Four years after the release of his last disc, Bring It On, Newsboys bassist Phil Joel is writing new songs with a deliberate purpose.
"Over the past few years I hadn't written much because I didn't feel like I had a whole lot to say. It was during this time of quiet that our lives had begun to change," Phil says. "My wife, Heather, and I felt the Lord challenging us to live lives of simple devotion to Him. This meant getting back to the basics and removing clutter. It affected every area of our lives from the ground up."
It was this call to simplicity, spiritually as well as practically, that prompted writing and recording the deliberatePeople. album. "I wrote and recorded this CD in the garage behind my house. I wanted to lock Nashville out and open the doors wide to family and friends but, most importantly, to God. And this album was the result," says Phil.
Phil braved uncharted territory with this project, making his debut as producer.
"I really encouraged Phil to produce this record himself," says Heather. "His honesty and sensitivity to the Lord needed to be communicated clearly, without distraction. Heading up this project has allowed him to make music that is far more indicative of his New Zealand roots. These songs have really captured something special."
Writing and producing the record was only the beginning. The couple decided to independently release the deliberatePeople. album online in early 2006. Phil and Heather quickly began filling orders, transforming their mudroom into a makeshift shipping warehouse full of CD cases, shrink-wrap and packing tape.
From designing the artwork and photography to co-writing 4 songs, Heather has been very involved with the project. "During the kids' naptimes, Heather would come out to the studio with the baby monitor, and we'd spend a couple of hours designing web site stuff, album art, and working on music. We love working together; the whole process has been very homegrown," says Phil.
As close to home as the recording was, mixing and mastering took place in England at the renowned Abbey Road Studios.
Seven months after the independent, online release of the 'dP,' album, Phil and Heather teamed up with Indelible Creative Group.
"Indelible is amazing in that they truly understand what it means to 'partner' together and walk out the vision God has given each of us. The company's mission really fits with what we're doing."
"They are successfully developing products and a web site that help facilitate passionate times with God," says Chris Thomason, president of Indelible Creative Group. "Our heart at Indelible is to help build God's kingdom, so it made perfect sense for us to ask Phil and Heather if we could become their partner to take deliberatePeople. to a broader audience."
the deliberatePeople. album is titled in reference to the new ministry that Phil and Heather have founded. deliberatePeople. serves to encourage believers to be more intentional in their daily pursuit of God. The site offers daily Bible reading plans, a prayer guide, devotional blog, and podcasts.