"I got on a Greyhound bus headed to Hollywood..."
North Carolina native Damien Horne is an AMTC grad who is currently reaping a harvest of blessings as one third of the country music trio The Farm Inc. Their 2012 debut album The Farm Inc. has had two chart-topping singles, including the Top 20 “Home Sweet Home.” Damien was also a featured actor in the 2011 feature film Courageous. But Damien’s road to success wasn’t always so smooth. Damien spent years following his dream to perform, but along the way he hit some seriously hard times, including homelessness. An encounter with God picked him up and set him back on his feet.
What are you and your band doing?
The Farm and I are currently on the road. We got together about 3 years ago as individual writers. We’re making “our kind of country music.” By that I mean that we’re so different individually. Krista has a classical background. Nick is old school country, me, I grew up in old gospel and soul. We have different backgrounds of music genres and we merge them to make our kind of country.
What did you do before The Farm?
Before The Farm, I was on the road with grammy award winner, John Legend – opening for him and promoting myself as an artist.
Right after high school graduation I got on a greyhound bus and followed my dreams to Hollywood. I found myself homeless after a bit and ended up at a place called The Covenant House. I was basically rescued from the beginnings of a bad life while I was there. “God’s promises are without fail.” About a year and half later I was back in North Carolina. Then I headed to Nashville.
What inspires you?
I run into so many people and get the opportunity to hear other stories. I love to share their stories. You can pull from so much by hearing people’s stories.
A really close friend who worked at Warner Brothers. I knew her before I signed. She was diagnosed with cancer and passed away within 8-9 months of the diagnosis. She was always so bubbly and vibrant. Best way to commemorate that was to live the way she lived. So that’s what I try to do. I try to honor others and commemorate them by emulating positive ways that they live or lived their lives.
In my life, I’ve seen a lot of people go really soon. The way to keep that alive is to mimic that. I wrote a song about her to say “I honor you.”
What about AMTC? How was that experience?
AMTC was amazing. It reaffirmed what God put in me to do. I have always desired to be an entertainer and to change the atmosphere wherever I go. When I went to AMTC I was 30 years old. I was feeling like my age was something that was against me. Going and being around people who were like minded was encouraging for me and confirmed that I was exactly where I needed to be. And that I wasn’t too old. When I was 25, people were telling me that I was too old. And AMTC reaffirmed me that I wasn’t! I signed my first record deal with Warner Brothers when I was 32.
How has God been instrumental in your life and career?
God has been gravity for me. I am one of of 12 children in my family. I dealt with 2 younger brothers in prison, 2 older brothers were murdered. I dealt with sexual abuse and homelessness. But His promises have been without fail.
Do you have advice for others or other aspiring performers?
Proverbs 3:5-6. This, first and foremost is the key- knowing that if I trust Him, He will direct my path. Well you say, “what is my path?” go to Jeremiah 29:11
Cling to the promises that God has for you. Be true to who you are and who you were created to be.
How do you do that?
In the past, I would always try to be like the next person until I discovered my uniqueness and who I was created to be – then it worked. There is only one person who can fill the void of you… and that’s God.