The next generation of Gospel Music artists have arrived, with powerful voices and a calling to spread God's word. The 3 Heath Brothers are award-winning teenagers who have taken their talents into new territory with creative arrangements, song choice and production for their new Horizon Records release, Who We Are, making an impressive statement about their music, mission and beliefs. The album is now available for pre-order ahead of its November 22 release date.
Nicholas, Clayton and Christian Heath are North Carolina natives, whose parents raised them in faith. Their mother taught them to sing blended harmonies at an early age. Now, their powerful vocals and youthful energy have been melded into a new, distinctive sound.
Q: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourselves: who are the 3 Heath Brothers?
Nicholas: We are 3 energetic teenage boys who love Jesus and love to sing. We never intended to travel or even become a group. Were just walking through the open doors God has for us. We always pray "God, open the doors you want to be opened and shut the ones you want to be shut."
Q: On your new album you paid tribute to your mother in "Mother's Day Song." Tell us more about your mother and her influence towards your music and faith.
Christian: Our Mom started out just sitting us on barstools in our kitchen and humming individual notes to us. She was a pastor's wife with 3 little kids in diapers and she asked God what she could do for Him. She taught us to sing because of the words and she knew that they would stick in our heads when we were older. Oh, and she doesn't play the piano so to this day, we like to do a cappella.
Q: When did you guys start singing? And how did you get signed to Horizon Records?
Nicholas: We have been singing since before we were in kindergarten.
We actually were just practicing in a room with our producer and some of the people from that record label came in because they had heard us from the other room and started asking questions. The rest is history.
Q: On this new album you got to work with Roger Talley as your producer, what's it like working with him?
Nicholas: Roger is awesome. He gets us and understands where we're coming from. The first time we met him he actually pulled us up on the stage to sing in one of his concerts. He has become a close family friend and mentor.
Q: You guys must be fans of Josh Wilson! You have recorded two of his songs on your new album. Why did you choose to record "Dream Small" and "Self Less."
Clayton: Actually we have never heard of Josh Wilson before in our lives. We randomly heard 2 songs 2 different times and were drawn to them. A godly mentor in our lives let us listen to "Dream Small" and we really liked the words so we actually recorded it for him. The words to "Self Less" are so meaningful for teenagers and everyone and that is what drew us to it.
Q: I really like "Give It to Jesus" which was written by Nicholas. What's the story behind this song?
Nicholas: We were praying and just asking God to give us the songs that He would want us to sing and that would minister to people.
I had an idea playing around in my head and I went downstairs and recorded it. I have a friend who went through a really hard time in his life and it was hard not to question why, and I felt like God helped me to write this song with the best answer that any of us can do about any difficult situation we are going through. This is our most quoted song, because we need the words too!
Q: Do you have a favorite song from the new album? And if you do, why?
Christian: Well we like them all but our favorite song is definitely "Smell of Smoke." It's a powerful song about the 3 Hebrew boys who came out of the fire and they didn't even smell like smoke. We believe that we serve a God that is powerful enough that we can come out of our trials and not be destroyed by them.
Clayton: We had a kid come up and tell us that he had been taken out of his home for child abuse and to him and to so many others, we want to say that you can come out of any problem you face and it doesn't have to ruin you. You don't have to "Smell like Smoke".
Christian: We also made a cool fun music video that really makes this song come alive. You can find it on YouTube. Clayton did the editing for it and we did a lot of it in our back yard.
Q: There are not many people in your ages who want to sing Southern Gospel music. Why do you think this is so? And how can we get younger listeners to be interested in Southern Gospel music?
Nicholas: Well we would not consider ourselves experts on that topic. But we do have a lot of young people and older people that listen to our music. We just want to show that it can be fun to be a Christian and that normal young people can still love Jesus!