GMA Interview: Phil Joel

Phil Joel his been a busy man as of late. In the last
year he’s released his first solo record, Watching
Over You, on the Inpop label. He’s also been touring,
on his own, and with the Newsboys. To top it all off,
his wife Heather gave birth to a beautiful baby
daughter, Phynley, in October.

Leading up to Gospel
Music Association week, Phil had a show with the
Newsboys one night, a solo show another night, and a
radio show (Live From The Lambs) Sunday, in Nashville.
Such is life for this blond-headed artist from New
Zealand.
Phil elaborated on how he’s managing all of
these things. “Life does get pretty chaotic, pretty
busy, and I’m learning as we go…the one thing I am
learning is; just because you can do something,
doesn’t mean you should…It’s making sure that I’m
living in line with what God wants, daily, and making
sure that I get enough time alone with God to make
sure my focus is right.”
Phil has been on the road to promote his solo record
with the “Strangely Normal” tour. This tour has
traveled to small and large Churches across the
country. This gave him an opportunity to be more
intimate with the audience. “I enjoyed the
opportunity to share what some of these songs were
about, from the stage. It was a fun experience.
A notable song on Watching Over You is “El Salvador”.
This song was written after a life-changing trip to
that country. Phil and the Newsboys had visited to
see first-hand, the ministry of World Vision. World
Vision is a ministry organization where children in
poverty stricken countries are sponsored. World Vision
supplies food, clothes, and Christian teaching to
people in need. Joel said, “It is the Gospel being
worked in these Nations.”
Phil later spoke about growing up; “I didn’t feel like
I fit in growing up, but, Hey!, that’s nothing new, ya
know…I think most of us at some point have felt more
like a freak or outsider, but the more I look at my
teenage years, the older I get, the more I realize I
was just a selfish little kid like most teenagers,
like most people. The heart of humanity is self… I
wish I had spent more time being still and spending
time with God as a teenager. That would have
alleviated a lot of pressure and taken care of a lot
of problems.”
When Phil is not working he loves to become a
“homebody” in Nashville and says that he appreciates
the time he spends there with his family.

Kurtis Kegley is a free-lance writer who wrote daily GMA updates and interviews for Christian Activities during Gospel Music Week. Kurtis sends in his daily report from the GMA media room.

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