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Catching Up with ...Brandon Heath

  • Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 8 Aug
  • COMMENTS
Catching Up with ...Brandon Heath
You've come a long way in a short time, from being an indie artist and writing for other artists to winning the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. Ho do you account for the rapid growth?Brandon Heath I'm not sure I can account for anything other than the fact that timing and prayer had a lot to do with it. I could attribute a lot of the credit to my first audience, which was Young Life kids at camps, mainly across the West coast. They demanded the music and I happily delivered!But it was Dan Muckala, one of my close friends in Nashville and now my producer, who was responsible for recording my first record and bringing it to a label. I think that was a huge step for me.It took a lot of belief, on many levels, for me to think that being a recording artist was the right step. It takes a lot of time and hard work to pull it off. I've been blessed with great people to help me with all that.Has winning the Dove expanded your audience or increased your recognition?Quick takes:

Where are you from originally?
Nashville, Tennessee

Favorite place you've traveled to?
Malibu Club in British Columbia, Canada

Best meal you prepare?
Roasted veggie lasagna

Pet peeve?
People who eat while they drive

Your most annoying habit?
I lose my keys constantly

What makes you laugh?
My friends

Your favorite web site?
The Drudge Report

Last good book you read?
Same Kind Of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent

Last good movie you saw?
The Dark Knight

Band/artist you're listening to the most right now?
The Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová of Once fame)

Band/artist that comes closest to your sound?
I honestly don't know!

Age you became a Christian?
16

Your favorite Bible verse?
1 John 4:7

Last lesson God taught you?
Don't put a matchbook in your pocket; it could catch on fire!

Heath I can't say that I can tell it has yet. It's just not something you can really measure on a quantitative scale. It's probably helped me gain some credibility—something that, unfortunately, you just need to have to succeed. But I've always known this is what I am supposed to do and I've been proud of the music and choices I've made. So winning that award was just extra credit! And that little sticker on the CD sure looks nice too: "New Artist of the Year."Do you have any specific techniques as far as songwriting?Heath My techniques aren't real complicated. Mostly it involves the people around me, whether that's co-writing or just being inspired by conversations with friends.This record involved a lot of co-writing, which was the reason I got into the music business in the first place. Growing up in Nashville, I used to go to the Bluebird Cafe and see these huge country writers collaborate together and share their songs with whoever showed up that night. I've never been too stingy with my songs. For me, the more collaboration, the merrier.When writing, I think I'm at my best in a room without windows, because sometimes I need the discipline to look inside myself rather than out the window.The best songs usually come within an hour or two.How were you able to whittle down the original batch of 40 songs to the collection's final 11?Heath Dan and I work closely together when it's time for the final song list and we go with our gut most of the time. I'll always love the ones that got left behind too, and who knows—they may make the next record.In what ways have you grown stylistically between 2006's Don't Get Comfortable and now What If We?Heath In the beginning of working on this new record, I didn't want to stray too far from the first one stylistically. My producer really has a lot to do with my "sound" and I focus more on the lyrical content of the songs on the record. I'm a songwriter more than a producer, though Dan gives me plenty of freedom to speak into the songs stylistically. In the end, I think we've come up with something further from the first record than initially planned. It's very "American" feeling, meaning that the big influences were Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty with a little bit of hip-hop beat here and a little country & western there. The electrics might even be a bit Aussie sounding, compliments of my friend and guitarist Adam Lester.Do you have a favorite track on the CD?Heath I think my favorite is "Love Never Fails"—I've always liked ballads a bit more than up-tempo songs because they have more feeling to them. It was written with my friend Chad Cates from when we were in a Bible study together, and the focus of that group was 1 Corinthians 13. We dissected it for like 12 weeks, and it ended up impacting me on so many more levels, not just in understanding romantic love, but also loving in a more practical, everyday way. We are called to love the world, and [this passage] is about how it shouldlook.Is there an overall theme to the album that you hope listeners will take away?Heath I hope the title and the songs will challenge people to think about possibilities.The cool thing about knowing Jesus and knowing that God hears our prayers and desires is that he brings those things to fruition. If you seek his name, nothing is out of reach. So dream as big as you want; if it pleases him, it will be so.Read more about Brandon Heath by visiting our site's artist page. You can read our review of What If We by clicking here. Go to Christianbook.com to listen to song clips and purchase Heath's music© Andy Argyrakis, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.