An Interview with Gospel Singer Damita Haddon
by Lin Woods
NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) AUGUST 29, 2008–Damita Haddon has been on the gospel recording scene for over a decade. Although many know her from her Stellar Award winning work with the Voices of Unity and from singing with her husband, Deitrick Haddon, she is a force to be reckoned with and highly respected in gospel. I recently talked with her about her latest CD, No Looking Back (Tyscot). This is what she shared.
Lin: Your parents were both in ministry. Were they strict on you?
Damita: My parents were both preachers and pastors. Gospel was all I remember hearing in the house, from James Cleveland and Shirley Caesar to the O’Neal Twins. We were a musical family; and it was just church and music. I remember running around the house picking up records, brushes and combs and singing into them when my mom would play a record.
Lin: Who did you listen to that has influenced your musical style?
Damita: The Clark Sisters, Rance Allen, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Sting, Celine Dion, Cold Play and The Winans.
Lin: How did you meet your husband Deitrick and end up singing with the Voices of Unity Choir, which earned you a Stellar Award in 2006?
Damita: We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend in high school. During my senior year in high school I started going over to his church. We started singing together in the choir and traveling together. We’ve been married for twelve years now.
Lin: When did you get your professional break as an artist?
Damita: In the 1990s my twin sister Margarita and I formed Adoration and Praise; an all girl a cappella group. We were invited to sing at the president of TM Records’ birthday party. We didn’t even know this guy had a record label. Immediately after we sang, he asked us if we were interested in signing a deal and recording on his label. And within a couple of months we were in the studio. Our first release was Time Is Running Out.
Lin: Besides singing with Voices of Unity, who else have you sung with and what else have you done?
Damita: I went on the road with Rance Allen and The Clark Sisters. I also performed in a lot of plays. Aretha Franklin heard me sing at one of them and asked me to become one of her singers. So I traveled with the “Queen of Soul” as a background singer.
Lin: No Looking Back is your second solo project, the first was on Atlantic. Who worked with you on this one?
Damita: My brother-in-law Gerald Haddon and I produced the majority of this record. My entire career I’ve been used to working with my husband. We write and produce everything together, but this time around I had to do it on my own. It was very scary for me. So I called Gerald in Los Angeles and I went to work with him in L.A. for about three months. I wrote the majority of the record along with him and his wife Tammi.
Lin: Can you describe the music on it?
Damita: It’s universal and youthful. I think that our young people really need this right now. We really need to get their attention. They are faced with so much temptation and if we don’t do something that makes them feel special, that moves and motivates them, somebody else will. And I’m hoping No Looking Back will bring a fresh innovative new sound to Gospel and set a tone and a foundation for Urban Contemporary sounds and uplift souls. I want to be one of the etching stones paving the way for the next generation that may be even a little bit more outrageous than me!
NEWS SOURCE: THE URBAN NETWORK