WSU alumna displays her views and voice in new single

Screenshot+of+Kylie+Jo%27s+single%2C+%22Save+Me%22+on+Apple+Music.+You+can+listen+to+Kylie+Jo+on+Apple+Music%2C+Spotify%2C+Google+Play%2C+and+other+streaming+platforms.

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Screenshot of Kylie Jo's single, "Save Me" on Apple Music. You can listen to Kylie Jo on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and other streaming platforms.

There’s a new sound being heard here in Wichita and it’s coming from Kylie Jo Smith, professionally known as Kylie Jo. Jo has delivered a new single that has reached the charts of Apple Music. Her new single “Save Me” features her core values and beliefs. She is a musician who pours out her heart in her music. 

Jo was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. She attended Wichita State and majored in Music Theater. Jo was taught not just to entertain; she was taught to spread a message with her performances. At WSU, Jo met her husband, Nick Smith, who is a pastor in Wichita. They are parents to two children.

Jo learned a lot about herself as a performer and a musician at college, but it wasn’t until after graduating when she discovered that being a musician was her calling. When Jo graduated college, she and Smith moved to Pennsylvania to work with Sight & Sound Theaters, a company that focuses on creating musicals based on Bible stories with awe-inspiring spectacle. Jo was a performer and her husband was working with the lighting crew. It was during their stint with Sight & Sound that she and Smith started to grow their family and soon after, they moved back to Wichita. During that chapter of her life, Jo thought her performing days were over.

 “I had kind of resolved that I wouldn’t be able to perform anymore because it didn’t make sense to me [being a mom and a wife while performing],” Jo said.

When she and Smith moved back home to Wichita, she was asked to sing at her church. It was then she discovered that her true calling was to be a musician and that she had a voice to share with the world.

 “It was in that season that I realized I can use my gift for something bigger than me,” Jo said. 

Jo has since released two singles, “I Will Stand”, which was released in 2016 and “Save Me” which was released on August 30. “Save Me” debuted #41 on the Apple Music Christian and Gospel Music charts. Jo has been humbled by the responses to “Save Me” and is incredibly grateful.

 “Save Me” was made and released during the pandemic. In a time when artists have been hindered by closed studios, Jo was able to release her single to the masses, to her own surprise.

“In this time, I’ve been able to write more and surprisingly [the single] did so much better than I was expecting it to do even though we weren’t doing live shows. I didn’t spend a penny on any advertising and yet it still had the response that it did,” Jo said.

During these hard times, gospel music can help the mental state of thousands of people, Jo said. She believes it is helpful to confide in music that spreads encouraging positive messages. 

“The big reason is I ultimately want people to know Jesus. That’s the Sunday school answer. For me personally, the way I want to do that relationally is to let people know that I struggle the same way you struggle,” Jo said. “I’ve been through it; we’ve been through it together. We can come to the common understanding of suffering and pain and struggle. Depression, anxiety, whatever it is we can all relate to it. I truly believe that through music, we are able to connect on a deeper level.”

Jo says that she is not trying to push Christianity upon her listeners. Her objective is to let the listener understand her relationship with God and how it helps her live her life in a positive manner. She believes her music can help people achieve a greater purpose; a purpose that she believes has led to the blessed life she leads today, she said.

“My hope is, by listening to something, even though I’m not trying to be preachy, my hope is that the message is this person knows what it’s like to struggle but there is something about their struggle that’s different,” Jo said. “There’s some way that they’re handling this that I need to know why that’s different for them. And I can say here’s the reason why”

One day Jo plans on releasing a full-length album, including her previous singles and several new songs. One new song that she’s working on is titled “I Can’t Breathe” and was written during the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Readers can listen to Kylie Jo on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and other streaming platforms. You can find updates on Jo’s future projects at Jojomusic.com. Smith and Jo’s weekly podcast can be listened to at nixmythpodcast.com.