Hillsong's Benjamin Hastings says he battled mental health issues while writing new solo album
(CP) Singer and songwriter Benjamin Hastings, most known for his worship music with Hillsong United, is embarking on a solo music career and sharing vulnerable songs about the past season of his life.
Hastings, recently nominated for a Dove Award for "Worship Song of The Year," spoke openly about his new solo venture while on the red carpet of the 2022 Dove Awards.
The upcoming self-titled LP, a collection of 25 songs, drops in November.
Hastings said his songwriting journey for the album began a "few years ago."
"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," Hastings shared in a red-carpet interview with The Christian Beat.
The music comes amid numerous scandals surrounding the Hillsong global church network. Hillsong's co-founder Brian Houston resigned as the church's global leader in March after the church revealed that two women made allegations of misconduct against him in the last 10 years.
His resignation also followed a series of misconduct allegations involving other Hillsong Church leaders in the United States and Australia.
The global network of churches was also the focus of a Discovery-Plus documentary that rehashed church leaders' misconduct brought to light in recent years.
Despite the scandals, the Ireland native will remain a part of Hillsong United.
When speaking of his latest single, "So Help Me God," the singer revealed some of his own recent struggles.
"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," Hastings added. "So the chorus is like, 'I'm going to get through this, so help me God.'"
"I think really that was my spirit inside just being like you need something to strive towards," the popular worship writer testified.
"So Help Me God" inspired many other songs on the album.
"That song, I kept trying to finish, [and] I just kept writing like other songs out of it, and it just kind of kept having song babies. At the very end, it was the last thing we finished, and it's pretty much the last song in the record," Hastings noted.
In his biography, which describes the new songs, the musician stated: "After all, sometimes you gotta lie in the dirt just to stare at the stars."
Hastings, like Taya Smith-Gaukrodger, who also released solo music this year, is grateful for his family in Hillsong United. Hastings honored his worship group despite all they've been through as a church.
Leading up to the debut album, Hastings released the singles "Homeward," "A Father's Blessing," "Anyway" and "The Jesus I Know."
The Benjamin William Hastings album has collaborations and songs co-written by Joel Houston, Aodhan King, Blessing Offor, David Leonard, Hank Bentley, Jeremy Lutito and Josh Grimmett.