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Danen Kane’s artistic journey is a backwards one, yet the hand of God has been clear through the entire affair. Whether it’s an unexpected encounter with a guitar or an inability to write the songs he wants, Kane has learned to follow the muse that’s led him to more than 1,500 concerts over the last decade, including opening slots for Sara Groves, Shawn McDonald and Hawk Nelson.
“Sports was actually my life all the way through my freshman year in college,” says Kane. “I went to college to play basketball at a D-III school here in Wisconsin, and I didn’t do an ounce of anything musically until I was 20. I got to college and God just did a ton of stuff in my heart the summer after that freshman year. I went back and got heavily involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and it seemed like everyone and their brother played guitar. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever.”
Kane picked up a guitar for the first time that year “just to lead acoustic worship in small groups.” One year later, his first independent project was released. Abandoning his previous plans, God’s path was clearly laid out for the now 31-year-old Kane.
Even with the change in direction made obvious for Kane though, the style of music remained murky.
“When I first started, I was putting some chords to some poetry that I had,” explains Kane. “They were very simple, but in those early stages, I wanted to be a worship leader. I loved leading worship and I felt very at home there. But when I tried to write congregational songs, nothing came out that I was super proud of. I struggled with that for a while, because I wanted to write those songs but could not for some reason. When I wrote about life or relationships or struggles, however, and turned my prayers into songs, I saw my writing take off.”
Kane’s writing has, indeed, taken off, drawing the notice of not only thousands of fans but important ones as well. Mills Logan, the famous engineer behind Taylor Swift, Toby Keith and Montgomery Gentry, found Kane’s work and asked to be a part of it—a sign that Kane’s stock continues to rise.
“Even though Mills is involved with these big projects, he also looked for indie projects on the side that he felt were interesting, and he picked mine to mix,” says Kane. “A lot of people got on board with this project, so it seemed God was doing to do something special with this. I’m excited to see where he takes it and to what extent it will grow. I don’t know if I will ever play stadiums, but my heart’s desire since the beginning is to help people and to draw as many people I can to the Lord. Whether that grows a little bit or a lot, I’m not sure, but it seems He’s anointed this project to do something amazing.”
— Matt Conner
You can find out more information on Danen’s music at danenkane.com.