Standing on "The Power of One"

Award-winning Christian music artist and Lakewood Church worship leader Israel Houghton talks to Beliefnet about his latest album, "The Power of One."

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If you look at the last eight records that we have done, they have all sort of been a link in a chain. I first said “A New Season” is coming, and then after a while we started saying, we are “Going to Another Level,” and after that we actually went to another Level, in South Africa. And then out of that came “Deeper Level”, which was all about identity and really knowing who we are in Christ. And I think when you know that, you can...maybe not change the whole world, but you could certainly change your world, your surroundings, your family, your environment, the row that you sit on at church, your youth group and that sort of thing.

That’s where all of this works together and stylistically, if I had to declare this is who I really am, this record captures that better than anything, because it’s got all these sort of gumbo of sounds, styles, and cultures all mixed together, but there is this common thread in it. Even though some songs are way different than each other, it never feels like they should have never been on this record, you know, that’s like a true account of what’s coming out of my heart.

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What inspired you to create this melting pot of sounds?

I think it’s really an evolution of just growing comfortable with trying stuff. Never feeling like, “Uh-huh, well the public will like this.” I have never based what I do on whether people like it and sometimes that’s been to my own detriment. For the most part, I have always felt good about the fact that I was just honest with what I wanted to say, be it lyrically, stylistically, or musically.

How can people to put “The Power of One” to work in their lives as far as the economic crisis goes?

Well certainly speaking to the westernized culture and speaking to that American mindset, on our worst day—job or no job—we are still in the one percentile of the wealthiest people in the world. And having been all over the world and realizing that many people all over the world live on a dollar a day at best, I promise you every American reading right now has a dollar in their couch somewhere. So I think there is a need to have a better understanding of the world around us and the real need around us. I don’t even think it's about economics as much as it is about the difference a smile can make. The difference a kind word can make.

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