As early as five years old while growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Steve Ladd felt the call of God to minister through song. The son of an evangelist, the youngster would mature to become one of the most well-liked and respected group member for some of America's most award-winning Christian music ensembles like Gold City and The Anchormen. Although still considered a young artist, Ladd has spent the last four years traveling extensively both domestically and internationally. Performing inspirational songs like "Preach the Word" has become a personal anthem of encouragement Ladd takes wherever he goes and he reports "God moves and lives that are broken and hurting are leaving changed and encouraged at my services."
Ladd's newest non-seasonal project "On My Own" was produced by award winning co-producers Michael Sykes and Michael English, and is a power-house of music for all tastes. And although the last few years Ladd has been nominated for "New Artist of the Year," has had two Top 40 Singles, toured with Gaither Vocal Band member Michael English and is featured with the Stamps Quartet on Alan Jackson's newest "Precious Memories" CD, he feels most used when working with Candy Christmas' Bridge Ministry to the Homeless on Tuesday nights in the Nashville area. Steve, his wife and two children are also ministry partners with Compassion International.
Now he has released "A Christmas Hymn," his debut Christmas record. We are so honored to be able to catch up with Steve Ladd for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Congratulations on the release of your Christmas album "A Christmas Hymn." You have been quoted of saying that you don't want this album to be about Santa or Rudolph or Frosty. Rather, all of the songs on the album are about Jesus. Why did you take such a stance?
Thank you! My fans have asked for the last couple years for a Christmas album and I hope they're pleased! When the opportunity came up for me to do this album, I jumped! The world NEEDS to be reminded of why we (as Christians) celebrate Christmas. So, from start to finish, the album is all about Christ's birth.
Hallels: Do you then think it's wrong for Christian artists to sing about Santa or Rudolph or Frosty?
No...I've sung those songs my whole life. My children know every word to Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty. We live in America, and thats a tradition here. But, if we're not careful, we can make the day (and the days leading up to it) more about the "stuff" and less about Christ's birth.
Hallels: On this new album, I believe it's just your voice and piano, why did you choose such an intimate approach to the project?
Very intimate! I've never done a recording so raw and simple. Some of these songs, I've never sang. When I read the lyrics, I was like WOW! There's so much meaning and depth. I think the simplicity, with just my voice and piano, helps the listener avoid being distracted by glorious orchestras and background music. So, the stories in the song's jump out and you get drawn in to what the song means.
Hallels: With so many Christmas carols and hymns to choose from, was it difficult to narrow down your song choices?
A good friend of mine had the idea and I ran with it. There are so many carols and hymns out there, but I feel some of these are the "least sung". It makes it fresh to the listener while still being old standards. If that makes sense. :)
Hallels: What was the most rewarding aspect of making this Christmas album?
I'd say the most rewarding aspect of doing this album was learning the words. Like I said before. I've heard these songs, but never sung some of them. When I started listening to the words...the emotion...the passion. I tried to convey the same in my delivery. I hope that the listener can feel that.
Hallels: Speaking of Christmas, what does Christmas means to you?
I come from a very humble upbringing. So, I've never been a big "I want this" type of guy. I have, however, (since my children have come along) been guilty of making the day so fun with presents and gifts that it overshadows the true meaning. This year is going to be different! Now... there will be gifts. But, we are going back to basics and making the day more about the birth of our savior! I think God will honor that.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase "A Christmas Hymn" or/and find out more about you, where can they go?
It releases Nov 18th, but preorders are now available on iTunes with an instant download! They can download it here: https://itunes.apple.cpm/us/album/a-christmas-hymn/id934479830 or order directly from my website www.steveladdmusic.com on Nov. 18th.
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