Not yet a subscriber? Why not subscribe now - it's Free and it's Easy. Click here if already a subscriber.

Become a Christian Life in London subscriber and stay up to date with the latest Christian news, contests, events and information in London.
Name*   
Email*   
  
* Required Fields
This is a FREE subscription,
and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
Word Verification



SUBSCRIBE AND WIN
Become a Christian Life in London subscriber and help spread the word, you will be entered in our monthly draws for great prizes, AND the more friends** you recommend, you will receive one additional entry per each one of those subscriptions.

Name*   
Email*   
Suggest Friends   








* Required Fields
This is a FREE subscription,
and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
** Friends
Your friends will not be subscribed automatically,
they will receive an email asking if they would like to subscribe.

"Any of the good you see in me…comes from Jesus"
CURRENT COMMUNITY STORIES
London Team Takes Part in Will Graham Celebration – Part I
Did you know about...
The Christian Embassy of Canada
Farmtown Canada/Courage for Freedom
URGENT APPEAL
BookMark (BOOK REVIEW)
Host Your Next Meeting at Seventeen – Seventeen
‘Til Kingdom Come' featuring Joanne Cash with For King And Country (VIDEO)
REEL REVIEW - THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS (MOVIE REVIEW)
A Biker Meets God in Nova Scotia (HUMOUR)
London Area Ministries Welcome Power Equipment Donation

By Trish West

Paul Brandt - Canadian Country Music Artist
An interview by Trish West — London, June 3 2013


Over the past 23 years, I have had the pleasure of seeing Paul Brandt, Canadian Country Music Artist perform during several different occasions and in quite the variety of locations. The first time I heard him sing on stage, was during our High School grad where he sang Amazing Grace A cappella. Since then, I have seen him stand in front of thousands seated in a stadium, a few hundred outside in a vineyard, less than fifty standing in a Wal-Mart aisle and maybe for a dozen of us crowded together just outside a radio recording booth. My favorite location to date was during his latest Just As I Am tour with performances held in churches across Canada. I have to admit that regardless of the venue or the numbers in attendance, it always feels as though you are seeing a real person beneath the black cowboy hat. You see a man who not only uses his talents to entertain as a country singer…but also as someone who loves Jesus and God with all his heart.

With the gifts that God has given him, Paul is striving to use them to make a difference. I caught up with Paul Brandt recently to ask him about his latest decision to do something new - creating a CD with gospel favorites and using these songs during his recent tour instead of his fan’s usual country favorites.

What motivated you to go from Country to more Gospel for your latest album and tour?

PB: There are three reasons for that. First being I have a 2yr old and a 5yr old I want to understand and know these songs. These are the songs I grew up on. I started thinking about making this album, looking at it from two different stand points. Faith — the themes of these songs are what I built my life on. It is really important to me to find a way to gently and respectfully share this music with people. Musically — if there hadn't been songs like this, if there hadn’t been gospel music then country music wouldn't exist the way that it does today. So it's a real important roots part of what we do…making a connection musically and from a faith standpoint.

Were you nervous about making this change?

PB: No, not really. It was a natural fit for me and from an artistic standpoint I always try to shut out the idea of what people are going to think about it and try to do what inspires me. What I feel like I am being called to do. This is the right time and I am really pleased how this has turned out.

I have some friends who enjoy your country music say they were going to pass on this tour and then there are some who were especially excited to hear you sing gospel. Did you notice a change in your audience or do you seem to still have the same core of loyal fans despite the genre?

PB: It's been interesting because it has been a really great mix- we've had some people who have never been to our shows and we've had the lifers too. I always do an informal poll and ask how many of the people go to the church we are in, how many go to a different church and then how many have never stepped inside a church. We probably get a pretty balanced 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3 and then there are other nights that over 2/3 have never stepped inside a church before. So that is really kind of cool for them to be brave enough to come check it out in a bit of an unfamiliar setting and they are all leaving I think having had a really great time.

I love that you performed out solely of churches during this last tour. How was the response from the churches when you approached them about it?

PB: It's been really great. It kind of fits into bit of a different world… I think in some ways this project is a little too country for Christian radio and a little to Christian for country and so it's like 'where do you do a project like this?' The churches have responded very well to having us there and all of the proceeds including merchandise sales go to support a local ministry that the church we are performing in that night chooses. We are also supporting a project that my foundation, Build It Forward Foundation is currently working on in Haiti. We are running a contest during my Just as I am tour for the opportunity for one fan to join us in Haiti and see what we are doing down there and the project we are working on. Everyone seems to get the spirit of what we are doing and are really excited about it.

I have heard people talk about Mission trips as something on their 'bucket list'. Do you have a bucket list?

PB: I never really had a bucket list. Early in my career, Liz and I had to define what success meant to us and had to really think if it was what we want. I think defining success influences the things we want to do in our lives. I talked to my pastor one time about priorities and I think a bucket list really reveals a lot about those priorities. I said I think I got it pretty straight — I've got God first, the my family, then my friends and then my job. My pastor said 'you're pretty messed up….you should have God first, God second, God third and God fourth'. His is first in all of the things you do and when that happens and opportunities come your way whether it is sky diving in a foreign country, become a leader in another country or travel to Africa to work with a charity…you have to look at it and ask is this what God want for me? When you put it through that filter, it all falls into place and a lot of the time takes you to more exciting places than you’ve ever dreamed of. When you give over your desires and dreams to God, know that He probably has bigger things in mind than you could imagine. He lives up to that and they are always custom made for you. So I wait to see what He has on His bucket list for me.

During your concert you openly share your Christianity…what do you hope people to take away from your concert from a faith standpoint?

PB: My faith and my Christian belief has completely changed my life and I think I'd be really selfish if I didn't at least want to share that with people and give them the opportunity to get in on something that I found to be completely life changing. I hope they get a real sense of empathy and realness to what we are doing the entire tour with as much love as we can and being as respectful as we can. It is really neat to see how it is connecting for people.

Maybe because your face is a familiar face from the halls of high school –but to me you have always been real or relatable and not just an award winning country star. I see some fans put you on a pedestal and hope that with this interview — people will see that you are 'normal guy' with the same desires to make a difference and share God’s love. That maybe they can see how they too can make a difference whether be in it Haiti or our very own backyard.

PB: I was with my kids before a concert, just kind of getting our day started and a lady commented 'Thank a lot for being just like a normal person'. I asked - what do you mean? She said that's not what we always see. I said Thanks for saying that but the way I've always looked at it as we all have a job - something that we do and that we are good at. I hope that's what people see in me and I don't need people to treat me special. I just really love doing what I do and hope that when people see us on the road performing, making the most with what we have — that it inspires them to do the same with whatever God puts in front of them.

Thank you Paul for taking the time to share with us what it is God has put in your heart and using your talents to bring His love forward and inspire those you encounter.

During Paul Brandt's June 3rd concert here in London, I was able to witness first hand Paul sharing his faith and the thanks he gives in God's name for the opportunities he has to be able to perform, doing something he loves. At one point before closing, he encouraged the audience to join him in singing a gospel song. When I heard everyone come together in a song that gives God's praise, it gave me goosebumps. Following that performance - Paul Brandt shared this FB post:

"Thank you London. This has been my favorite tour. Ever. Every night has been so unique, and so special. Hearing you sing these songs with me will stay with me forever. Amazing."

I have to admit… that will also stay with me forever. Thank you.

You can go to www.paulbrandt.com to learn more about Paul Brandt, his music or The Build It Forward Foundation.






COMMUNITY DIRECTORY