About Planetshakers Band
Forming for the first Planetshakers Conference in 1997, Australian Christian Worship band, Planetshakers is passionate to see generations worldwide unite together to worship God. Their heart is to see people encounter God, be transformed by his presence and empowered to make a difference in their world.
Hailing originally from Adelaide, the Planetshakers Band is now based in Melbourne at Planetshakers City Church, under the leadership of Senior Pastors Russell and Sam Evans.
With over 20 internationally acclaimed albums, the band tour annually to the USA, UK, Europe, South Africa, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Since 1997 the band has grown substantially, touring the globe regularly.
About the Planetshakers Band Members
Sam Evans – Lead Vocalist
In 1997 I began the journey which is now known as Planetshakers with my husband Russell. What started as a humble youth conference with the mandate to ’empower generations to win generations’ has now grown and developed into a global ministry and church ministering to millions of people all over the world through dynamic preaching and passionate praise and worship music with an emphasis on personal encounters with God. I have the privilege of serving my local church as co-lead pastor in Melbourne where the first Planetshakers Church was started in 2004 and has grown to more than 12,000 members. My main involvement is with discipleship and training, the various conferences we host, music and worship and implementing the vision of Planetshakers locally and globally.
Joth Hunt – Lead Vocalist and Lead Guitarist
I grew up in a very musical family. It was what I wanted to do with my life. Music. I started playing Piano, drums and guitar at the age of 7. I understood from a very early age that God had given the gift of music and I wanted to use that gift for him. As a young boy going to Planetshakers conferences I started to dream how God could use my gift to touch the earth. Starting to learn how to record music at the age of 14, i fell in love with producing music. Now here I am producing the Planetshakers albums. The dreams God put in my heart are coming to pass.
Rudy Nikkerud – Lead Vocalist
I encountered God for the very first time at a Planetshakers Conference back when I was 16 years old, and my life has never been the same. After finishing my music degree I moved to Melbourne and have been a part of Planetshakers Church since it’s inception. Having the opportunity to be a part of the entire ministry, and to see many hundreds of thousands of people encounter Jesus just like I did has been a dream come true. Now I oversee our College Student ministry, and get to use my musical gift serving as part of the Planetshakers Band leading worship all over the world.
BJ Pridham – Lead Vocalist
I’m honored to be the Worship Pastor of Planetshakers Church, based in Melbourne, Australia. Blessed with a music team of a few hundred strong across four local campuses, I’m passionate about seeing people step into their God-given calling by stewarding their gifts and serving the house of God.
Having the privilege to write a number of Planetshakers songs, it’s my greatest desire that people would have their own personal encounter with God and experience His presence and goodness on a deeper level.
God has blessed me with an incredible wife and three amazing children.
Natalie Ruiz – Background Vocalist
I was born into a Spanish-Australian family with parents who played and sung flamenco music. It was a common thing to hear our little troup belting out a three-part harmony on the way to church- something I thought every family must have done! So it was no surprise then, when I had my own personal encounter with God at age 14, that music and singing would become a core part of how I would express my love for Jesus in my local church. Joining the Planetshakers band from its very conception in the late 1990’s, I have travelled overseas on tours, recorded on albums, worshipped along thousands at our annual conferences, and served as a local member of the Planetshakers Church. I love to worship and sing a new song to the Lord- especially the prophetic song! I also work professionally as a voice coach and music teacher in Melbourne, Australia, loving the opportunity to harness the God-given potential in each student.
Natasha Tripodi – Background Vocalist
I came to Planetshakers for the first time when I was 18 and was blown away by the passion that the worship team and congregation had for God. I'd always been a singer, and finally felt there was something I could dedicate my life and my gift to – Jesus. God has opened so many doors and over the past 2 years I've had the incredible opportunity of touring with the band all around the world and to sing at our annual conferences in that time. I've also had the awesome privilege of being on staff at Planetshakers. God has truly done a work in my life, looking back, I could have never imagined I would be here, what an honour it is to serve our God!
Aimee Evans – Background Vocalist
Throughout my whole life I have been attending Planetshakers church with my family. I grew up loving to sing! I had a dream to one day to use my gift to lift up God with my voice. I remember attending a Planetshakers conference one year when I was 13 asking God what do you want me to do in your kingdom and through that moment God revealed to me that I was going to be used to serve him with my gifts. I started by worshiping God in my own time in my room & seeking him day in and day out. As God opened the door for me to sing as a BV in Planetshakers music team I have grown so much in him. I am so blessed to now be a part of the vision of Planetshakers.
Chelsi Nikkerud – Background Vocalist
I came to Planetshakers from Miami Florida in the USA and did Planetshakers Bible College. God changed my life during that time! I felt God call me to move to Australia permanently and serve at Planetshakers. I became part of the Planetshakers Band seven years ago, and have had the opportunity to travel the world doing what I love, for the one I adore. I’m on staff at Planetshakers Church with my husband Rudy Nikkerud (who also travels with the band). We are so blessed and honored to do what we do!
Steve Sowden – Background Vocalist
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and was part of my Church Worship Team as a teenager. I first studied singing and completed a Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Australia, where I also met my beautiful wife. My first contract following University was performing for Tokyo Disney in their American Broadway Review in Japan. Following that, I joined Australia’s internationally acclaimed opera group, the Ten Tenors, where I was blessed to tour the world and record several albums. I have since moved home to Melbourne be with my wife and family, and am absolutely honoured (honored) to be part of Planetshakers Band, where I have the incredible opportunity to share praise and worship around the world. I’m a husband, father and also New People’s Pastor at Planetshakers Church. I also love football, coffee and my 2 year old son Jonathan.
Andy Harrison – Drummer
Born in Hobart Tasmania, I grew up with a passion for drumming, starting lessons at 6 years of age and drumming in my local church band soon after. As a teenager I attended Planetshakers Conferences and it was here that I significantly encountered God – receiving a call for ministry. In 2006 I moved to Planetshakers Church, Melbourne to study at Bible College and serve in the youth and music teams. I am now the Planetshakers Drummer and Youth Pastor and have a passion and heart for worship and to see the next generation encounter Jesus.
Josh Ham – Bass Guitarist
I fell in love with Jesus when I was 10, and with music soon after; I have been playing the bass for 15 years. I grew up listening to all the Christian music greats, but my favourite was always Planetshakers (you might think I’m just saying that, but I’m 100% legitimate). I loved the edgy, current, energetic sound, but more so the zealous hunger for the presence of the Spirit of God. It was because of Planetshakers music that I felt compelled and excited to play music in my local church, and to push both my musicality and passion for God to another level. Planetshakers music was such a huge inspiration for me, it is my prayer that having the opportunity to play a part in the Planetshakers legacy will similarly bless and encourage others to be the best worshippers they can possibly be, both in spirit and in truth.
Zach Kellock – Electric Guitarist
I live in Melbourne, Australia. I grew up in church, and have always been passionate about music. I began learning the piano at age 8, and picked up the guitar three years later. I found myself at Planetshakers Church in early 2011, and soon began serving in the worship team, also attending Planetshakers Bible College. I’ve been touring with the team over the last 2 years, as well as assisting Joth Hunt in the studio with music production.
Mitch Wong – Keyboardist
I have been a part of Planetshakers Church since 2004. Currently, I serve weekly as part of the worship team and I’m also studying law. I began piano lessons when I was five and stopped a year later… Back then, piano was more of a chore I hated rather than an instrument I loved. But ten years later, I picked it up again because I wanted to write songs. The rest is history. It’s funny the way God works! Whether through music, songwriting or simply encouraging and loving others, I count it as the greatest privilege to be used by our awesome God!