Hillsong UNITED's Benjamin Hastings is releasing a solo album, touching on the mental battles he's faced over the past year.
Hastings was recently nominated for a Dove Award for a song he wrote for Hillsong UNITED, called 'Know You Will.' It was nominated for Worship Recorded Song of the Year.
While on the red carpet at the event, Hastings shared his journey of writing this latest venture, Benjamin Williams Hastings. The album has 25 songs on it and will be released in full on November 4, 2022.
From Ireland to Australia
Hastings grew up in Belfast, Ireland, and started off his singing as a busker.
"So, when I was in Belfast, I was busking. You know what that is? It's like those people on the street, who are just, like, singing, playing, yelling at people trying to grab their attention."
He found a Hillsong CD in a local store and loved their music and style.
"What was really cool was United came and played a show in Belfast and I got to meet all the guys and none of them remembered me. But I was like, I was so stoked," says Hastings in an interview with CBN.
Shortly after, Hastings recalls wanting the whole Hillsong experience, the school, and the church, and he made his way to Australia.
"So, when I was 19, I moved out there, yeah, through this kind of crazy set of events, ended up writing songs that I started using on records and became really good friends with all those guys that I met back in Belfast. And yeah, it was, it was a whirlwind."
Hastings wrote many of the songs on his upcoming self-titled album while Hillsong church was going through a tumultuous time. Pastor Brian Houston has been accused of sexual misconduct and resigned from his position as lead pastor this year because of it.
"It kind of talks to the struggles, struggling with fear, doubt, with fighting for God, fighting for finding God in the midst of everything, and it shows all the different sides of that," says the artist on the red carpet at the GMA's.
For his latest single, 'So Help Me God,' Hastings explains the inspiration behind it.
"The chorus of that kind of came out when I think, in hindsight, I was really struggling with some mental health things and just didn't realize. So the chorus is like, 'I'm going to get through this, so help me God.'"
He will stay with Hillsong UNITED while releasing solo music, despite the controversies.
"After all, sometimes you gotta lie in the dirt just to stare at the stars."