Deitrick Haddon' Talks 'Masterpiece' Album, 'Preachers Of L.A.' Return: Interview
Known for his stint on the popular Bravo reality show, Preachers of L.A., Deitrick Haddon has seemingly done it all. He's a preacher, reality star, family man, and award-winning gospel singer. Now, he has a new album Masterpiece on the way for Nov. 6.
Haddon has opened up to Music Times about what the definition of Masterpiece means to him and his fearless experiment with modern beats while delivering the message of Christ through his lyrics. Although, he does admit he's not pastoring a particular church, he says he uses entertainment as his preaching pulpit, which may seem unorthodox, yet very effective at the same time.
Music Times: What inspired you to name the album Masterpiece?
Deitrick Haddon: I'm calling the album Masterpiece, not because I'm saying it is the greatest album that will ever be produced. I'm not saying that; I'm not that arrogant. I'm saying that the good, the bad, the ugly, the ups and downs and the highs and lows the victories in your life the failures, the betrayals, the joy the pain... it's all going to culminate to be something beautiful at the end of the day. I believe that according to the Bible, that all things work together for good of them that love the lord and call each other's purpose. I want to one day and look back and say this was a Masterpiece what God was doing in my life was a Masterpiece.
MT: In the song "Be Like Jesus," you actually go into the criticism you've received starring in the Bravo reality show Preachers Of L.A. Why did you decide to address this show on your album?
DH: The show was big. It was pop culture. It became massive, millions of people tuned in. But before the actual first episode of Preachers of L.A. people just went off, I mean just based on the trailer alone and just didn't give us the time of day. They already ran us down, they knew they were going to watch it they watched it to try to criticize us but once they watched it they realized like this is really deep, it's really motivating me and giving me insight on a preachers life and I experience that a lot.
That's actually happened to me several times, not just one time. So, this lady said "Are you that preacher from L.A." and I said, "yes ma'am is everything okay?" And she said "Come over here, I've got something to say, you shouldn't be on TV acting that way." I said, "Woah you better not be fake, or act like I don't make mistakes, sorry ma'am I'm not cut that way, I've got to keep it 100 all day" and then I added a little twist. "Your attitude is worse than mine you should be more kind and if you want people to come to your church we all got to do some work to be like Jesus."
I think it's important I want people to know that that nobody's perfect, nobody. If you find the perfect man please introduce me to him because I would love to have an in-depth conversation with him. I mean the last person I knew that was perfect was Jesus Christ himself, and people need to realize that preachers we're human beings just like anybody else, gospel singers we have the same issues. We have to fight through the same stuff like anybody else. The only difference is that we have chosen to try our destine to walk at a higher calling, so maybe we can inspire people and encourage them and preach to inspire people and to help them.
MT: How hard was it to pick the final 16 tracks for this album?
DH: It was very hard, because I recorded about 50 songs and I wanted all 50 on the album. We thought about putting out another album a few months after this, like an extension of this Masterpiece record, so that's in the works because I recorded so many good songs to tell the story of the journey.
So, when people listen to it I wanted them to experience the journey, the musical rollercoaster, I wanted them to feel the different seasons of life. So, I opened the record with the song "Masterpiece" cause it kind of just lays the foundations of what I'm talking about so people wouldn't be confused about the message just right off the bat. Then, I go in depth and with "Sinners" when I was all messed up, and then I did a song called "Running" that speaks of a season that I was in when I was in when I was actually running from my calling, when I quit and I said I'm not going to do it anymore. That's where you get the song running then it brings you up to "Be Like Jesus" where I'm saying, "Okay I'm trying my best to be like Jesus. I may fall short but I'm doing the best I can." We're all trying to be like Jesus. If you go through the whole, listen to the lyrical content and just really pay attention to it it'll take you on a journey.
MT: How do you balance family because now you have three kids. Like you said you have a seven week old, you're preaching and singing? Is it hard to do all of it at once?
DH: No, when you have a good woman on your side, right side, you can do anything, Dominique is amazing she's really a blessing and an angel really to my life and to my children she's the greatest mother ever and for her to be so young she's like she has an old soul and I believe she gets it from her mother. But she's a wonderful mother and a wonderful wife and she gives me the freedom to go out there and do what I do.
MT: How is your relationship with other pastors on the show?
DH: Well I just want to say that the show did wonders for all of us, contrary to people's belief out there. They think that the shows just laying us all down and just messed us all up and nobody wants to hear us preach or sing anymore, whoever's putting that message out that's completely wrong. The show has definitely raised my awareness as a gospel singer and as a preacher all of the pastors they're just filled to capacity and people are just begging for us to come back for season 3 and we're just enjoying the break. But the preachers we're all cool.
Ron Gibson called me yesterday really out of the blue; I hadn't heard from him in a minute he called me yesterday and we chopped it up and he asked me if I was willing to do it again, season 3, and I told him let's sit down and talk about it. I've got so much going on now, I'm producing more TV shows but you know I may do it again because I believe in it I believe that it's important for people to see the other side of ministry I think it's important for people to see the human side of preachers and gospel singers right you can't beautify us we're human beings like everyone else only difference is we've decided to try our best to submit to a divine call and when you try to do that you will fall short because it's such a high calling you know so it just comes with the territory.
MT: There's so many modern sounds on your album. Are you aiming to reach a certain group?
DH: No, no you know I'm just making sure the music is relevant to what's happening in the culture, you know, generations is a group of young people who experience the same thing at the same time. You know we're all experiencing the trap sound and we're all experiencing what's happening right now, and if you want to be relevant in the culture, you have to be willing to take your music there a little bit and infuse something so you can stay relevant.
There's somebody here walking around wearing bell bottoms and afros, we look at them like they're crazy it's not the culture. We're not there; that's back in the '60s and '70s, so you have to be relevant. It's important to me so that you can play my music right next to anybody's music you will hear on the radio period and there is no drop off, as matter of fact, it's better than anybody else's.
For so long, we didn't invest in the production of our music in gospel because it was all about Jesus. It's all we got the lyrics preaching the gospel with hand, but we missed the mark when it comes to production. So I'm not really trying to reach any particular group. I'm just doing what I like. I listen to all types of music, I listen to country music, I listen to rock I listen to hip-hop, I listen to trap. I listen to anything and if there's something that I like, I'll infuse it in my music but I'll make it me though it'll definitely be Deitrick.
You'll hear some influences in my music now but I'm very aware of my audience. I have a wide range of supporters -- I don't want to call them fans. If you go to my concerts you have kids doing the "Nae Nae" and "Whippin'" and whatever and then you'll see some mother, some 60-year-old somewhere, just dancing in the back just snapping her fingers in the back with her kids. So, you know to come to my concert is like an entire family experience and they're aware of that and that's why you hear the musical journey on my album that's where you get the beats on "Masterpiece" and "Sinners" and "Running" and then I give you that bounce on "Be Like Jesus."
A video posted by Deitrick HAddon (@dhaddy) on Oct 27, 2015 at 4:17pm PDT
MT: Are you actively preaching now? Even with your album out, you're probably really busy...
DH: How can I explain this... I'm not pastoring a particular church right now, but I'm always preaching. You know the preacher never leaves you, pastoring is a call you have to be somewhere stable and you have to be stable in your mind and your spirit to pastor people because you have to be there for people to marry people, bury people. It's like marrying somebody when you decide to pastor a particular church and a particular group of people the congregation expect you to be there.
Right now, my ministry is more geared towards entertainment. I'm using the entertainment platform to get the message of Jesus Christ out there like Preachers of L.A. is one of my shows, I'm one of the executive producers of the show, I'm actually the creator of the show, the whole idea came through me. So that's my way, people may say that's not how you minister the people. Yes, it is a very unorthodox way to reach people that may not come to your church but they'll watch you be there on TV. So I'm making a movie right now and I have two more TV shows that's dropping in 2016 and this will be announcing soon.
MT: What do you want your fans to gain from it after they listen to it?
DH: I want people to know to keep moving that's what I want people to just keep moving. You're going to make mistakes it's impossible for you to live this life and don't fail or don't make a mistake if you keep living you're going to experience failure you won't appreciate your victories until you understand failure. So, I want them to be encourage, I want them to be motivated, I want this to be the music when they get down and I don't feel like just waking up today I just want to stay in bed and I want them to be able to turn over and play this music and it just get them up like you know like we're all sinners saved by grace so get over it keep moving.
When people hear this I just want them to know this is some music it's like medicine and you know it gets you up and gets you going and helps you to move past your weaknesses.