Today's interview is with up and coming Christian artist, Joe Cirafici. We have no doubt that this guy is going places, so hop on in his band wagon and let's go for a ride!
Tyde Moore: "Hi Joe, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I recently reviewed your music video, "Won't Hold Back" our readers can see that by clicking here. One of the things that I said I wanted to ask was... How many takes did it take to do this video? How many hours went into this? How much did it cost you?”
Joe Cirafici: “We shot a lot of different takes through the whole process. We shot the same scenes multiple times from different angles and then we pulled the best footage from every scene to piece together the whole video. As it sounds, it was a lot of work in the editing room. From the conception of the video to the completion of it was well over a hundred hours. That's not including the work that the churches overseas put into dancing and submitting their video footage. The most amazing thing about it is that everyone participated on a volunteer basis! The Lord really blessed it from start to finish. It was truly amazing how it all came together. The only money that we spent on the project was only about $100 for a few props and some food. The Lord has placed some truly faithful and gifted friends in my life.”
Tyde Moore: “Wow, much props to all the volunteers and to you for getting these great people together for a common goal! Since it only cost you $100, can I borrow like $900? Just kidding! Tell us a little about you and your background. What makes you tick and what are some of the bands that inspired you to become a musician? I'm trying to find out, why these people like you enough to do this, just kidding again..."
Joe Cirafici: “Ha. I am sending you the money as soon as I get it! Well, my background??? I was an actor. When I got saved, I realized that it wasn’t the Lords plan for me. So I gave it up. I knew nothing about music, but God started putting songs into my heart. I never meant to sing them, just write them. But a friend once told me “Never put God in a box. He might want you to sing them too” So, it’s been about 6 years since I started writing, singing and playing an instrument. I never meant for all this to happen but again, God had other plans. I am currently the worship leader at a Calvary Chapel in Franklin Park IL. I have a beautiful wife and 3 awesome kids, I love to cook and I’m inspired by bands like Casting Crowns, Mercy Me and Jeremy Camp. That’s the short version"
Tyde Moore: "Awesome, actually sounds like we have a lot in common. I am just a songwriter myself, I don't perform but we (Tyde Moore AKA me and my wife) feature other artists in our music, then release it to the public... That's how we make sure people get to hear it. I absolutely love the bands you get your inspiration from, and I definitely can see some of that inspiration in your music. I don't live in Southern California, but the only pastor we really like to hear is Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel. So, the wife and I get our "Chuck Smith on" every week so to speak on the live internet feed. Let me just say this, your friend made a good call in your case... I think God definitely wants you to use that voice, you're on the right track and I have no doubts that you'll just get better over time. Passion is the most important part of Christian music and I think you have a lot of that, and I get the feeling that you're going to keep working hard to improve. So, I look forward to hearing more of you. How difficult was this for you to learn all of these new skills like singing, playing an instrument, etc? I know how the song writing works, I get that too... You're just doing something else and then BAM, the Lord gives you something good to write down. I had no talent when I first accepted Jesus, then somehow I ended up writing poetry and the Lord just kept giving me more stuff and I eventually went to lyrics. Is that how it works for you too? Because, I could sit here and try to write something, but it's going to stink... I have to wait until the Lord gives me something. But tell us about the instrument and singing, how did you pick that up so quickly? And you love to cook? What a coincidence, because I love to eat! Come over for dinner sometime. Bring the family and a recipe because you're cooking! Haha."
Joe: That’s awesome to hear bro. If I could, I would definitely come by and cook you guys dinner as a thank you. I wanted to play an instrument because I loved classical music and I wanted to be a better songwriter. I took piano lesson for about 2 years on and off then I picked up the guitar on my own. I led worship in a home group for about 3 years before I ever led with a band. My real strengths, I believe, are in my melody and lyric writing. I come into the studio with an arrangement of lyrics and chords and then my great friend Jake Riemer brings them to life. We work together a lot with figuring out lead lines but He does most of the instrumentation. He is like my right arm. The songwriting process for me is much like yours. I usually wait until I get inspired. However, my portable voice recorder is filled with hundreds of different ideas and melodies that never become a song. I am very selective. If I can’t figure out a lyric that I like for a song, I tuck it away and come back to it. I couldn't figure out the second half of 'Won't Hold Back" for almost a year. Finally, when the idea of dancing came about, I wrote "You put a dance in my feet so I can move" When that lyric came, I was happy.
Tyde Moore: "That's really cool; I just recently learned the value of coming back and finishing a song later. It might sound weird, but I had this idea that if it didn't all come to me in one sitting, it wasn't going to turn out any good. You proved that theory wrong with, "Won't Hold Back." Tell us a little about Jake, since he sounds like a big part of your process. Also, if you're anything like me you have probably written some pretty silly lyrics over the years that may never make it to production; what in your mind is the silliest, most awful line you've ever written? If you don't mind sharing that, haha."
Joe: "Jake and I have been creating music together for the better part of 4 years now. He is one of my greatest friends. We work so closely together that I can hardly imagine working without him. I believe that when the Lord calls you to do something, He will provide everything you need to get the job done. With that, He has surrounded me with friends that have different strengths to make up for my weaknesses. Silliest lyrics??? Well, when my first born son was potty training, I wrote a song to make it fun and to encourage him. One of the lyrics was "We're goin pee pee in the potty, pee pee in the potty, we're gonna have ourselves a party goin pee pee in the potty" Don't think that will make it on the new record though. Ha."
Tyde Moore: "No, that's not making it on any record... but it's going on my 'Ceram Sound' if you know what I'm saying. I'm going to need a copy of that song immediately lol! Since we're talking about family, how did you meet your wife? Is there an interesting story behind that?"
Joe: "My wife and I met through a mutual friend and we both fell for each other the first day we met. We were about 16 at the time. We dated for about seven years before we got saved. We decided to receive Christ together and unbeknownst to her, I proposed at our baptism. I got dunked first and then her. When she came up from the water I was standing there with the ring. It was an awesome moment. We’ve been married for 6yrs now, but have been together for 14yrs. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord made us for each other. I know I sound corny. What can I say……?"
Tyde Moore: "Actually, that doesn't sound corny at all... My wife and I feel exactly the same; in fact I would advise people who don't feel the same, not the get married! Looks like I stumbled upon the right question there, that moment sounded great! I'm glad she didn't say, no because that would've been pretty embarrassing... soak and wet at a baptism, getting rejected. Awkward, so I'm glad that worked out for you. What advice would you give to a Christian couple thinking about marriage?"
Joe: "Yeah, that would have been an epic fail if she said no. She did say to me afterwards though ‘You had to ask me in front of all of those people while my make-up was running and I was soaking wet, huh?’ Advice for couples…..Great marriages don’t just happen overnight. IT TAKES WORK! Trust God to give you wisdom to overcome every obstacle and to be the center of your marriage. Put God first and He will teach you how to love one another. Also, eat chocolate chip cookies together every night before bed.”
Tyde Moore: "Great answer, now I learned something too... about the chocolate chip cookies! My wife and I always read the Bible together and pray, I find that is a great way to keep Jesus in the center of the relationship. Musically, what are your plans for the future? Any albums coming out or are you working on any new songs, etc? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?"
Joe: "I am currently finishing up my debut album and I’m really excited about it. It’ll be titled “Won’t Hold Back”. We should be wrapping up in the next 4-6 weeks. I’m just praying that the Lord will use it in great ways. I know that there are some songs that really help you connect with the Lord in worship. I hope every song I write does that for people. I am currently booking gigs for this summer to promote my music and I’m praying for open doors and endless possibilities. We have a great God who is full of love and compassion and I pray that it comes through in all I do.
Tyde Moore: "Joe, I'm in the process of interviewing another artist too, her name is J.E. White. The reason I mention this, is because I'm going to ask you a similar question to one that I asked her... I don't want you to think later, 'does this guy ask everyone the same thing?' LOL! I just loved her response so much, that I wanted to see what other artists might say; a poll of Christian artists, so to speak. I've met a lot of talented Christian artists like you and J.E. that aren't getting the attention that they deserve... while to be frank with you, other less talented artists are thriving, getting the interviews, the reviews, the free promotion, the radio airplay, etc. Do you think that there are politics in Christian music? What's going on here? Why can't people like you get more exposure?”
Joe: "That’s a difficult question. I can’t say that I have any solid point of view on that. I haven’t seen or heard enough of the industry to comment. I would hope that the industry leaders are trying to edify and build up the church’s gifts and not hold them down. I do know this though; Gods plans for my life will pan out no matter what is happening or who is involved. He is the one that opens doors and makes the way and everything will fall into place at the right time. I live my life expecting great things to happen and I believe that God will get me to where He’s called me. It’s a matter of doing what I believe I am supposed to do every day. I’ve already seen Him do some great things through this ministry and there’s no reason for me to believe that it won’t continue.”
Tyde Moore: "That's a great answer, just keep doing what God has called you to do and let Him take care of everything else. I like that answer! But now I do have to ask, you wouldn't hold back on me now would you? Pun intended, haha! No, I'm not going to waste a question on that... Is there anything you'd like to share with everyone that we haven't gotten the opportunity to go over yet? Sharing is caring, don't hold back (I keep doing it now, there's no off switch. It's going to get annoying, sorry!)"
Joe: "Ha. I’m not holding back Thanks for taking the time to interview me Tyde. I want to publically thank everyone who has been a part of this album and music video. I love you all. To anyone reading this, please check out my site at www.joecirafici.com. Follow me on Twitter, like my FB page and send me a message. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate prayers as well. Keep covering the earth with the message of God’s love."
Tyde Moore: "Thank you Joe for doing this interview and that pretty much wraps it up. Before we go, please give those Twitter and Facebook links along with a link to where you music is sold. Thanks again, this was a real pleasure. I look forward to hearing from you again, keep us updated!"
Joe: " I will. Thanks again Tyde. Here are the links:
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