[GannsDeen Interviews] Heather Williams
GannsDeen.com is proud to bring to you an exclusive email interview with debuting Contemporary Christian star Heather Williams. Heather’s first single, “Hallelujah,” did very well on Billboard and Radio and Records. The follow-up, “God is Still God,” is now rising up the charts. We believe we’ll be hearing a lot more from Heather in the years to come, so come on in and get to know this rising star a little better!
Hi Heather! Thank you so much for granting GannsDeen.com this interview. First off, how does it feel to know that your music is impacting Christian lives in places around the world? We are based in the Philippines, and our readers are largely Asian, and “Hallelujah” even received airplay here.
Heather Williams: I am blown away to see how God is using this song. A song that I wrote over 8 years ago being heard by millions of people just seems so unreal to me at times.
When we first heard “Hallelujah,” we were stunned. It was such a powerful declaration of faith and such an anointed track. Please tell us the story behind “Hallelujah.”
Heather Williams: Hallelujah was really a desperate plea by a desperate woman. I was sitting on the floor of our music room strumming a guitar and crying. I had just recently went through the loss of my son Caedmen, who died suddenly at 6 1/2 months old. This moment on the floor was me really just pleading for God to come and hold me and show up. I started praying along to the guitar strumming and then grabbed a pen and paper and just wrote down the prayer. It is something that still to this day, when I hear the song, brings tears to my eyes.
The bonus track on iTunes, a hidden “His Eye is On the Sparrow,” was a lovely little touch that spotlighted your unbelievable vocals. What made you decide to “hide” this track after “Hallelujah”?
Heather Williams: For me, I wanted it to surprise the listener, who after hearing the cry of Hallelujah would find comfort in the words of this song. “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free. His eye is on the sparrow so I know He’s watching me.” I wanted the listener to “get” that my story may have sad parts to it, but GOD has never left me nor forsaken me and the same goes for them. He cares for us.
Do you write most of your own material? Please describe your songwriting process. What kind of message are you seeking to convey to your growing fanbase?
Heather Williams: I am constantly writing. The songs on my album that is available for pre-order right now on my website is mostly my songs. I have had the opportunity to write with so many amazing people and in the end… the best song that conveys the message wins. The “message” I am wanting to get across to my fans is that Our lives are stories written by God that if not told to the world can never have the opportunity to change it. I want the transparency of my life experiences and the experiences of God moving in my life to shine through loud and clear.
Will you be doing any touring in support of “God Is Still God”? Any chance of a swing by Asia?
Heather Williams: I have been out touring pretty heavily and have a busy schedule ahead of me this year. I would LOVE to swing by Asia! Any churches out there who would like me to come I would be so blessed to hear from you!
GannsDeen.com is very passionate about giving equal opportunity to male and female Contemporary Christian artists, especially since Contemporary Christian radio stations have been notoriously closed to solo female artists. In the past three years, only three female artists have gone to #1: Francesca Battistelli (2008), and only very recently, Mandisa and Laura Story (2011). This year appears to be different, with artists like Natalie Grant and Jamie Grace placing in the Top 10, and with you hovering in the Top 20. Do you have high hopes that you can also contribute to this new season at Christian radio? Have your experiences in promoting “Hallelujah” and “God Is Still God” been generally positive?
Heather Williams: I am hoping that my songs make a major impact, not just on the charts but in lives. I think that being a woman and a Contemporary Christian artist are complimentary to one another. It seems to me that women all over that I talk to are hungry for other women to relate too. Having these other women in the industry like Laura Story (who is on my label) sing songs that they can relate to and feel not alone is a powerful thing. The response I have got from Hallelujah has been amazing! Story after story is told to me of people who experienced loss or hard times and how that song helped them through or encouraged them to cling to God…so humbling. God is Still God is just starting to get more adds and the same is being seen.. people being touched by the message of God not ever changing or leaving us and that He hold us in his hands.
Social media has helped greatly increase a Christian musician’s profile and fan base. We’ve noticed your warmth and candidness on your Twitter account, and the sheer fact that we were able to secure an interview with you is testament to the power of the medium. Aside from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, are you using any other social media networks to increase your visibility? How has social media helped you, and have you had any difficult experiences with them so far?
Heather Williams: I have tried some other social media outlets but so far these have been the most successful. The fact that as an artist I can interact with my fans is priceless. It is something that allows me to stay grounded in what I do and why I do it. It also gives me everyones birthdays so I can seem like I have a great memory with all my fans.. LOL.
Do you have any ministries about which you’d like to share a little information with us?
Heather Williams: I work with an organization Mission of Mercy. I am passionate about children. Being a mom of two and having lost a child I feel a personal responsibility to help in fighting against poverty, especially in the cases of children. I personally invite and ask each of you to consider sponsoring a child. It literally can save a life. I also have a heart for the homeless. I am not involved with any particular organization but I AM a follower of Jesus Christ and I do anything that I can even when on the road to reach out to this community of people and share with them the HOPE of Christ.
Thank you so much for your time, Heather! We’re humbled and honored. Do you have any message for your fans in Manila? God bless you!
Heather Williams: I just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. It is so comforting to have brothers and sisters in Christ who support you and pray for you. I hope to be able to come and sing for you very soon. God Bless.