Staff writer Andrew Stephens sat down with award-winning soloist Joseph Habedank to talk about his new recording, Resurrection, and his ministry since setting out on his own a few years ago!
Andrew Stephens: For many readers, the name Joseph Habedank, has been associated more with lead vocalist rather than soloist. How was the transition from being a lead singer to being the only singer?
Joseph Habedank: It has certainly been challenging and at times it’s been terrifying, but I know I’m doing exactly what God wants me to at this stage of my life and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. The biggest hurdle was getting used to being on stage alone, but the Lord quickly reminded me early on in my solo ministry that I am never alone. He is ever present and will never leave me. I’m so grateful for that.
AS: With your successful 2014 solo debut, Welcome Home, you shared your story with many listeners. What are some exciting memories of sharing these tunes throughout the country?
JH: My favorite memory is debuting the album in Nashville for all of my peers about three weeks before the album released. It was a special night. It’s also been amazing to watch the people respond to these songs that I’ve written and poured so much of my heart into. When I first started my solo ministry, I wasn’t sure if I could even “make it” as a soloist, but the support has been both overwhelming and equally humbling. I’m so thankful for the people who support our ministry.
AS: Fast forward to 2017, and you have a new recording that released back in early Spring called Resurrection. Radio has embraced the captivating “Here He Comes.” Some critics are saying it’s the best project of the year. What are your thoughts on this new release?
JH: It’s funny, I was kind of worried about this record. I felt like my first album, Welcome Home, was so well received for a solo album that I wouldn’t be able to top it, but my producer, Wayne Haun, quickly set my mind at ease and I think it’s even better than the first project. In fact, my first single, “Here He Comes,” is my highest charting and arguably my most popular song to date. More importantly, I get to watch every night how the message in this song moves the people. Literally.
AS: In the past year, you’ve teamed with the Erwins to establish the “Resurrection of Faith” tour. What is the focus of the “Resurrection of Faith” tour? Describe the experience of touring with another young artist in a brand-new concept.
JH: Obviously our focus is to first and foremost minister to the people, but we also want to show the people who support Gospel Music that it is in good hands with the next generation. I truly believe in The Erwins and I am so proud to be on tour with them. They are the future of our industry and I believe their best days are ahead of them. I can’t wait to sit back and watch what God does with them and their ministry. I hope we will be touring together for many years to come and I hope everyone who reads this will come out to a Resurrection of Faith Tour date. We’d love to see you!
AS: In addition to the rave reviews online, Resurrection has garnered attention in the Gospel Music industry. You’ve picked up nominations for the 2017 GMA Dove Awards. Tell us about that experience.
JH: These nominations are uniquely special to me because this is my first time to be nominated for a Dove Award as a solo artist. I have to thank all of my peers who voted for my song and album, but I especially want to thank my record company, Daywind Records, for believing in me and making this possible. I am already trying to find a special suit and tie to wear at the ceremony on Oct 17.
AS: Over the years, trends come and go for music – not just Southern Gospel, but secular music as well. What do you attribute to Southern Gospel’s staying power in the midst of so many changes?
JH: I think it has everything to do with the message in our music. There will always be hurting people and as long as there is hurting people, there will be a huge need for comfort. Music is a powerful thing and it can minister in very unexpected ways. I’m honored to be a small part of Gospel Music.
AS: As Southern Gospel progresses, what are some of the challenges you see in the music industry – specifically Southern Gospel?
JH: Most people don’t realize that when they listen to a song on YouTube or Apple Music, rather than purchasing the album, it not only hurts the songwriters, but it hurts the artist. For me, I think that is the biggest challenge we are facing in the music industry today. We have to find a way to regulate digital streaming and make it more beneficial for the singers and songwriters alike.
AS: You’ve established a career in Southern Gospel music for 15 years. What has changed Joseph Habedank in comparison to 15 years ago when you started?
JH: Experience is the one thing that has changed me the most. I’ve learned so much and I still have much to learn. I hope I never stop learning. I’m grateful for people like Gerald Wolfe, Bill Gaither, Tracy Stuffle and many others who have invested in my life and career. I’ve had amazing mentors!
AS: Finally, share with us a light-hearted moment from your time as a soloist.
JH: Light hearted moment? How about the time I forgot the words to a song that I wrote? Recently someone requested “Devil Can’t Dance” off my new album. I had never staged the song before and I ended up forgetting the entire second half of the second verse. It’s embarrassing when you forget the words to a song, but it’s humiliating when you forget the words to a song YOU CO-WROTE!
AS: What is the best way to contact or book Joseph Habedank?
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