I have had the privilege of watching Christian Heath grow as a musician, and first interviewed him in 2016.
I have watched him work hard to hone his craft; his songwriting, his style, and to perfect himself as a musician in this very competitive industry.
He is definitely one musician who takes his work seriously and doesn’t take it for granted.
Four years later, since that very first interview, while his style, songwriting and image have grown, one thing remains the same, and that is the humility and hard work that he puts into his music.
Christian Heath has just released his brand new album “Here I Am”.
Your songwriting has developed and grown and you seem to have found the Christian Heath style and sound.
Take me through your songwriting journey and how you have now honed your sound?
“Since arriving in Johannesburg in 2009, I have always been the type of artist to write about love, relationships and failure, hence my “Breaking Ground” album.
However, my songwriting took a turn when the band formed and working with different songwriters things changed. Instead of one opinion and one direction, I had 4 other opinions, other thoughts and ideas and so the direction and my message changed.
After the bands departure I went through a phase of finding myself and experimented with a few songs that would be sent to radio and actually do pretty well; charting in the Eastern Cape and playing on most stations country wide which helped with my decision of a direction I wanted to go in. Those tracks revealed my weaknesses, as well as the positive points of my songwriting with regards to melody, production and direction hence the new album titled “Here I Am”, which is a bit more pop sounding.”
With you new album HERE I AM, what has been the intention behind it; is there a running theme, running style, message…?
“I went to Mark Beling, the producer of the album, and told him that “Christian Heath“ has always been about “Love” in essence and it’s always been a strong point which can make the audience relate to different scenarios in their personal capacity. However sound wise I wanted to modernise most of the tracks, but at the same time make the melodies more catchy and funky so they wouldn’t shy away from the dance floor as well as a crossover from my Pop/Rock days to completely pop. I also wanted to show a different side to my voice and challenge myself vocally on this album. So, this album is about me going back to my roots of writing love songs.”
If someone had to ask you to play one song from the album that best represents the album, what would it be and why?
“Great question, huge question ha ha ha ha.
I think it would the opening track entitled “Mine”.
The song is about doing anything to get to the person you love, whether it be moving the stars and planets just to be with that person or breaking down barriers to be with them, nothing will keep you apart. “That’s Love”.”
You went to the USA for various reasons very recently – in that short space of time, what did you learn and bring back to apply in your music in South Africa?
“Firstly, the USA is a buzz and you can easily get lost in it. They are all about the next big artist; what is new hip and happening, and making a noise in the industry and it’s just hustle hustle hustle.
One thing the Americans get right is that they make a statement everywhere they go and that’s what I want to do, to the best of my ability. They make things bigger and louder and that is my aim for this album – to really make a statement. I still have big dreams and I want to make my shows even bigger and better so that people can experience the album and the message that I am delivering, so that it would make it an unforgettable experience.”
You have worked hard in this industry, if you could give your younger self; the person just starting in this industry, any advice what would it be?
“I think I would tell myself to focus on what I like to write about, what my message is about and never drift away from that. Stay true to who I am and don’t let people dictate what you should sound like and act like.”
If you would work with any musician, songwriter, producer, etc… who would it be and why?
“It would have to be either Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Ryan Tedder (One Republic) or Chad Kroeger (Nickelback)
Simple because they are all great songwriters, amazing producers and their melodies and compositions are just good. Their hooks are amazing and the deliveries of every song they write are just spot on, in my opinion.”
Trapped on a desert island and you can only take one album with you to listen to, what would it be?
“Nickelback -Here I am
Just so you know, artists don’t do albums anymore. Only bananas like me do – ha ha ha.”
“Here I Am” is out now across all digital platforms – https://ffm.to/hereiam
For the earlier interview with Christian: