MUSIC BUZZ: Deitrick Haddon: "We're Losing a Generation of People"
Friday, April 29, 2011 at 9:52AM
EEW BUZZ EDITORS in Deitrick Haddon Church on the moon, Music, New Albums, christian music, contemporary gospel, gospel artists, gospel interviews, gospel music, gospel radio, secular music, the future of gospel music, traditional music

 

In an insightful interview, Deitrick Haddon chatted with Singersroom.com about his new CD, "Church on the Moon," and why gospel music is losing its relevance to millions of young people. "You should be able to play my record next to Drake, Rihanna, Lil Wayne or whoever else," says Haddon, referencing some of today's most popular artists. But he makes one thing clear... the message of the gospel must never change.

On working with wife, Damita:

Oh she’s my better half – we are one. She thinks just the way I think so I can literally turn her loose on a song and she’ll just write. She’ll write the whole song if I don’t stop her [Laughs] and then it will come out the exact way I wanted to articulate it. That’s the beautiful thing about having a soul-mate and having someone who really knows what you’re trying to accomplish and convey.

On traditional versus contemporary gospel:

I think it’s important to keep the music relevant. When you think about gospel music you don’t equate that with relevancy. You think of the old sound – Shirley Caesar, Mahalia Jackson and the old traditional sound. You even have young artists in gospel music that are still producing that old sound because that’s what we’ve made them to believe that gospel music should sound like. To me, you can’t put God’s music in a box and say that’s the way it’s supposed to sound. It’s almost as if you put yourself in a time machine and you miss so many young people because they are disconnected because that’s not the sound this generation can relate to. It’s important to me that my music stays relevant – the beats have to be hotter than anybody out there. You should be able to play my record next to Drake, Rihanna, Lil Wayne or whoever else.  I love fresh sounding contemporary hip-hop music, so it’s going to reflect in my presentation of whatever I do. It’s important to me to keep the message in there because I want to help people. I use the beat to lock them in but I put that message in there to help them build their lives. We’ve lost a lot of fans in gospel music overall because we refuse to stay relevant. The only way to really connect is to put out something they can really get with which is hot beats and a crazy hook. I don’t see why you can’t have hot beats and a crazy hook in gospel music.

On respecting gospel music:

We have to respect our own genre the way other people respect our genre. We don’t know just how much people appreciate our music. We think because we’re gospel singers that we should be in the back or something, I don’t know. But people respect those who are bold enough to share their beliefs and their faith. I think the one thing we need to do is start respecting ourselves and stop making ourselves second choice and change our mentality about our genre. Number two, I think our program directors on all these radio stations need to change up their style to connect with the generation now to be relevant. We’re playing this old music and young people are not listening to it anymore – I’m not even listening to it anymore and I love gospel music. When I turn on the radio I want to hear something that’s connecting with something right now in society and in the world today. If you’re trying to take me back to those old days then I will turn it off.

 

Deitrick Haddon embraces a perspective more in line with what EEW MAGAZINE BUZZ editors believe. There is nothing wrong with a contemporary sound, as long as the message of the gospel is going out to the world. Being modern and relevant in our approach is crucial to converting young people who are deep into hip hop and pop culture. But, if we lose the potency of our message, the hot beats and hooks don't have the power to save souls.

Interesting interview. You can read the rest at singersroom.com.

 

Article originally appeared on News from a faith-based perspective (http://buzz.eewmagazine.com/).
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