Joseph Habedank is a multi award-winning and Dove Award nominated singer/songwriter. He was awarded Singing News Magazine's Young Artist of the Year in 2009 and Songwriter of the Year (Artist) at the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards in 2011. His songs have been recorded by such artists as: Gold City, Brian Free & Assurance, Karen Peck & New River, Lauren Talley, The Hoppers, The Kingsmen, Ivan Parker, Jeff & Sheri Easter, and more. He has helped write two nationally charted number one songs and in 2010, "If You Knew Him" (written with Rodney Griffin) was nominated for Southern Gospel Song of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards and won the Singing News Fan Award for Song of the Year.
Habedank has just released his brand new album "Welcome Home" on Daywind Records. We are so honored to catch up with him for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: You are a prolific writer who has written songs for almost everyone in Southern Gospel music from the Perrys to Karen Peck and New River, Lauren Talley, the Hoppers, Jeff and Sheri Easter and many others, how many songs do you normally write in a month?
Well, thank you for saying that. I'm always so honored when another artist chooses to record a song I have written or co-written. As for the quantity, it varies, to be honest, but on average I would say I write anywhere from 3-5 songs a month.
Hallels: When you write a song, how do you decide whether or not you want to keep it for yourself or send it over to Lauren Talley or somebody else?
I know a lot of writers who have such a knack for writing with a particular artist in mind. Unfortunately, I don't consider myself a writer who has that gift. I typically just try to write the best song I can and then pitch it to numerous artists to see where it lands. Unless, of course, it's something that I really want to say as an artist... in this instance, I will hang on to it for an upcoming release of my own.
Hallels: For some time you were with the Perrys, now you have left and started your own solo career. Why such a change?
Well, it wasn't an easy change, that's for sure, but God proved once again how faithful and gracious He is. When I came off the road last year, I really wasn't sure what I was going to do. I just knew I needed some time off to reflect on my spiritual walk with the Lord and it proved to be very beneficial in numerous areas of my life. When I finally felt like it was time for me to start singing again, my wife and I prayed about it, and this was an obvious path the Lord wanted us to take. I have such a peace in my life and I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything.
Hallels: Let's talk about your new Daywind release "Welcome Home," what is (are) the take home message(s) you want your fans to grasp after listening to this album?
The biggest thing I want to convey to the listener is that there is always hope in Jesus. No matter how far you've strayed or how far gone you feel you are, Jesus is the Answer and The One true constant. I want the listener to feel the grace and mercy of a forgiving Savior when listening to this record. I really feel like this album has something for everyone. It is as diverse as the family of God.
Hallels: Of the songs you have written for this new record, can you pick two of them you are most proud of?
The Beauty of the Blood and When the Lights Go Down are the two most personal songs to me on the record, however, trying to choose a favorite song you have written is like trying to choose your favorite child. They are all special to me for many different reasons and I'm so proud of the messages in each of these songs.
Hallels: You have also sang a duet with Amber Nelon Thompson on her new EP, what other projects are you involved in? Will there be any of your songs appearing in any upcoming release?
I have a new hymns album that I am working on right now with my wife, Lindsay, and I also just sang on an instrumental album for Legacy Five pianist, Trey Ivey, with Taranda Greene and Amber Nelon Thompson. I'm always so grateful to get to be a part of another artist's album, whether it means singing or writing something on their record. I just love this music, I believe in it and I want it to be the best it can be.
Hallels: You have a really powerful song on the new album called "When the Lights Go Down," which speaks of not living for the glamour of human's applause and human securities. What then is your security and reason for doing what you are doing?
As trite as it might sound, if I have the favor and touch of the Lord, I can go home every week a happy man. Sure, there is still quite a bit of people pleaser still left in me, I think we all want to be liked, but at the end of the day, It's all about God's approval and blessing. Followed closely by the acceptance of my wife, Lindsay. She is a wonderful advisor and has such wisdom for a young woman. I am honored to be called her husband.
Hallels: Finally, for our readers who would like to purchase "Welcome Home" or find out more about you, where can they go?
There are several ways. If you'd like to purchase the album, you can find it on iTunes: iTunes - Music - Welcome Home by Joseph Habedank and you can keep in touch with me via Facebook (fb.com/JosephHabedankMusic) or Twitter (@JosephHabedank). Or you can visit our website:JosephHabedank.com to see when we will be in your area or how you can book me at your upcoming event. You can find all the social networking and iTunes info on the website as well. Thanks so much for taking time to chat with me!