Insider with Smokie Norful

Newcomer Smokie Norful has the skills and the gift for songwriting, keyboards, and vocals. Growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he involved himself in musical activities in school, but decided to pursue history as a freshman at the University of Arkansas.

Album Review

I Need You Now

He then spent four years teaching junior and senior high school level in that subject before he relocated to suburban Chicago to attend Garrett Theological Seminary in 1998, where he is near completion of a Masters of Divinity degree.

Signed to Disney Music Publishing as a songwriter, he has written for many, including Dottie Peoples and The Tommies. In 2002, he returned his attention to his own music, with his EMI Gospel debut I Need You Now being a favorite not only among Gospel music fans, but also among many a well-known Gospel artist.

Check out some insider info that Smokie Norful provided to us in the following "Insider Interview".

Which song from another artist has God used to speak to you this year, and how? : Yolanda Adams' "Thank You". It just puts everything into perspective.
What do you do to prepare before ministering on stage, both physically and spiritually? : I don't have any special routine except that I go into a serious mode of prayer. I sometimes seem stoic and completely zoned out to people around me but it's simply that I don't want anything or anybody to divert my attention from the true purpose of what I do —ministry. Physically, I just drink lots and lots of water.
Is there an explanation or story behind the name 'Smokie'? : My father gave me that name before I was ever born. He had a best friend in college and that was his name. Unfortunately he was killed and so in memory of him...here I am, Smokie.
What was the most challenging thing about putting together I Need You Now? :

Smokie Norful
Two things...life, and lack of resources. This project was literally born out of four years of my personal life challenges and triumphs. It was done independently so the biggest challenge was finding people who were committed to me and my ministry. The people that contributed to the album only did so because they believed in what God was going to do in my life and ministry; it was definitely not because I had any capital to give them up front! There were some who said they believed but didn't follow through, so the ones who stuck in there with me are truly my friends in ministry and life and will be forever a part of my ministry team.
What is your favorite brand of clothes? : I don't have one. I just like nice things. I can go from Gap and Old Navy all the way to Armani, wherever I can find a great outfit or shoes.
What is your favorite TV show? : Soul Food on Showtime.
What phrase or saying do you over-use the most?: "Touch your neighbour and tell all your friends."
Which is the favorite book you read to your kid(s)?: Baby Mickey's First Nap
What is your most cherised song you've written for another artist? : "Never Let You Down" for Shirley Murdock
What is your favorite Disney character?: Donald Duck

What is the most recent album you have bought?: Dorinda Clark-Cole's new CD.
What is your favorite breakfast cereal? : Frosted Flakes.

— insider interview by Stan North
(June 2002)

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