Friday, June 21, 2013

Deitrick Haddon Interview 'R.E.D.: Restoring Everything Damaged'

I did this interview for the Christian Post on Wednesday. This version is extended more than the one online.

Gospel singer/pastor Deitrick Haddon chatted with the Christian Post about the release of his 12th studio album, R.E.D.: Restoring Everything Damaged, and its first single is "Have Your Way."
Haddon also spoke on his message for the new album along with leaving a legacy of faith and his new show, "Preachers of LA," where his goal is to stop people from "preaching perfection" when it comes to being a minister.

Your newest single is "Have Your Way." Can you tell the readers about the meaning of the song?
"Have Your Way," is a real song. [It's] birthed from a real place because I was in a place when I wrote the song that I needed direction from the Lord because I was lost. I'm a guy who is very sure of himself. I know the Lord. I've been preaching since I'm 11 years old, and singing and ministering music in my church since I'm 16. I've dedicated my entire life to winning souls and winning the lost and singing gospel music and preaching gospel my whole life. 

Real life happened to me. I don't care how great you are, and how many scriptures you can quote, and how anointed you feel like you are, life will happen to us all, and that's how you get that song. Life happened to me and I needed direction from the Lord because I really needed help. At the time a producer by the name of Tub Young sent me the song because I really needed the track. And the track was so organic, it was very soulful. The drums at the beginning sounded like a heartbeat, and when I heard it, the lyrics just began to flow – I didn't have an iPad to write my lyrics down, I didn't have a computer or an ink pen or a pad. The lyrics just flowed. 

"Can I be transparent for a minute/Some of those rumors that you heard I probably did it/I'm not a perfect man I admit it/But is covered by the blood I've been forgiven/When I think of things I've done, I shake my head if it wasn't for your mercy I'd be dead/God you sure know how to break a brother down/In my humility I'm saying now Lord just have your way"
The lyrics are in your face and real. I wasn't trying to make lyrics to be clever it just flowed out. That's how you got that song. I believe that believers go through real life situations where they don't even know where God is and they even question God on why he even allows them to go through those things. I believe this song is going to be able to help people through those moments because it definitely helped me through just confessing before the Lord and repenting before the Lord and putting the situation before his hands.  

How do you feel music is a great communicator or evangelism tool?
I think music is one of God's greatest creations. It has no limits, it has no boundaries. It can reach people no matter where they go whether they are in the street doing drugs, whether they are in the strip club on the pole, whether they are at home or in the church. Music can reach all places and can speak to all people. If you have the right melody, if you have the right lyric, it can speak to people right where they are. I think it's one of the greatest evangelism tools that can possibly be used. 

I've seen first hand the power of music and how music can save people's lives. People that wanted to give up, people that wanted to do things they shouldn't do. God used the music to intervene because it captures the ear and the attention of the individual. 

I got a testimony of a young lady in Los Angeles who came up to me in tears. She said, 'Deitrick, I have to tell you this. I decided I was going to take my life because I went through something so devastating I didn't want to live. I couldn't face the day it was so devastating.' She said, 'I decided I was going to take my life. I was going to go to work, leave my letter there on the desk and just go home a slit my wrists and just check out of here because I don't feel like I can go any further.' She said, she did everything and she was on her way to do it, and all of a sudden she said she turned to a secular mainstream radio station and she said my song came on. She knew it had to be God because it was on a mainstream secular radio station, and they normally wouldn't play a gospel song. She said God began to speak to her and break that spirit of suicide off of her and she began to cry and had to pull over and repent. She said, 'I'm here to tell you that story.' 

What would you say to people who experience tragedy?
Life happens to us all. Nobody is exempt from things whether it be a tornado or earthquake. When it rains it pours. It rains on everybody's house. If you don't have shelter you are going to get soaked. I can say that there are situations that happen to us because your faith has to exceed your understanding because some things won't make sense. One thing I'm confident in, is there are some things that happen to us that first don't have to pass through God's hands. There's nothing that takes place in our lives that has caught God by surprise. So if God is allowing us to go through this, he already has made a way out. So I would encourage the individuals to go to God and ask, 'how do I make it out of this? What do I do?' He will show you, he will reveal it to you, and he will send you an answer and you will look back and say, 'I can't believe this happened to me.' God can restore everything that is damaged. 

What came to my mind is this story in the Bible where David was doing great, doing everything well. He built this city called Ziklag and he was moving forward as a young leader. He went off to do a work for the Lord and expand the kingdom and he took his men to fight. And while he was gone everything he owned got taken away. The wives, the children, the cattle, the houses were burned down, everything he had built was gone. But David didn't let the situation stop him. He got down on his knees and went before God and said 'God what shall I do?' And when he surrendered to God, God gave him instructions and I tell you God restored everything damaged in David's life. The Bible said he got double for the trouble. I want to motivate those people out there to know the God that allows you to go through it, is the God that has the solution to get out of it. Take this opportunity to talk to them and get instruction.

September 3rd is the release date. What are the immediate plans after that?
We are going on an eight city tour called the R.E.D. tour, and we are just going to touch all the people who support me. It'll give me the opportunity to look into the eyes of the all the people who have been supporting my music down through the years So I'm excited about that. 

"Preachers of LA" is a new show you are working on. Can you tell the readers about it?
Well I'm one of the producers of the show and I thought it was necessary for people to get an inside look on what it takes to be a man of the cloth. And it's not easy being a man of the cloth when you're wrapped in flesh and blood. I think the problem we have here and the problem we have in the church is we have been projecting perfection on platforms and allowing other people to put us on a pedal-stool when at the end of the day we are human just like them. I think this is definitely going to define what it is like to be a pastor and I think people will go to church on Sunday and appreciate their pastor more because it's not easy to walk in such a high calling as a human being.

At the end of it all, when the music is done, if you could have left one lasting legacy in the music world, what would you want that legacy to be?
I would want people to say in their hearts that the gospel music world, the Christian music world, was different because Deitrick existed. He made a difference, he showed us a way, that it could be done aggressively. He was not afraid to go where other gospel singers won't go before. He was not afraid to explore the unknown. 

I'm an explorer by nature, I'm a trailblazer. It's in my nature to go left when everyone goes right and to explore. I want people to say through his work he showed us another way we can get it done. We don't have a one dimensional God because God is not one dimensional. He's a creator, we're talking about a creative God who created the human brain, the nervous system, the God who created the Sun, the perfect distance between the Earth and the Sun. He's a God that calculates everything. If we are going to attempt to represent him in any form or fashion we have to explorer, we have to be trailblazers, creative. We have to think of new ideas and be innovative.

Do you have anything else to add?
Follow me right now on Twitter @DeitrickHaddon, on Facebook, or on Instagram you can't miss me I'm all over the place. Follow me so you can know me, and know my heart. There's nobody Tweeting for me. I think people will enjoy following me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kari Jobe Interview with 'Female Vocalist of the Year'

Here's an interview I did for my job at the Christian Post, enjoy!

Christian worship singer-songwriter Kari Jobe recently won "Female Vocalist of the Year" in the first annual K-LOVE fan awards and says she would strive leave a legacy "that impacts and touches lives" in her interview with The Christian Post.

The singer was overwhelmingly excited when speaking about the K-LOVE music awards and her time there.

"It was so exciting to share in a category with some of my beautiful friends and peers. It was a big honor," she said happily. "It was also exciting for all of my fans as well. I had fun with tweets playing little games and interacting with followers."

Overall she said the first K-LOVE Fan Awards was "well done and an excellent show," and promised it is an event she will look forward to every year. "It was perfect."

On speaking about some of the other winners of the night, Jobe was asked if she could share some of her thoughts about her fellow artists.

"He's so genuine and real and I feel his music just wants to bring you closer to the Lord," she said about Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin.

The 32-year-old had a funny thought about Artist of the Year TobyMac.

"He's just super cool, and boy can he rock a beanie. I wish I could wear a beanie like that, maybe in the future I can wear a cool headband or something like that," she laughed.

Big Daddy Weave left tears in her eyes when they sang their Song of the Year "Redeemed." "They are just so genuine when they take the stage and minister to you when they sing."

Group/Duo of the Year winners Casting Crowns are one of Jobe's favorites: "I love them. They are so kind and happy, and they are involved with the church and music like myself," she said.

Changing topics, the singer was asked about the constant mostly negative media attention Hollywood and music's young artists and actors are receiving. CP asked her what advice she would give to a young girl looking for a role model who only had negative portrayals of women in media and on television.

"Be inspired by Godly fruit. You are going to be surrounded by this stuff [the world] all the time," she said. "Value and leadership has to come from the Lord. Don't base everything in your life around other people, find value and intimacy in God as inspiration."

With that being said, Jobe was asked about the power of music as a communicator and evangelistic tool to which she replied: "Everyone loves music. It's an emotional thing. I use music as prayers and conversations with God to exalt him."

"At the mere mention of his name, every knee shall bow," she continued.

As far as being a good tool to express the gospel, she thinks pastors, church, leaders, etc are very important to the foundation of saving souls. "It's the meat to the potatoes," she said. However, she views music as an important tool to guide others to where they need to be.

"Music is absolutely powerful," Jobe said. "You hear a song with the peace and power of the Lord and it speaks to you."

Playing on that theme of music helping others, the next topic touched upon the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes. A tragedy that felt close to home since she is from Dallas, Texas, approximately three hours away, according to her.

Jobe had recently toured with the duo All Sons and Daughters, who released an EP called Songs for Oklahoma. Jobe thought the idea was great and was happy to tweet and spread the word about the project.

"Their EP is awesome, and I just want to show support," she commented.

The worship leader's last album, Is Where I Find You, released in 2012, was a very successful album for her. "[It's] helping a lot of people, and that's what it's about," straying away from its success. "I was happy to hear it ministering to heart broken people and others in hospitals."

As for her immediate future, Jobe just finished a tour with Chris Tomlin and has a few festivals lined up toward the end of the summer. She is also preparing to record a live worship album in November.

When asked about the kind of legacy she would like to leave on this Earth, Jobe contemplated for a moment before answering.

"I want to be remembered as a godly woman and a worship leader who's music left an impact that touched lives and hearts," she said. "I would also like to be a wife and a mom when the time is right."