every note played and each word sung. His generosity to the True Campaign has been encouraging to us and inspiring to those we seek to help.”
–Travis Stewart, Owner, recovery coach, Revision Recovery . Co-founder, True Campaign