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Conversations with Haben Godefa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Haben Godefa.

Hi Haben, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a songwriter/producer based in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. I arrived in LA in 2011 by way of Atlanta, GA. My reason was to pursue a career in music, but the truth is – I was coming to LA regardless of what my plan was. I first visited this city when I was seven and knew then that this is where I wanted to be. Life in California felt free – free to choose what you want, and free to be who you are. Being an artist and part of the LGBTQ community I knew I had to be here in order to express myself freely. The big cities have such a variety of cultures, and so they tend to attract those of us looking to showcase our individuality.

I began writing songs when I was 14 as a form of self-therapy. Being a kid in the closet during your teens on the Eastside of Atlanta, having an outlet was vital to your survival. Still till this very day majority of my music covers the story of a boy’s endless search for freedom, self-love, and self-understanding. The lines get blurred between whether I’m speaking about myself or the listener. I feel some sort of responsibility to make life easier for the Gay kids coming up after me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been far from smooth.

When it doesn’t happen in the time you want it to you start to question if you’re on the right path. If you made the right choice. You struggle to make rent, get fired from a job, blow an opportunity because LA traffic is unpredictable. All these things happen.

But the biggest challenge is overcoming yourself. Your own insecurities, self-doubts, overthinking, shame, embarrassment. All of these internal wars your fight will do more harm than any outside force.

Many of us have self-sabotaging characteristics. Being on your own side in today’s age is a cheat-code.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a self-produced recording artist. All of my work can be found on streaming services under Haben Godefa.

In 2021 I released my debut album Tour of My Youth. A 9 song record split up into 3 acts. The album takes you on a voyage from the early innocence of childhood – to the absence of it. All the while trying to heal the past through traveling back in time. My theory is that if everything is perspective, then the past can be changed simply by changing how you view it. I had a lot of childhood trauma growing up as a closeted black male. Tour of My Youth was more than just an album to me, it was a healing process.

This is when art is the most rewarding for me. When it can make me feel something that no other substance or stimuli can. When you can be healed and liberated by the connection of art – this is when it feels that purpose is being served. And that’s all we want for ourselves in this life – for it to mean something

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Before moving to Atlanta at the age of 12 me and my family lived in Seattle, WA where I was also born. At the time the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks both had newly built stadiums. My family and I would drive by them every Sunday on our way to church. I remember being so inspired by the architecture that I would build my own stadiums from lego sets. I would draw the blueprint on scratch paper – title it “Project: Haben’s Field”, write down the specifics like capacity and what it would be used for. Looking back this was the start of my creativity. Knowing that I could build anything I desired with a detailed plan.

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Image Credits:

All photos where shot by Trevor Masid a film photographer from Los Angeles, CA his Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/asthesunsets/

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