Daniel Johnson is a lead vocalist in the group New Breed. At the age of 33, Daniel has 16 years of experience singing professionally. Daniel’s first professional musical foray was with the legendary Pastor Andrae Crouch at 17. As part of the Andrae Crouch singers, Daniel toured the country and sang on the road for years. A testament to God’s divine timing and providence, Daniel’s connection with Pastor Crouch would lead Daniel to the next season of his ministry. Israel Houghton was doing a recording session for his ‘Real’ CD and the producer requested the Andrae Crouch singers to sing on the project. After the sessions concluded, Israel approached Daniel about joining Israel and New Breed. “I love your heart, I love your spirit, and you can sing. I love that about you, so what would it take for you to come on the road with my group.” Daniel says of his New Breed experience, “The experience has been great. I’ve learned so much and gained so much. I have given what I did not expect to give, aside from giving vocally. New Breed requires so much more than that, a requirement for New Breed is serving faithfully at our local churches. It forced me to serve more at my church, so I would know better how to serve while on the road.”
Daniel lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and their two children. He currently serves under Pastor Hart Ramsey as a worship leader for Northview Christian Center in Dothan, Alabama.
Andre: How is it managing family life, ministry, and being an artist?
Daniel: I just left the church I was music director at in April 2012. It was a cool balance being the minister of music and family. I must admit I slacked a little bit in my family commitments. My son plays football, he’s a defensive end and I missed a lot of the games. I have learned not to accept engagements so that I can be around for his games. He did not seem to mind, but sometimes he has said ‘I wish daddy was here’. And that definitely hits me in the heart. My daughter just likes to have her ‘daddy time’ in the morning when I wake up. As far as my marriage, when I’m on the road for an extended period of time, coming home is great. A tradition has quietly started that my wife usually picks me up from the airport and when I get home we just sit on the couch and catch up for about a hour. In the meanwhile, my kids are running around and telling me what’s going on with them.
Any situation I go into now, especially as it pertains to church, they understand my family comes first and then my on the road ministry and the church. I make sure I have a balance and have things mapped out, with singers and band members.
Andre: How do you feel about your first solo album? What, if anything, would you like to see differently on the second album?
Daniel: My dad sang quartet music and sang soprano. He listened to Mighty Clouds of Joy, Jackson Southernaires, Canton Spirituals, and other quartet groups. So I got used to that, so the soulful tone over the album was really dedicated to him. I like D’Angelo, Al Green, Musiq Soulchild, so I like that sound, just in gospel. I have two guitarists throughout the whole album, one on each side going at it. They are from California and are amazing. The second record is more of a worship record, recorded live in Houston, Texas on November 30th. The title of the record is ‘Go’, and we are looking for an April/May release. The single should be hitting around late February/March.
Andre: Do you write a lot?
Daniel: Everything on ‘You Make Me’ I wrote and everything on the second record I wrote. I have written some stuff with Aaron Lindsey on Marvin Sapp’s project. I have written for George Huff, Darius Rucker, Dewayne Woods, and some others.
Andre: How do you think you can improve vocally or musically overall?
Daniel: I need to pace myself. I get excited and I get myself going and pushing my voice. By the end of the night, sometimes I end up being hoarse. So, I think I need a few vocal lessons definitely to learn how to control my breathing, range, and opening up. I sing from the throat a lot, so it is kind of bad. I have learned a little bit to control it, because I had no other choice. The church I used to lead at had service at 8am, 10am, and 12 noon. I had to learn to let the audience sing. Thus, I have learned where to sing and where to scale back.
Andre: How do you define ministry? And what is in store for Daniel Johnson in 2013?
Daniel: I believe ministry is taking that thing God has anointed you with and reaching the nations with it. Whatever it may be, do it unto the Lord. We all have something that we are anointed to do. And in 2013, the new record ‘Go’ should be released around April or May. We are presently in the process of editing it and doing the overdubs. The hard part is cutting down the whole two and half hours down to around 70 minutes. In the midst of the recording, there were so many great moments and reprises. We are also working on putting together a DVD for the recording.