×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kanye West’s Sunday Church Service: Where Spirituality and Exclusivity Meet

Another Sunday has passed which means another installment of Kanye West’s weekly church service. Launched at the top of the year, it’s become the most prestigious, highly-coveted invitation among the greater music community in Los Angeles — an event that only the select and handpicked worshipers get to experience.

So what’s the service like? Think: next level and beyond. West has the ability to transform a choir into a moving live orchestra, leaving outsiders to muse about the mysterious prayer circle from afar.

With that in mind, Variety spoke to multiple attendees of recent services to learn more about the most lit church service of our time.

1. It’s a spiritual version of Kanye’s songs. According to attendees, West’s reinterpretation of his own music is meant to take on a spiritual essence — particularly songs like “Jesus Walks,” “Lift Off” and “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1,” all of which have been performed and described as “an expression of love.”

2. The location changes week to week. Locations have included a secret space in Burbank, West’s home studio in Calabasas and the surrounding hills and forests of Los Angeles. One service took place at the Adidas headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Perhaps West is trying to impress for the Creative Director position he recently revealed he had been pitching for?

3. There’s a pre-service to the actual service. Sources tell us that there’s a pre-service to the actual service, which is just a brunch and some band members are utilized for one and not the other.

4. Everyone must sign a non-disclosure agreement. Attendees are forbidden from talking to the press, which is meant to heighten the sense of exclusivity. But clearly, Instagram is allowed.

5. West spares no expense. A musician posted a video to his Instagram of West singing with the entire choir on an airplane — a flight the rapper-producer purportedly sprang for.

6. Kindness on tap. This isn’t a Hollywood club where you get a stare down from the list holder; Everyone that comes is invited personally and treated with kindness by security and staff — just like any church service.

7. Kim Kardashian-West serves as unofficial videographer. With West leading the musical portion of the service, his wife is capturing content for Twitter and Instagram.

8. All-star congregation: From Gospel singers like Fred Hammond to music producers Frank Dukes and Rick Rubin, the Sunday guest list features major names from the music world, including: Diplo, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Francis & The Lights, Stevie Mackey, Benny Blanco, Fonzworth Bentley, Lil Dicky, Kid CudiVerdine White from Earth, Wind and Fire, David Letterman and DMX, among others.

More Music

  • Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of

    Troy Tomlinson Leaves Sony/ATV to Head Universal Publishing; Will Taylor Swift Follow?

    Troy Tomlinson will become the chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville after leaving his longtime home, Sony/ATV, where he served as CEO since 2005, it was announced Monday. He assumes the newly created position July 15. It’s widely believed that Sony/ATV’s most prominent songwriter, Taylor Swift, will follow after her contract expires at the end [...]

  • R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With

    R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With Interscope Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records, the company announced exclusively to Variety today. “Ann Marie is the prototype for today’s artist,” says Nicole Wyskoarko, the label’s EVP of urban operations. “She’s developed and cultivated a dedicated fan base using the tools of today [...]

  • Soundgarden’s Immersive 'Artists Den' Experience Premieres

    Soundgarden’s Immersive 'Artists Den' Experience Premieres This Week (Exclusive Preview)

    There’s no question that the posthumous release is the most difficult to get right: Human beings are unpredictable, and trying to guess what a person’s intentions might have been is an unhill (if not a losing) battle. Yet posthumous releases ranging from Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” to recent Prince and Jimi Hendrix collections prove [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson Skyscraper

    People Really Want The Rock as the Voice of Their Smart Speaker

    Maybe Google was onto something when it used John Legend as the voice of its smart speakers: Nearly 1 in 3 participants in a recent Adobe smart speaker survey said that they want a celebrity as the voice of their AI assistant. Participants of the Adobe Analytics June 2019 Voice Report also had some clear [...]

  • Thom Yorke of Radiohead at Grant

    Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to Tour North America This Fall

    Thom Yorke has confirmed “a new series of live electronic performances” to take place this fall in North America with collaborators Nigel Godrich and Tarik Barri under the name Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. The new shows will feature Thom Yorke along with longtime Radiohead producer Godrich and visual artist Barri, performing songs from Yorke’s solo works “The [...]

  • Taylor Swift Reunites With Katy Perry

    Taylor Swift Reunites With Katy Perry in Star-Studded, Pro-LGBT 'Calm Down' Video

    Following the release on Thursday of her pro-LGBT song “You Need to Calm Down” and a surprise performance at New York’s gay landmark Stonewall Inn on Friday, Taylor Swift has tripled down on her Pride Month activity this morning with the release of the video for “Calm Down.” She promised in a social media post [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content