Benny DiChiara, the lead singer and songwriter for Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Christian rock band Empowered, has released his most powerful song to date. "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)" is a tribute to his late father who passed away from cancer in October of 2020, "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)," is as poignant as it is inspiring, and accessible to all who have faced grief and loss.
The "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)" official lyric video was directed by Richy Long and filmed at Slingshot Studios in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by Long and Gary Governale of LA Post Group.
Q: Benny, thanks for doing this interview with us. Your latest single is "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)." Can you tell me the story behind this song?
A: Well, my dad passed away a year ago on October 2, 2020. He was diagnosed with cancer in late September, and was with us for 9 days post-diagnosis. Man, that was fast. However, my dad and I had a serious discussion about knowing where he was going. Once he spoke audibly that Jesus was his way to heaven, that did it for me. I told him that it didn't matter what the doctors told him then, because he was about to be immaculately healed. There's the story that led to this song.
Q: How did you come to co-write "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)" with Dove Award winning recording artist Mikey Howard (Love Journey Music, 7eventh Time Down)?
A: Mikey Howard is not only our producer, but a great man of God who has the heart of the Lord. He produced our Three Days EP as well as our Christmas single, "We Three Kings." As a matter of fact, it was while I was in the studio with him cutting the vocals for "We Three Kings" that the discussion about Daddy's song came up. Having experienced loss himself, he mentioned about the co-write, and God just showed up, BIG. This song is all about the healing power of having Jesus in your life, especially if you've experienced loss.
Q: Since your new single is about your dad. Tell us a little about him.
A: Ah, my Daddy. All 81 years old, little Sicilian man of mine. Daddy had worked since the age of 16 and had his own roofing company as we grew up. Obviously at the time, he thought my brother and I should work every weekend and learn the business. I'm the eldest of six, so Daddy worked a LOT. But he always was there. The biggest thing that my daddy taught me about was integrity. Doing the right thing even when no one was looking. Being above board and standing behind your word. To me, there's no better lesson for your kids. But I know his current address!
Q: Talk to us about his struggle with cancer. How did your dad's illness affect you spiritually and emotionally?
A: When we found out about the cancer diagnosis, I handled it a bit differently from what most would expect. Having been a Navy Corpsman (medic) in my earlier life, I went straight into diagnosis mode of what was next. Not a lot of emotion initially, but gathering information. It was, What's the next appointment? What's the next process to go through? When does chemo begin? All of those things. Thank God I follow The One who made me! I really don't know how people get through these things without having Jesus in their lives.
Q: How did you process through suffering and grief?
A: Much to the point of the previous question, we were all there on Daddy's final day. I had taken care of him all day, left for home, only to be called back that evening. Once Daddy passed, internally there was a peace. Peace in knowing that he wasn't suffering anymore or going through any more pain. There was also the peace of knowing that he was in the arms of our Savior because of our discussion about that earlier in the week. I helped to bath him and prepare him for the funeral home to pick him up (I had done this in the Navy for strangers, so I could CERTAINLY do this for my daddy), and then sit with my family. It was a very long night.
The following night when I was back home, I went into my closet and broke with emotion that I haven't experienced before. There was sadness that he was gone and that I'd never see him again on this side of heaven, but then the peace. The peace that can only come in these situations when we live our lives with Jesus. It made me think of something I read once. No Jesus, No peace...KNOW Jesus, KNOW peace.
Q: How can your new song speak to those who are suffering in grief right now?
A: As I talked to Mikey about this song, I knew that I did not want a sorrowful and cinematic presentation about what had happened. I wanted it to be about JOY. The joy of seeing our loved ones again in heaven, where it will be nothing but joy and praising our King. The bottom line for me is this, we cannot buy into Satan's lies about sorrow and doom. He loses! I know where Daddy lives today, and also know that I'll see him again.
Thus, the title of this song being "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)." To those who have gone through loss and grief, I share this. God has always been, He IS, and He always will be. He has written our life stories and all of the joy (and yes, pain) that goes with it. Press into Him. Trust Him. Let Him show you the joy in your life that can only come through Him.
Q: What's next for you? Is there more new music coming in the near future?
A: Well, "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)" is the first single that we've released as a band. God is downloading messages at the writing of this article, so yes! Our current trajectory is to have a new EP out this coming Spring. We're surrendering the outcome to Him!
Q: Where and how can our readers go if they want to see you performing live?
A: On November 18, 2021 we are doing a large concert event that will showcase a live video for "I'll Meet You There (Daddy's Song)" at historic Hemingbough in St. Francisville, LA. We're currently looking to book dates going into 2022, and our videos always wind up on our website www.Rockin4Jesus.com.