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Gospel music hotshot deitrick Haddon is famous for pressing boundaries with his successful
religious and secular appeal. But rarely does a progressive songster like Haddon crisscross entire
mediums. The music chief is blazing a big screen path for Gospel music by pairing the genre’s
brightest stars (Kierra Sheard, damita) with screen veterans (Sheryl Lee ralph) in the release of his
first feature film, Blessed & Cursed (Tyscot), with accompanying soundtrack—in stores now. Here’s
a CCM-only glance at Haddon’s visual inspirations.
What was the impetus for making the film, Blessed & Cursed?
deitrick: There was a void I wanted to see filled for the Kingdom! I’ve always loved acting. I’ve
always loved watching movies that star real singers, and I would ask, “why don’t we have Christian
films starring my favorite Gospel artists?” Now that God has blessed me with a fearless team,
resources and influence to get it done, it was a no-brainer. Creativity without implementation is
irresponsibility! God gave it to us and it’s our responsibility to get it done. I think it’s a beginning
of a new era for Gospel music.
as a seasoned performer, did your onstage experience help behind the camera?
deitrick: definitely. I guess it comes from actually singing in front of huge crowds. You say to
yourself, “No looking back now. Give it your best shot!” I am very comfortable with the camera
and with having an entire crew watch me mess up on takes 1-50. [Laughs] Kellie williams (Family
Matters), an Executive Producer, was on set helping me with my acting. Her main advice was: Be
natural. don’t force it.
This soundtrack is hot. What role does it play in the film?
deitrick: You must have a hot soundtrack to go with a hot movie! The music sets the atmosphere
for the scenes and helps draw out the emotion that’s needed to deliver the story. I gotta’ shout
out to my wife, damita, my sister Michelle williams, rock Nation, Claret Jai, Lowell Pye & Jessica
reedy for making the soundtrack what it is.
What are some of your favorite films?
deitrick: I have a thing for ancient warrior movies like Gladiator, Troy, Alexander, etc.
I’m also a huge fan of Spike Lee’s films. He proved you could use the big screen to deliver a strong
message without having a huge budget.
— Andrew Greer
The act: Bishop T.d. Jakes
The site: www.tdjakes.org
The sound: Black Gospel
The Buzz: Hailed as America’s most
popular preacher by Time magazine,
Jakes is working on his second collection
of Biblically-inspired love songs, Sacred
Songs II, pairing the pastor with some of
Gospel and r&B’s biggest names.
The act: GoTTA HAvE GoSPEL!
The site: www.integritymusic.com
The sound: r&B/Gospel/worship
The Buzz: The eighth installment of
Integrity’s popular compilation features
24 songs + a bonus dvd including
Gospel’s hottest acts like Mary, Mary,
Israel Houghton, Tye Tribbett and
The act: Jonathan Nelson
The site: www.jonathannelson.org
The sound: LIvE choir-backed Gospel!
The Buzz: Stellar Award-winning
songwriter’s sophomore Cd, Better Days
(Integrity), lives up to the buzz, hitting
#4 on the Billboard chart and #1 on
JET Magazine’s Gospel chart. Watch
the official video to the record’s first
single, “expect the great.”