Q&A: Danielle Hogan

(Photo Courtesy of Danielle Hogan)

Q&A: Danielle Hogan
Why Life is Gold in the Making

By Sarah Komisky

Change is hard. There are transitions to be made. New fears to face and some things left unknown. So what can we do when we find ourselves in a new place? Danielle Hogan, formerly of the band Dead Bones Arise, has found herself now in the place of being a solo artist. Dealing with several changes over the past year hasn’t been easy for Hogan, but she found strength and worship, the key. With grit and rawness in her vocals, and vulnerability in her lyrics, she shares the inception of the album, how she learned to deal with change, and why she believes life is gold in the making.

Share a little bit about your story coming to Christ?

I grew up in a Christian home and served the Lord until my late teens. It was then that I got involved with two guys and completely turned my back on the Lord. I traded my life of purity for a life of sex, drugs and alcohol and I spiraled out of control for six years with this lifestyle. One night I didn’t go out which was rare for me and I went to bed early. That night, I woke up at 3 a.m. to use the restroom and when I came back to bed I thought I saw my dad because he would usually come in my room to check on me. He did that often because most nights I was being carried in because I blacked out from drinking. So when I thought my dad came in and sat at the edge of my bed I said hi to him, but he didn’t answer. When I opened my eyes and looked, nobody was there, but there was a weight on my bed and suddenly something jumped on top of me and covered my mouth so I couldn’t scream. My entire body and bed was being shaken violently and I laid there motionless. I couldn’t yell, and I couldn’t see anything. It was a demon on top of me and it held me down and was hissing at me which seemed forever, and it finally disappeared and I sat up and screamed the name of Jesus. I knew I was living a life that opened up doors to the demonic realm and well, that November night nine years ago would be a life changing one for me. I dropped down on my face and I asked the Lord to forgive me and came back to Him being the Lord of my life. I surrendered my life to Him that night and never looked back.

You were apart of the band Dead Bones Arise and now you just released a solo EP. How did the project come about?

My Solo project came about totally by the Lord. He’s so funny because He totally speaks to us so much about things and I feel as though sometimes we say to ourselves, “No, that’s not the Lord, that’s just me.” So, when the Lord gave me these songs I sort of know they were personal. They were songs about “our” journey, the Lord and I. Every song has a story and He gave me each song. When I felt the Lord say to go and make these songs on an EP for the world to hear, I was very excited but afraid as well because it was just going to be me. And that’s what He wanted. The night before I was going into the studio, the Lord gave me a song. It was as if the Lord was saying to me, “Danielle, I’m leading you and calling you to do this along, and just in case you any doubt about it, here’s another song to show you that this is what I’m calling you to do.” The song He gave me is on the EP and it’s called, “Song in the Night.” There’s seasons for certain things, we all know that, and I’m learning to step into new seasons with more confidence in Him because He is the One who calls us and He is faithful.

Why the title The Making of Gold?

The title The Making of Gold is so powerful to me. The Lord gave me a verse two years ago: “He knows the way I shall take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold,” Job 23:10. I didn’t have any idea that the Lord was giving me a title for the EP that was not even written yet. The songs came a year after, and they came forth through many, many trials and hardships. It was as though the Lord was almost giving me a “heads up” as to what He was going to be doing in my life personally. Through the trials, He makes gold. Less of us and more of Him.

What was one of the lessons gleaned from this project?

I have so many lessons that I’ve learned through this project. But I will say that the one that is the biggest lesson for me was to learn to be content and praise God even in the fire and in the midst of the storm. It’s so much easier to praise Jesus when everything is going smooth in our lives. But when you have wave after wave of setbacks and storms and everything is filled upside down and falling apart around you, man, something lifting up your hands and praising Him in that isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And I obviously needed to learn this lesson. God is worthy to be praised always. He is good always. He has the perfect plan always. He is for us always. And to really learn that those things are true, sometimes we have to have everything crash down around us, so we only can look up and when we do, we learn that the nail pierced hands that we placed in our lives in – those hands that we placed our lives in – those hands are trustworthy. We learn He is mighty. We see things we wouldn’t have had the chance to see because we’re in an impossible situation – and the Lord shows us that He is the God of the impossible and nothing is impossible with Him. I got to see the very hand of the Lord like I’ve never seen before. He has brought me out of many waters and has been my comfort and my strength. I worship Him differently now because I’ve seen Him in a deeper way. I am so thankful for that difficult season because He brought out gold through it and only He could do that.

Who are your musical influences and why?

I listen to so many different amazing worship artists and each one in their own way does stir me up to write. But I would have to say that what truly influences me personally is gospel/choir music. Oh my goodness it is so powerful and they worship with everything in them. That inspires me and that brings me into the place of worship. I would love to sing with a choir someday.

How do you want to encourage readers through this album?

I pray that whoever listens to this album is encouraged to keep pressing on and pressing into the Lord regardless of what season they might be in. The lyrics are very telling and raw in the fact that even though the road we’re on may be hard at the moment, God is faithful and He will meet you and carry you through safely to the other side. The Lord might be doing what He was doing in Job’s life or what He is doing in my life; He might be turning the furnace up a bit and getting rid of some things deep down that we might have forgotten are there. But we can be sure that His nail pierced hand is trustworthy because He proved His love for you and for me that day He took our place on the cross. He won’t give you more than you can handle. He is making us to be more like Him, like gold. They say that the goldsmith, as he purged away all the base metals from the gold ore in the fire, that only when the goldsmith could see his face reflected in the molten metal, that he knew that the refining fire had worked its purifying purpose; only pure gold remained. He might be making gold in you life. Allow Him to work!

As an artist, how do you want to live a life marked by purity?

There really has never been a point in my life that I felt called to music or say I desired to play music. But when I told God that my life was His to use that’s when He awoke this gift in my life as I prayed to be in His perfect will. He has continued to open doors in my life that have taken me on a journey of ups and downs which I believe was the necessary process that God needed to take me through to inspire me to write my music. I feel if I continue to ask God to use me and pray that I remain in His will, whether it’s music or something completely different, I believe God’s strength and closeness will help me keep on His path for me, a path of purity.

Find out more about Danielle and her music at:

itsdanielle.com