3 May 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Worship leader and producer Joth Hunt of PLANETSHAKERS shared on their new live album ‘Endless Praise’ that was released on March 11, 2014. He was in Kuala Lumpur January this year for the PLANETSHAKERS Malaysia Awakening for a sold-out three day event.
In this interview, Joth shared about song-writing, worship, and life with God.
Your music ‘Endless Praise’ is number 1 on itunes Mainstream Chart in Malaysia. So, how do you feel about that?
I feel very thankful to God and I’m excited for what the future holds. You know, when we release an album or a product, our whole motive and purpose for it is that it would encourage people and it would touch people’s lives. And God would bless people through this product. So, the fact that it’s number one means that a lot of people are getting blessed by it. And that’s fantastic!
When you write for your album, what inspires you? Can you name a song that you write from your personal experience?
When we write the songs, we are not necessarily writing for the album. We are writing for the church because we all are part of the local church. And so, we want to write songs that are practical in church, that we have a great time worshipping. Take the song ‘Endless Praise’ for example; it talks about singing endless praise to God. Basically, that’s saying your praise; it should never stop. It should keep going and going. No matter what situation you’re in, my praise is endless; you’re just going to keep giving it to God. Then, that scripture in Revelation, it talks about those angels singing, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.’ That’s praise to God—every morning, every night—they just keep singing, ‘Holy. Holy, Holy.’ And so, that is where the idea of that song came about.
So, what is the goal that you wish to achieve when people listen to Endless Praise album, what kind of message do you want to tell people through your album?
Each individual song has it’s own specific message. But overall, we want people to have an encounter with Jesus. We want people to experience His Presence like they never experienced it before. And to realize there’s such power in praise, when people listen to these praise songs, they sound much more than just a nice music and a nice melody. But there’s power behind the declaration, that being said. And if we can have faith or sing these declarations with faith, we can see God move in our lives in amazing ways.
How has God called you into worship in your career?
Well, I started very young at the age of seven. I started playing piano at the age of seven. And right through there, you know I start playing at kid’s church. And then went through climbing in adults’ church. And I just knew from the very earlier on that God has given me a gift and I wanted to use that gift for Him. So, I made that decision at a very young age before God, that ‘God, I want to honor You and I want to give back to You the gifts.’ I worked hard, I practiced, and I just kind of knew that God has called me to worship music. I feel very blessed to be in the position that I’m in right now; you know to do something on a global scale, just touching lives.
Can you name one personal encounter with God, which is really strong during your career?
The Planetshakers conference started in 1997 and I was quite young back then. The first conference I went to was in the year 2000 when I was about 14 years old. And I responded to one of the altar calls, one of the preachers was doing. And Pastor Sam who was the Senior Pastor of Planetshakers City Church and also one of their main worship leaders, she prayed for me at the front row when I responded and I just had an incredible encounter with God. I remember God saying, “I called you to this,” and He was talking about Planetshakers. So, they are in a different city. To cut the long story short, they ended up moving to Melbourne and started a church, and I joined the church then. That for me was really a pivotal encounter. It was a very real presence and a real touch of God.
So, from your worship concerts, is there any memorable experience that you can recall?
We love coming to Asia, Malaysia and Singapore. I think it was two years ago, we had the opportunity to go to Indonesia and we played towards a stadium with 250,000 people, which was something we never done before. So, that was an incredible atmosphere. We also played in Israel last year for the first time. It was incredible because we read in the Bible about all the Bible stories that happened in that area. So, to be actually in the same place where Jesus walked was amazing, and worship was just amazing.
Can you tell us more about your family? How do you find a balance between your music career and finding time for your family as well?
We always said that it’s not really matter of finding a balance because we are all in it together. And so, the ministry is not something that I do over here on one hand, and my family is over there on the other hand. But we all do it together. You know my wife is part of the ministry as well and we share each other’s highs and each other’s lows; we just do it all together. And so, that’s the best way to balance. It’s very important to have your family on the same page and for them to have the same desire as what you have.
Catch PLANETSHAKERS on:
22nd – 24th JANUARY 2015
DUMC DREAM CENTRE
2 Jalan 13/1, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Limited tickets, so make your bookings now!
More details can be found at www.planetshakersawakening.com
All pictures credited to Integrity Music, The Sound of Worship