Damita - The Music And The Woman

 

There was never a question in her mind – Damita Haddon was made for music.  Her dream began as she was growing up in Detroit – a city with “Motown vibe, a lot of talent and excitement in the air.”  She was surrounded by people who were striving to make their music dreams come true.  In her mind, the challenge was who was going to get there the fastest.

One event in particular allowed this promising artist to plunge into her budding career.  Aretha Franklin – who Damita believes is “one of the greatest singers in the world” – attended her performance in Langston Hughes’ classic “A Black Nativity.”  After the performance, Damita wanted only a hug from the Queen of Soul, but she got much more than that!   Franklin gave Damita the chance to tour with her – an opportunity that enhanced Damita’s skill and inspired her to begin writing and recording the soulful and moving music she is known for today. 

 

 

Though Damita has never had any paid training, the depth and grace of her voice has inspired those who listen.  Her voice can belt perfect harmonies with such passion that many have inquired about its source.  “Music is just a natural gift that God really blessed me with.  There is no strain or pressure,” she said.  “I want to use this gift to help others.” 

 

Damita’s family encouraged her to live her dream by using her musical gifts to serve God and those around her.  She was raised in the church, and both of her parents were preachers.  “It was very strict in my home as far as music goes.  We weren’t supposed to listen to anything but gospel, but of course we would sneak it in!” Damita, however, was grateful for her parent’s positive influence.  “They are 100 percent behind me in whatever I do.  They never tried to force music on me, but instead let me develop who I am and what I am doing today.”

Although Damita grew up listening mainly to classic gospel music, her musical interests do not stop there.  She has embellished her sound by drawing from artists such as Celine Dion and Sting, and she loves the passion and soul of rhythm and blues.  Though the sound of her music has many different influences, Damita wants the message to remain positive.  “So many artists are putting out negative messages, but I want mine to be love, peace and hope.” 

 

Though Damita does not believe that writing mainstream music is essential for success, her music is designed to appeal to many different listeners.  “My music is universal,” she said.  “It is not just limited to the gospel industry but has mainstream potential.  My music lyrically can go both ways.  It can either be about a loved one or God.  It crosses all genres of music.”

 

Damita considers herself successful because she has taken what talent she’s been given and is using it to the best of her ability.  “To me being successful means being true to your gift.  Give 110 percent to what you believe in and the rest will come naturally because people begin to see that you are true to yourself.  Success does not mean getting the most money or publicity.”  

Even though its Damita’s first time out on a major label, she is already facing many of the challenges of the music industry. “I have to be away from my home, my husband and my family a lot.  My schedule can be filled at the last minute, which makes it hard to have a family and a career.”

Another challenge presented itself earlier this year when Damita was in a car accident while preparing for a major showcase in New York.  Although the showcase had to be postponed, she recovered and thanked God that she came out alive.  “In hard times its important that you don’t complain but realize that every moment is precious.  You have to take the good with the bad.”

 

Damita desires her music and its message to reach the heart, mind and ears of America’s youth.  As a teenager, Damita was a strong believer in education and refused to let it take a back seat to her music career.  Her emphasis on education made traveling and pursuing her career much more challenging.  Damita advises teenagers desiring to begin a career to complete their education.  “You can’t just focus on a career because plans fall apart.  You need a solid foundation to fall back on in case things don’t go as planned."

 

Damita also encourages young people to be consistent, faithful and committed to their dreams.  “Life brings pain and hard times, but don’t get discouraged.  You might not have an overnight success story, but keep pressing on.” 

 


 

"Beyond all the lights, the glitter, and the costumes, people have to see the real me. It's easy to get up there and say that Jesus is real, but you've got to be real to. I've got to be true to him. No matter how nice I seem onstage, if my true character and attitude are nasty, the rest is in vain."