Hillsong UNITED's "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" is easily one of the most sucessful Christian worship songs. The song won many of the main categories at the 2014 GMA Dove Awards. It won the "Song of the Year", "Contemporary Christian Performance of the Year", "Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year", "Worship Song of the Year", and Hillsong United was named the "Artist of the Year" However, the song almost didn't happen.
Taya Smith who sings lead on the vocals of "Oceans" was working at a retail store, serving in her church's young ministry, and eyeing a career in secular music when she got a call from Hillsong United producer Michael Guy Chislett.
"He said, 'Hey, just wondering if you wanted to come in and do vocals for the latest United project,'" Smith recalled in an interview with SCENES. "And I said, 'I'm actually on a holiday [vacation] so I can. So I came in, and I think it was over the course of two to three days we recorded 'A Million Suns' on the Zion album and then we came in the next day and we recorded 'Oceans.' The rest is history. It was pretty crazy.
"I guess you could say it was 'God incidences' because I don't really believe in coincidences."
Shortly before Smith recorded "Oceans," she also tried out for Australia's version of The Voice.
"I thought this was my 'in' to the industry - this is it," she told SCENES. "And I had a really great friend, and she said, 'If you do this, everything is going to change. I'll back you if you do it. I'll back you if you don't. You need to know everything is going to change.' I kind of freaked out and I prayed, 'God, if this is what you want me to do, I just believe you're going to open the door and if it's not, you'll just shut the door.' And then I felt a sense of peace and I didn't worry about it anymore."
Smith didn't make it on The Voice, and in hindsight is glad she didn't.