In a recent press release, you were quoted as saying: “While life’s experiences may be hard, it’s those experiences that make us who we are and make life worth living.” What recent experience do you think has been very transformative in your personal or professional life?
The aha moment? Well, I spent a great deal of 2009 in legal battles with my label trying to get them to release the album Unmistakable. The album was technically complete in 2007 and was originally scheduled for release in October of 2007. But it was put on the back shelf and back burner and it really was taking a toll on my touring — you tour with a new record — and now it’s been five years since my last record. It was a really sad time for me. It was like, “Here’s my one gift. This is the way that I make a living. This is all I’ve known since I was a kid, is singing.” Since I was a kid. That’s how I made my living through high school. And then I wasn’t allowed to do it. It was a very sad time for me on a professional level.
But here I had this beautiful kid. Before I had one I wouldn’t hold kids for pictures because they scared the s**t out of me. So now I’ve got one. I’m like, “Oh, man!” Like I’m almost scared I was going to break it! So I’ve got this kid and I’m watching as he becomes a little person. We had gone out for a walk. It was in the middle of July. It was the most beautiful sight. We were up in Jasper, Canada. It’s beautiful. My son was at a point in his life where he was just learning how to focus on stuff. And I’m watching him take in all the surroundings at a moment where I’m like, “This is a very hopeless time. God, if there’s ever a time for you to step in and help out, could it be now? Where are you?”
Then I saw this amazing sight. This beautiful kid, just pure as pure could be. And just happy. That was kind of like the aha moment, when I saw my son trying to take in how beautiful it is, to understand how amazing what he’s looking at is. That’s when I turned to him and I said, “Noah, look. That’s God right there. That is God, the perfect beauty.” That was my aha moment, where it’s like, “All right. I still get to enjoy this. I still get to see my kid be overwhelmed by this sight and myself being overwhelmed by this sight.” I think it was July, 2009 when I didn’t know that my music will ever be heard.