by Tracy Darlington
Danen Kane Interview
I am learning most of all in this season of life is that truly
the only thing that will fulfill me is God himself."
A Wisconsin native, Danen's latest project is in keeping with his signature introspective lyrics and pure, acoustic sound. Love is Waiting draws musically from a variety of influences including European rock, earthy jazz and America's best singer/songwriter tradition. Lyrically, the album is filled with vivid songs about life, faith and relationships.
Kane began performing small coffee shops and church gigs, all the while
establishing a large local following. Before he knew it, his independent
recordings were generating strong regional buzz. He began touring heavily,
routinely performing 150-175 dates a year, sometimes headlining and other
times opening for acts like BarlowGirl, Leeland, Sara Groves, and Shawn McDonald.
To date, Kane has sold more than 11,000 albums independently and self-booked
more than 1500 dates in 17 states. His songs are a fixture on independent
and college radio stations throughout the country.
How did you know God was calling you to pursue music as a career?
Music for me kind of came out of nowhere. I didn’t start playing guitar or singing until I was 20 years old. I picked up guitar too so that I could help out with worship at a college ministry I was a part of and just fell in love with it. Leading worship and sharing my heart through writing brought me alive inside like I had never felt before. And when I would see the reactions of people and hear the stories of how God used instances when I played, it just confirmed in my heart that this is what I was called to do. A year after I picked up guitar for the first time I released my first independent album and never looked back.
There were definitely times that God prompted my Spirit and let me know this was a path I was supposed to pursue, but the fruit of His provision when I stepped out in faith just confirmed that this was what I was supposed to do.
Tell us a little bit about your journey as an artist.
I got a late start in music like I mentioned. My journey just began helping lead worship for my college ministry and a couple churches in my college town. Every once in a while I would do a concert at a local coffee shop playing little songs that I had written. It seemed that every time I did that someone was there saying “you should come play at my church/ministry/school etc”. So I just took all the little opportunities that came my way and played everywhere and anywhere I could. God slowly built a really good underground indi following of people that liked my music and I have just been touring the country from place to place ever since. “Love Is Waiting”, my new album though, is the first project that is receiving mainstream recognition and attention, and I am pretty excited about that. It’s been 9 years of a lot of hard work, and I am really excited to see where God takes me in this next season of my ministry.
Your bio says that two years ago you came off from the road with a desire
to replant yourself. Can you explain?
For about 4 years straight I was on the road constantly, much of it in a van driving by myself going from city to city. It was an incredible time of growth for me and my ministry, but I realized at the end of it I had let a lot of my relationships in life fall through the cracks. I had become really disconnected from living day-to-day life with people, which is really huge and a big part of what God calls us to do. So I have taken the last few years off from extended touring to replant myself and spend that time back in day-to-day community. I needed it very much. And as I am getting ready to launch another long tour a part of me is sad to leave again, but I know this will just be a season again of “going” and spreading my music and the Gospel. There is good and bad to both the road and being home, so I am just going to take the things I learned over the past few years and bring those things with me on the road. And I am really excited about that.
Is there a theme for your album Love is Waiting?
I didn’t set out to write anything with a set theme. I think there is a lot of variety in the topics and feelings on the album. But I would say if there was a theme it would be just a longing to know the Love of God more. I spend a lot of my days chasing after love in my life. Chasing after things that I think will satisfy me, or take away my loneliness. And they always disappoint and they never end up filling me like I hope. What I am learning most of all in this season of life is that truly the only thing that will fulfill me is God himself. His love is truly faithful, pure, perfect, and the thing my heart longs for. And so the reality is I am not waiting for love to come into my life, love is waiting for me to just embrace Him and all that He has for me.
What message do you hope people will come away with when they listen to
Love is Waiting?
That it is ok to be broken. That is ok to be honest. That it is ok to feel. And most of all, I hope people come away feeling a greater love for God and more loved by God. And I hope that inspires real heart change and a desire to live a life that is different than what is normal in this world and that matters for Him.
your favorite song on your album and why?
My favorite song on the album is “Take It All”. It’s basically a challenge to myself and the church to really live a life abandoned to Christ. I believe that when Jesus said we, by His Spirit, would be able to do even greater things than He did when he was on earth (John 14:12-14), that he wasn’t kidding. And I want to live a life that full of faith, that close to His heart, that willing to do what He wants me to do. And I think that when we do that, we will see our hearts, lives, and the power of God really come alive.
Where do you turn to most for your inspiration?
All of my inspiration comes from God and every day life. A lot of my music is just direct prayers to God about how I am feeling or what I am longing for. I have written a lot in seasons of pain and hurting. And I have found that singing those things out to God, being honest with where my heart is, brings a lot of hope and a lot of freedom. It brings perspective to situations that when you are to close to them seem hopeless. I write about what I see, what I feel, what I am learning, what people close to me are experiencing as well. At the end of the day we just need to be honest with where we are at in our heart. God already knows, so we may as well be honest with Him and ourselves :) And I think when we do that we really grow a lot.
What’s the coolest prayer God’s
ever answered for you?
For Him to come into my heart and change my life.
your favorite Bible verse and why?
Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We often think about music and singing to God when we think about worship. And that is an incredible and beautiful way to worship God. But I have been learning a lot of the last couple years how our greatest worship to God is just being obedient to Him and His word. He says in this passage that our spiritual act of worship is how we present our bodies and lives to Him saying “not my desires God, but Yours be done”. He wants us to live lives of worship and to be different than the world. Not to blend in or give in to the lies of lust and our culture, but to live lives that are pleasing to Him. He wants us to worship Him with our decisions, our attitudes, and our trust in Him that He knows best. I need to be reminded of this every day.
How did you come to know the Lord?
I was introduced to the Lord by my mom at a young age. He has been real to me and a real part of my life ever since then. But I grew the most when I started really reading the Bible on a regular basis and really digging in to His character and what He was really asking me to do with this life He has given me. Getting involved with Campus Crusade For Christ at my college and meeting other people my own age that were wanted the same things as I did was a huge part of my growth with Him. Fellowship and reading the Bible daily really took my relationship with Him to the next level.
up next for you in the future?
Every time I think I know what’s next God seems to have other plans. Ha ha. My plans are just to tour the whole country over the next year with the new album. I have tours set for the fall and winter right now, which I am very excited about. We will see what His plans for me are and how it all fits together :)
in line at Starbucks. What are you ordering?
Something for a friend because I don’t drink coffee :)
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I played for a professional men’s fast pitch softball team for two summers. And I have been living in my duplex for 4 years now and have still not hung a single thing on my walls.
Three things always found in your refrigerator:
Ketchup, bread, and meat of some kind. I’m a pretty simple guy.
currently in your cd player or iPod?
Jimmy Needham, Jesus Culture, and Jeanna Bosacki
your favorite vacation spot?
I really look forward to taking one some day :)
Tracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.