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Joal Kamps, of Calgary, Alberta, won the Western Canadian Music Association’s Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year award for his latest album, Sojourner.

Joal Kamps wins Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year.

Born and raised in the Christian Reformed Church in Calgary, Kamps refers to himself as a “musicionary.” Through his music, he strives to proclaim the love, grace, and hope found in Jesus Christ.

Kamps’s musical career has certainly been a journey of faith. “Many folks have had a tough time understanding why I would pursue this path,” he said. “It’s been extremely frustrating at times. My parents can recount many a time where I was confused and angry with God for making me an artist.” But through times of financial struggle and times of self-doubt and self-deprecation, Kamps persevered.

The 29-year-old guitarist, singer, and songwriter, whose music is described as Rocky Mountain folk-pop, did not expect the award. “I was completely surprised by it,” he said, “and it really served as the culmination of a series of affirming situations that have occurred the last couple of months. Prior to this time I had really been questioning and even doubting whether or not music and ministry was my calling. I had come to the point of actually looking into other career paths. Those doubts, however, have all subsided now.”

Life has been extremely busy for Kamps since winning the award. “I’ve received several recording grants from agencies in Canada, one for a radio single and one for a full-length album. I’ve been approached by management and am working through the final details of a business relationship. I’ve also been challenged and encouraged to trust God with my songwriting that is now facing a deadline in the new year.”

In addition to his regular songwriting, Kamps is researching Canadian and Albertan history and Rocky Mountain folklore for inspiration for the new record. He will also be touring extensively with the new album in the new year. “It’s just plain crazy,” he said. “I am so humbled.”

Kamps’s fourth record is due to be released in March 2013.

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