An Interview with Recording Artist/Songwriter Daron Norwood
Meet H2E Records/Lofton Creek recording artist Daron Norwood! Daron has sung with artists including Travis Tritt and has shared the stage with Alabama, Lorrie Morgan, Trick Pony, Diamond Rio and Merle Haggard, to name a few.
A lifelong member of the New Jersey County Music Association (NJCMA), Daron is currently promoting his new single, "In God We Trust," written by Daron and his wife, Kim. The song has hit the charts and is being played all over the country. The video is also receiving airplay on Great American Country. The song is also gaining much interest in the Christian music market.
Daron is currently working on a CD at H2E Recording studio in Nashville. In 1997, Daron created Keep it Straight, an informative program that warns people of the dangers of alcohol, substance abuse and violence. He has visited with over 400,000 children and young adults across America.
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Born and raised in Texas, Daron joined in and sang Gospel music with his family at a very young age. At ten years old he learned his first three chords on the piano, bass and the guitar while enjoying the sounds of all the traditional artists of both country and gospel music. By the age of nineteen, with the help of his grandfather, he left Texas and headed for Music City USA - Nashville.
After several years of paying his dues, Nashville recognized his talent and he was then signed to Giant Records. His first single, the top twenty hit "If It Wasn't For Her I Wouldn't Have You" was voted by Billboard Magazine as the most requested and replayed song that year. His second release was the top twenty hit, "Cowboys Don't Cry," and his last release was "My Girl Friday," which paid tribute to his daughter, Krista. Daron co-wrote and recorded the song "Little Boy Lost" for the Keith Whitley tribute album, which went platinum.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Hi Daron. It's great to talk with you. So right now you're promoting your new single, "In God We Trust," which you wrote with your wife, Kim. It's a beautiful song. I really enjoyed listening to it. What inspired you to write "In God We Trust?"
Daron Norwood I was watching the news around 1:00 a.m. on June 28, 2002, concerning the California ruling to take "under God" out of the pledge. I woke my wife up and we listened together. By 2:00 a.m. we were writing "In God We Trust." By daybreak, when the words were right, I took it to a local studio in Florida and recorded it. I wanted the pledge at the end of the song, so I asked my cousin, my niece and nephew to come to the studio and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. All I wanted to do was get a chance to sing this song for maybe a few people and if one life were changed for the better, then I would have accomplished something.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] The song got on the radio pretty quickly after that. How did that happen for you?
Daron Norwood Two weeks later a buddy of mine played it on a radio station in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, just a simple demo version. In that one week they played it, it was the #1 requested song of the week. It got some people's attention in Nashville and also in Texas. My backer said, "Let's go get you a record deal." He knew Herb Graham, whose partner is Chuck Howard. They were responsible for breaking Trick Pony. My backer called Herb and said, "You know what, you need to hear this." Long story short, H2E Records had already released the song in Texas. H2E went to Lofton Creek and they joined forces to put this song out nationwide. It brought everyone together for one cause, because they believed in that song.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] How long have you been songwriting?
Daron Norwood I wrote my first song when I was 10 years old.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] What's your main instrument?
Daron Norwood Keys are the main instrument that I write with the most. On stage I come out with a guitar and I switch to a keyboard, and right in the middle of the show I grab the bass guitar and right in the wildest part I go back and play the drums. Probably people that know me the best would say that for me to just sit down with the keyboard like at church is pretty natural for me.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Who are some of your influences and your favorite artists growing up?
Daron Norwood I have so many influences. I grew up on gospel, Christian music, rock 'n roll, songs like Sherry Baby, artists like ShaNaNa, George Jones, right into Haggard. I was hearing it all in my head. In my freshman year in high school, I had an 8 track tape of Alabama and would listen to some of my favorite songs, "Why Lady Why," "Moutain Music," etc. I have a lot of energy I've always been influenced by shows. I like Sawyer Brown - their show. I like their music, but I wanted to see Mark Miller slide down that ramp! I wanted to see all the crazy things they would do. I like Garth Brooks - I liked his writing capability and I liked his show. I wanted to see what he was going to do next.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Sounds like things are going well. What are you goals, future plans and/or aspirations?
Daron Norwood I think what I like #1 is what this song has done for me now. We have a program we do with kids called "Keep it Straight" and this song has increased it by thousands.
The Keep it Straight program is done mainly thru the schools. We've done 12 schools this past month - two performances a day. All these schools have about 1000 students in each one of them, so we perform anywhere from 500-600 kids at a time.
We do the shows on the gym floor and create our own theater. I start singing do my impressions of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles and make them all laugh. I have fun with them. Sometimes I find out who the coach is and might get him up to sing. And the kids like that - that I play with them. All those things we do, we help change a life. That's what we're doing. It used to be about the money, the big shows, now it's about the intimacy and the lives of those children that are our future. That's where it's at.
For more information on Daron Norwood, to get a copy of his CD, check out his website at www.loftoncreekrecords.com/daron_norwood or contact Mark Mathews
at (915) 362-0401 or Carole A. Imperiale at IPM Inc. Publicity & Management
Phone: (908) 429-0642.