15-year veteran worship leader and recording artist Joshua Mills has just released his Christmas album "Christmas Miracle." Touring across the country singing and ministering to the masses made recording his new holiday album, Christmas Miracle, a unique creative process. The album's recording destinations served as a musical map to Joshua's ministry as it followed him from city to city on tour. Recorded in Los Angeles, Orlando, Tampa, Vancouver, London, Ontario and Nashville, the fact that the production came together was in itself, a Christmas miracle.
We are so honored to catch up with Joshua for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Congratulations on the release of your new album "Christmas Miracle." I believe the recording of this album was a little unconventional where you recorded the songs over a number of cities. Why did you choose to record the album this way?
We actually recorded "Christmas Miracle" in six different cities around the USA and Canada. Most of the production happened in Nashville and Los Angeles, but I had a really busy year of traveling and it seemed like the best option for recording this album was simply finding time between concerts and ministry events... so that's how it happened... we ended up recording in Orlando, Tampa, Vancouver and my hometown London, Canada and I'm so grateful for the experience, because I was able to meet so many great and incredibly talented people that became a part of the project because of the diversity of studio atmospheres that I encountered.
Hallels: On the album you have a mixture of fun Christmas songs as well as some that deal with the message of Christ and his birth. What do you have to say to those who believe that Christian artists should not record secular Christmas songs?
My goal in recording and creating "Christmas Miracle" was to give the listener a familiar and yet new Christmas album to add to their holiday playlists... I didn't want to just "reinvent the wheel" so to speak... I wanted this album to be extremely fun and lighthearted along with embracing the core foundation of the Christmas Season which is deeply spiritual. God gave us His best and most extravagant gift for us to accept and celebrate, but it cost Him sacrificially and came at a great price. This album represents that Christmas Miracle and the best way to convey the message was through the songs which were selected... so you'll find some traditional carols, some modern classics, some not-so-familiar holiday songs which have been around for a while and some brand-new originals which I wrote. Many people have already told me that they feel comforted by the presence of God as they listen to the album... and I guess that speaks volumes, because at the end of the day that's why I do what I do... I want to give people music that helps them to make a connection with the one who created it in the first place.
Hallels: On the album you have got a few guests singing with you. Can you tell our readers who some of them are? Any fun or interesting stories while you were recording with them?
As I mentioned earlier, I feel really blessed to have so much great talent on this album. Beckah Shae, who's an amazing CCM artist and been a great friend for quite a few years is featured on the song "Angels from the Realms of Glory" and we actually did the vocal recording for this in her home studio in Nashville. But it was an extremely windy winter day when I was there recording it... and as I was singing and looking out the window, a humongous trampoline flew out of the backyard... over the fence... and into the frontyard. We had to stop recording between verses in order to go outside and "wheel" the 20-foot trampoline back into the backyard. So we had a lot of laughs about that and everytime I listen to the song I think about that happening! The album also features the very talented gospel vocals of LaRue Howard and Meka King, along with a special original Christmas worship song I recorded with worship leader Grace Williams.
Hallels: I love your new single "It Snowed." For our readers who may not have heard it yet, can you tell us what the song's about?
"It Snowed" sounds like a classic Christmas song that could've been written in the 40's (I love that era of holiday music because it feels warm, fuzzy and ultra Christmassy) but it was actually recently penned by a songwriter from my hometown of London, Ontario. I loved it when I first heard it and I knew that I wanted to include it on my holiday album. It's a great wintery song that reminds us to enjoy the one's that God has given to us... make the best of every moment... and simply have fun!
Hallels: Are you planning a new record for 2015? If you are, what direction will it be? Will it be a worship album? Covers project? Contemporary Christian?
At this point my mind has been filled with Christmas music for over a year... so it's difficult to think of much else right now! Ha. But, I definitely have been working on writing new songs and most likely my next project will be worship-based... that's my heart and soul... a worshiper through and through.
Hallels: Speaking of Christmas, what does Christmas mean to you personally?
For me, Christmas is a time to re-focus, remember priorities, the things which are most important in life... it's like a reset as we approach the New Year... and I think that's perfect... because it helps to realign and keep things in proper perspective. Faith... Family... Generosity... All those things are so dear to me... and really that's what it was all about when God gave us Christ Jesus on Christmas day.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase the new Christmas album and/or find out more about you, where can they go?
The digital album is available on iTunes and Amazon MP3, but the physical CD is available on my website:www.JoshuaMillsMusic.com. I encourage everyone to check it out... and add "Christmas Miracle" to your holiday playlist this year. I know you'll really love it.