Beyond the Song by Jantina Baksteen
For today’s Beyond the Song, I got in touch with Joseph Habedank. I talked with him about his new song out to radio, “Goliath,” from his latest album, “Deeper Ocean.” This is a powerful song that will speak to the hearts of many.
Jantina Baksteen: Joseph, you have been in gospel music all of your life. At what age was your stage debut to sing to a crowd?
Joseph Habedank: I started singing with my brothers when I was five years old. My middle brother, Nathan, was four and my baby brother, Tim, was three. We sang “He’s Still Working on Me,” at the First Baptist Church in Forest, Ohio.
JB: At the age of 17, you joined the Perrys. How did that get started?
JH: Kirk Talley actually heard me sing at my home church in Dayton, Ohio, and he gave the Perrys a CD of me at the Gatlinburg Gathering in 2003. They hired me one month later at the National Quartet Convention.
JB: Who approached you to join that popular family group?
JH: Daywind Records actually approached me first to see if I would be interested, and then Kirk reached out to me as well, but ultimately Tracy was the one who called me to see if I would want to try out with them.
JB: What wise lessons did you learn from your time with the Perrys?
JH: I think the biggest lesson I learned was to respect the people who come to see you. Tracy always told me that careers weren’t made on stage, but at the product table talking with the people. He would always say, “If you’ll be good them, they’ll be good to you.”
JB: You have an impressive testimony. I know for sure not all readers of SGNScoops are aware of that. Would you share with us your story again?
JH: After a few years with the Perrys, I developed an ulcer on the back of my throat that was so painful that I had to be given pain medication. In a few months time, I was addicted to prescription drugs and ultimately had to step down to get help in 2013. I went to a wonderful place called Cumberland Heights here in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Lord began to do a miracle in my life. Now I travel all over the country sharing my story and I will celebrate eight years of sobriety in May of 2021.
JB: After all you went through, God is blessing you in numerous ways. Could you share some of this?
JH: Yes, the Lord has truly been good to me. I never really expected my solo ministry to take off like it has, but I am so grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus. I’m amazed that he took my mess and made it into something beautiful.
JB: What is it like to travel with your wife on your side?
JH: It has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always easy, but we have a blast out on the road together. She actually grew up traveling and singing with her family, the Bentons, so this is not something new to her. I truly could not do what I do without her.
JB: How do you receive the words from God to to write such powerful lyrics?
JH: Well, I have a lot of help. Obviously, the Lord is paramount to my inspiration, but a lot of people don’t realize that I actually co-write all of my songs with other songwriters here in Nashville. They are the true craftsman and women. I am so grateful for the community of Christian songwriters.
JB: Is there a song out there you wish you had written?
JH: The first one that comes to my mind is a song called, “That’s What the Blood is For,” by Jason Crabb. It was written by Ronnie Freeman and Tony Wood, who ironically writes a lot of my songs with me now.
JB: Please tell us how your current song came to you, and how is the audience response?
JH: I had actually seen a preview for a television show called, “Goliath,” and although I had never seen it, I thought it would make a great title to a song. So, I took it to Sue Smith and Daniel Doss, and the song was born. I love watching the crowd when I get to the last line of the chorus that says, “I know my Goliath is coming down!”
JB: What is it like to write with names like Lee Black, Tony Wood, Jason Cox and so many more?
JH: It’s a great honor for me, but what’s even greater is that I get to call these songwriters my friends. They are not only some of the most talented people you will ever meet, but they are just great all-around people. As I said earlier, I am so grateful for my songwriter friends.
JB: What is ahead for you in 2021?
JH: Well, I’m getting ready to go into the studio to record my fourth mainline album with Daywind Records, and I truly believe this is the greatest batch of 10 songs that I have ever recorded. I feel like the messages in these songs is so important for the church and the world today. There are definitely some topics we tackled that haven’t been talked about much in music before. It should be out in the spring of 2021.
JB: What advice do you have for young singers/songwriters who want to follow their calling to be used in the gospel music industry?
JH: Make great relationships and never turn down an opportunity to serve the church with your talent. I feel these two things are the most vital. Also, be sure to attend workshops like Write About Jesus for songwriting. If you want to be a Southern gospel artist, check out the Steve Hurst School of Music or Stamps Baxter School of Music. IMMERSE is also a great resource for people interested in becoming a worship leader or a Christian artist in general.
JB: Is there an artist from the past you wished you had the chance to sit around the table with, and what would be the discussion?
JH: When it comes to gospel music, I think Kenny Hinson would be the one I’d most like to talk to about music and singing, but when it comes to songwriting, probably Rusty Goodman. As far as secular music is concerned, I’ve always been a bit enamored with the voice and career of Frank Sinatra. He was the greatest of all time, in my opinion.
JB: Have you ever made a trip to Europe? What country in Europe would you like to visit and why?
JH: I went to Ireland when I was a baby while my grandparents were missionaries there, but I obviously don’t remember it. I have always wanted to go to Italy for two simple reasons: 1. The suits/ties and 2. The food!
We hope you enjoy Joseph Habedank singing, “Goliath:”
Thank you, Joseph, for sharing your story and ministry with SGNScoops. May you be blessed through sharing your new recording in 2021 and through the mission of sharing the Gospel through song.
You can find Joseph Habedank on the web www.josephhabedank.com
Or on Facebook at Joseph Habedank Music.
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