Singer/songwriter Nathan Sheridan has released his debut album Broken With You, distributed by New Day Christian Distributors (physical) and Capitol CMG (digital). Featuring 11 songs written or co-written by Sheridan, the collection draws from the young artist's powerful life story of overcoming profound adversity and loss.
Sheridan was born in Pensacola, Florida, to parents dealing with addiction. Raised by his grandparents in Pearl River, Louisiana, during his childhood Sheridan tragically lost his older sister to brain cancer. He made a commitment to Christ when he was 14, and upon high school graduation enlisted in the National Guard where he served six years. While deployed in Kuwait, Sheridan led worship for fellow soldiers, providing a foundation that impacts his ministry today. Sheridan and his wife, Harley, live near Nashville.
Q: Nathan, thanks for doing this interview with us. My heart breaks just reading your biography. For the sake of our readers, tell us briefly about your childhood with your parents.
My childhood with my biological parents was brief. From the time I was born they were addicts and unfit to raise me and my sister. I can honestly say I have no good memories of being with them. My mother and father were both abusive to one another and addicted to several different types of drugs. It all came to a climax when my mother sold everything in our home for drug money. My father came home and saw what she had done, and they had a big fight and he left. Later on, my mother called my grandmother and told her to come get my sister and me or she was taking us to the police station. I didn't see my mother again for 11 years.
Q: What was it like living with your grandparents? Are they Christians?
My grandparents always did the best they could to raise my sister and me, even though they were in a tough situation. They are Christians who took us to church and instilled godly values in us. When my sister was sick with cancer my grandparents had to deal with one of the toughest situations they could deal with. Things really got hard after my sister passed away. Suddenly I became an only child and was navigating this huge grief with my grandparents. I had a rebellious stage during my teenage years and I think it was linked to the trauma of my past, as well as losing my sister. But honestly, I love my grandparents more than anything. They are my rock and we have a great relationship today. They are so proud of me and have been constant role models of what it means to be a Christian, even when life is tough.
Q: How then did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian at 14 when I attended a play called "Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames." It was super eye-opening because it was really the first time I was faced with the reality that one day my life would be over and I would pass away from this earth. I knew I wanted to go to Heaven, so I knew I needed to make the decision to follow Christ. For a long time, I had assumed I was a Christian because I was a good person and went to church. But I realized that was a mistake because I never truly gave my life to Christ. That night, the Gospel was preached in such a way that was offensive and made me uncomfortable. But it was only offensive and uncomfortable because it made me look at my sin. It was a true conviction. I couldn't leave that night without making that decision.
Q: How did the Lord guide you into music ministry?
At 15 I was given my first guitar and I began learning chords. Later on, people encouraged me to start a youth band. We ended up getting our feet wet playing some different church camps over the next year or two, but that soon came to an end when I graduated from high school and joined the Army National Guard. After basic training I picked up the guitar again and lead a few worship services at chapel while attending advanced training in Ft. Gordon, Georgia. After I finished advanced training I was received into my unit back in Louisiana and they told me that I was deploying to Kuwait in the next few months. That came as a pretty huge shock to me, as I wanted to go to college and spend time with my girlfriend Harley (who is now my wife), but God had other plans. I went into the deployment thinking that I would simply be a radio specialist, but I ended up getting connected with the local chapel and leading worship there. It was one of the first times I felt God was truly using me and that there was purpose in what I was going through. I saw so many soldiers come to Christ and lives changed through the services on our base-to be a part of that was amazing.
Once I got back from my deployment my friend Luke DuFour wanted to get me in the studio and cut some demos. We ended up making an acoustic album which was heard by some people in Nashville and they invited me to a local conference. Through that conference I got a management deal and had the opportunity to cut a professional EP in the studio with Jeremy Holderfield of Seventh Day Slumber. Shortly after cutting that EP, I moved to the Nashville area and was invited to join the "Small Town America Tour." That's where I met Joseph Rojas of Seventh Day Slumber and found out he was starting a record label. Ultimately, he decided to sign me as the first artist on Burtonwood Records.
I believe this was all a Divinely orchestrated process-God had these things planned out for me from the beginning. Music was never something I grew up with and it was never something I thought I would do. But here I am doing it and I really can't say that it's been by my own power. The opportunities I've been given are things some artists work tirelessly for years to get. There have been some really tough times when I wasn't sure if I could do this, but God has shown me time and time again how faithful He is. He has always opened doors and made a way for me in the music industry. He's given me a platform to share my testimony night after night. He's done this for me so that I can share the Gospel with others and be a light during some really dark times.
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
I think I keep it relatively diverse. I try not to put myself In a box. My new record has a range of styles, including funk, CCM, worship and folk. I don't want to put limits on myself and I hope that will help keep my sound really fresh. I draw inspiration from so many different styles of music and want to do a little bit of everything. I hope my fans will understand and appreciate that. My main goal is to keep sharing a godly message and to share my testimony about what God has done. I don't think that message is limited to a certain style or sound.
Q: Many of these songs on this record must have reflected your upbringing and your past. If you have to choose one song that best captures your life and healing, which would it be? And why?
I think "Broken With You" is probably the song that best reflects the things I've felt as a result of my past. While it addresses my initial feelings of bitterness, unforgiveness and not being able to trust God because of what other people did to me, it ultimately deals with my path of personal healing and being able to forgive my mother. I had a lot of anger towards her, especially when she tried to make her way back into my life after not seeing me for over a decade. But after writing "Broken With You" I felt a weight lift of my shoulders. I needed to write that song, to just let it all out and give it to God.
The song is for anyone who has been through something similar. If anyone or anything has ever caused you to be bitter, angry or unforgiving, then this is for you. But the song is also about the fact that we are never alone, even in our brokenness. God's still there loving us through it. He wants to heal us from these things if we just give Him the chance.
Q: What words of hope do you have for people who have been broken like you had been?
God is still right there. He still has a plan for you regardless of your situation. We are not defined by our circumstances. Our identities are not made up of our mistakes and failures. They aren't made up of the things that other people have done to us that left us broken and hopeless. Our identity should be in Christ and Him alone. Give it all to Him and just know that He is faithful, and He will give you the peace and joy you so desperately need. Know that He IS God. He is a healing God and He loves you. He never stopped loving you and He never will. You will get through this. All you have to do is let God work through you and begin that healing process.