Paul Colman sits on the balcony of his suite at Woodlands Manor in Melbourne.

With a halo of bright sunshine blurring his profile, the image of this enigmatic Christian “pop star” seems perfect. That is, until he makes a comment about the local weather.

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But contrasts are part of Paul Colman. There’s aloofness and directness. Shyness and contemplation. There’s posing when the camera is clicking and slinking back into the lounge when it isn’t.

He asks his publicist what interviews are scheduled for the day. He has a radio and a magazine interview to do.

“Oh good, that’s easy,” Paul says putting on an announcer’s voice. “What’s your favorite color? What’s life like for you after pc3?” He lifts his eyes to the ceiling. “Why doesn’t anyone ask me rhetorical questions anymore?”

Paul’s playing out the ‘pop star’ role. He is known not to be tolerant of interviewers who ask banal questions. He likes to be acknowledged for his intelligence. “File them in,” he says jokingly.

As the founder and front man of the Grammy-nominated Paul Colman Trio pursues a solo career, Paul is preparing for his Australian tour in February 2005.

The last time he toured Australia with the trio in 2004, the group was winding up its world tour amid a flurry of headlines that it was splitting up. Fans couldn’t believe it. Journalists were granted interviews for strict 10 minutes a time.

This time around, Colman seems relaxed and prepared to have long chats over cups of coffee. He prefers a low key approach anyway.

“I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to live in a cocoon. I don’t wear sunglasses. I don’t have a bodyguard. I live a very normal life with a wife and two children,” Colman says.

But living a ‘normal’ life is what pushed this son of a preacher and stage singer to pursue ambitious musical goals. Goals that would see this former school teacher and his band burst onto the American scene in a big way as the opening act for Third Day's Come Together Tourand land a pair of number one radio hits while garnering both fan and critical acclaim.

While the band is no longer touring together, Colman isn't letting any grass grow under his feet.

2005 sees Colman release two solo albums.

The first, Let It Go, is his debut solo project for Inpop Records. It features his current radio hit Gloria (All God’s Children) which he co-wrote with Peter Furler (Newsboys), James Ingram and Reuben Morgan (Hillsong). 

The other is an acoustic independent album One Voice One Guitar Vol. 2. This will be available throughout his Australian and New Zealand tour.

Paul says his new songs are coming from a different place than they ever have before.

“God has really been humbling me. He says, ‘Look, I love you. I gave you the gifts you have, but don't you think for a minute that those gifts make you anything special. They are just a gift and a gift is something you don't deserve. You just get it.'

“So I'm just trying to love God and love people as best as I can. I'm trying to let the art come from that and not let the art be the focus. I'm not sure I've really done that before. I feel like I've been a guy who has used my gift to manipulate and control rather than just to serve. So this is a good time for me.

“It sounds cliché, and I've always tried to avoid clichés, but I'm just trying to trust in God."

You can catch Paul Colman in concert throughout Australia and New Zealand in February. For tour dates, visit www.paulcolman.com/austour.htm