Growing up in the South, as a kid, Joel Vaughn was heavily influenced by the country, blues, and rock popular in that region. While an admirer of those genres, Joel grew up a self-professed closet pop fan. "While I was listening to Backstreet Boys and NSYNC in my headphones, my friends and family thought I was listening to MxPx or Switchfoot. I tried to infuse my pop voice with that style of rock music, but never really felt comfortable." Known as "the singer" of an all-musical family, Joel originally taught himself to play guitar at age 14, simply to keep up with his siblings, all of whom played instruments. But his love of playing didn't stop at guitar, and Joel also decided to pick up the drums and piano.
While studying at West Texas A&M University, Joel began leading worship for student ministries and churches. During his next 7 years as a worship leader for several large congregations in Texas, Joel also released his first two albums, Bigger Than Me (2008) and Don't Give Up (2010). Both albums featured the rock/folk styles that he grew up with, but as he continued to write, Joel found himself evolving and began to create songs that leaned more toward the contemporary genre, and away from the music of his younger years.
The year 2011 was a turning point for Joel. Having become disillusioned with church and God, and with the blessing of his home church, Joel took a hiatus from leading worship--and music altogether --for 18 months. For Joel, this was a time of searching and deepening of his faith and, ultimately, healing and restoration through Christ. Joel resumed his job as a worship leader but a few months later, began to feel God's calling to leave behind what was now comfortable and familiar to become a solo artist full-time.
Joel took that step in 2013, and hit the ground running with his third album, In the Waiting. The weight of Joel's life experience, struggles, and victories can be felt in this album. In the Waiting, which features tracks about leaning on God in hard times, freedom in Christ, and holding out hope for redemption, started to garner Vaughn more widespread attention and coverage. His songs Heartbeat and Run To You, among others from the album, saw airplay on radio stations in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Missouri and Virginia.
His southern drawl, humility, and nice boy looks remind you where he comes from, but his new sound will show the world where Joel Vaughn is headed. Settling in to deeper, more contemporary music and lyrics--Joel's voice truly shines and it is clear that he is home.