MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a preview of this week’s Listening In.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Philip Sandifer wrote songs that topped the Christian music charts in the 1990s. Hits like “Just Because You Are” and “When It’s All Said and Done.” But then he took a nearly 20-year break from recording. He’s just now released a new album, titled Go On.
WORLD’s Warren Smith interviewed Sandifer at his home in Austin, Texas, and asked him about what prompted his recording hiatus.
WARREN SMITH: Tell me about that era in your life. What was good about it and what was it about it that made you want to take a long break from it?
PHILIP SANDIFER: Well, you know, I have always viewed myself kind of at the core of what I’m about as a songwriter and I’m very attracted to just the construction of a song and can it communicate a particular thought or idea to someone else. And my music, what I’ve written has always been very reflective of kind of where I am at that point in time in my life. So that’s the part that I didn’t really take a hiatus from was the songwriting side of things. But the recording side of things, you know, back, uh, I was recording pretty consistently up until about 1998 or so, and I was traveling a lot at that time too. And as my children were getting a little bit older, it was becoming apparent that the wise thing for me to do at that point was to not travel so much but rather be home and available for my wife and my children. And so that was probably the beginning of the—why I pulled back from recording was just to be more available to my family.
And so I’d had an opportunity to become a worship pastor at a church locally here in Austin. And it was wonderful. One of my big, big beliefs is just the value of music in church settings and the value of the creative arts in general. And a friend of mine let me come and lead in that territory. And also I was involved with an opportunity to start some local radio stations here in Austin. And that was exciting because at the time, Austin didn’t really have any good Christian radio, and so that was pretty much what began that process. And then, you know, a songwriter, if you really are writing and you want to have your things heard, eventually that’s gonna catch back up to you and you’re gonna be excited about getting that going again. And that’s really kind of what’s happened with me in the last, oh, the last four years or so.
BASHAM: That’s Philip Sandifer talking to Warren Smith. To hear the rest of their conversation, be sure to check out Listening In. The new edition goes live tomorrow, and it’s available on your favorite podcast platform.