is the kind of guy that greets you as though you are his best
friend. He cheerfully chats to you, not in a rush at all despite
his packed schedule - and what a schedule it is.
Michael is best known in Geelong and Melbourne for hosting
the breakfast show on the Geelong-based Christian radio station
Rhema FM for the past three years. His fun, conversational
style and friendly persona shows through on the show and as
well as when he fronts his band, Compliments of Gus.
is a heart thing. I play music in the church because
that’s my skill, but I give it to the church
because my heart is there."
began a solo musical career with the release of his debut
album Songs For Ever in June. On top of his radio
and performing schedule he has part time work at Kardinia
Christian Church in Geelong which he describes as giving back
to the community. There he is in charge of running the worship
team, comprised of about 60 people.
“I am the music director,” Michael says and coughs,
“with a sore throat.”
Throughout the interview he makes jokes, making it clear he
has a sense of humour that tries to hide at times but still
finds a way out. While most would be overwhelmed with the
fully loaded timetable, the 28-year-old seems neither stressed
or hurried but admits it isn’t easy.
“I don’t know too many
people that are driven people that don’t find it hard
to manage. On the other hand, I know lazy people that find
it hard to manage as well.”
On top of his workload, Michael finds time for his growing
family; his wife Jodi and son Noah - “one of the coolest
kids in the world,” as he puts it. Although he loves
each of his jobs, he makes it clear his family are his number
“How do you find time? A lot of it does come from people
reminding you that you’ve got to find time. Honestly.
It does come from prioritising the important stuff. The fact
is that if the band stopped tomorrow I wouldn’t be less
of a person, that’s a conclusion I came to many years
ago. It doesn’t matter, but it’s fun and it’s
great to make a contribution. In fact, none of the things
I do matter much except for the contribution I make to the
Justin Michael released his first solo album, 'Songs
for Ever', in June.
The community work
he speaks of is his work in the church. “Church is a
heart thing. I play music in the church because that’s
my skill, but I give it to the church because my heart is
there. Not because I want us to sound great.”
This year Michael
has been especially busy balancing his church and radio work
with touring since the release of Songs For Ever.
Clearly a motivated person in each of his lines of work, it
is when he talks about performing music he’s written
himself that he sounds most inspired.
“When I saw a person with a mic on stage it wasn’t
a case of ‘that’s impossible and I want to do
that’. It was a case of ‘I want to do that, and
I’m going to do that’.
“All through high school I had lead roles in music and
realised maybe I’m a singer...There’s something
in you that gets excited when you hear a piece of music or
see a piece of artwork. You can’t really explain to
A career in music seemed to be a natural progression for Michael.
He comes from a musical family and showed an early interest
in music, learning several instruments and playing in church.
“I come from the point of view that music comes from
the same place in everybody. It comes from the creative part
of the soul. Whether someone recognises that there’s
a God that created them or not probably depends on where they
direct their music to. So my music is directed more with a