Giving All That He Has: Interview with Donovan Owens


For our first SOAR interview, welcomes an “ordinary kid with an extraordinary gift” in music, who is using it for the Lord. 13-year-old Donovan Owens has been singing for a quite while now, and has shared the stage with several well-known Gospel artists. You may have heard his tremendous voice on Kirk Franklin’s latest album “The Fight of My Life” on the track “A Whole Nation.” Now Donovan has an album of his own called “All That I Have,” and he shows us you’re never too young to serve the Lord with your talents. Check out what Donovan had to say about his faith, dreams, walk with God, and more…

Listen to a clip from the interview in this video & read the entire interview below:


SOAR: Hi Donovan.

Donovan Owens: Hi.

SOAR: Hi how are you doing?

DO: I’m alright, and you?

SOAR: I’m doing good. Thanks for calling in. I wanted to start the interview by asking when you got started singing?

DO: I started singing when I was two and I started learning songs when I was 5.

donovansingsSOAR: Wow, that’s great. And when did you begin performing and start doing engagements?

DO: When I was about 7, yeah about 7.

SOAR: And how was that, did you know that this is what you wanted to do?

DO: I just knew that, when I was about 10 I realized that this is what I really wanted to do and this is what I had a passion for. So that’s when I really started to get gigs and stuff.

SOAR: What kinds of gigs did you start doing?

DO: First I had church events, I was pretty much just singing at my church and just went up from that.

SOAR: And with all this going on, all those performances did you do anything to stay grounded?

DO: Well before I sing, I pray that I do well, and that people can be reached by what I’m singing and hear the words that I’m saying. I fast, and I deny some of the things that I do daily so… I pray and read my Word, and I just rest my voice so I can save it.

SOAR: Wow, that’s really good. You said that you fast before to prepare?

donovanalbumDO: Yes.

SOAR: That’s awesome – you’re 12 now?

DO: I just turned 13.

SOAR: Oh, happy belated birthday!

DO: Thank you.

SOAR: How does it feel to have your first album released so close to your birthday?

DO: Well, it was just so amazing because we’ve been waiting so long, people have been waiting so long… Everytime in church they say, “When is your album coming out? I’m going to be the first one to buy it.” It was just a lot of hard work that went into it. It was just my dream come true to have my first album, it was just amazing just to hear myself just on a CD, to actually give it out to people, and people are actually happy to be getting it. So it was just an amazing experience. Then I had a release concert, which made it even better, so… and there was a lot of people that were there, they bought a lot of CDs that I autographed. I autographed posters and everything. It was just nice that I had fans and people that believe in me and support me.

SOAR: That’s awesome. So for your first album did you have a vision? What message did you want to give to people?

DO: My vision is pretty much to reach youth, speak to them in my songs, to speak to them about their questions and their concernings about their life. It’s just encouraging them and being there for them through my music.

SOAR: That’s great. Did you get to help write any of the songs?

DO: I do write, but I didn’t on my first album, I just had an input on some of the songs.

SOAR: Did you have a favorite song that spoke to you the most?

soarlogoDO: Yes, it’s called “Fly Like a Bird.” My song is actually here in Milwaukee for “Jam for Peace.” It’s like a peace concert where there’s a whole bunch of artists that come, and I sang the song called “Fly Like a Bird.” It’s my favorite song, it just speaks about how I just want to be with the Lord all the time and get away from the evils of the world, the killing and the hatred, and everything. So that’s what its about.

Donovan Owens: Fly Like a Bird

SOAR: Yeah, I heard that song I really liked it too. What other performances have you done and who are some of the people you’ve performed with?

DO: Well I performed with Dorinda Clark Cole, I sang for Marvin Winans’ youth conference, Hezekiah Walker’s youth conference, Bishop Alfred Owens’ youth conference, I’ve sung at lots of church events. I’ve worked with, well I’ve sung and opened up for J. Moss and 21:03. I’ve sung for Smokie Norful, and I also did a song for TBN.

SOAR: Oh, you’ve done a lot more then people twice your age. That’s really impressive.

DO: Thank you.

SOAR: How was it that you met Kirk Franklin, and got to sing on his album?

Donovan in “A Whole Nation” from Kirk Franklin’s Album “The Fight of My Life”:

DO: Well it was actually through my pastor, Bishop Darrell Hines and Pastor Pamela Hines. We had an Easter service and he was one of the guests, and I was singing with the youth choir. So, I’ve always wanted to meet him so I just went in the back and asked my Bishop if I could sing for him, and he said sure… And I sung a little snippet of like one of his songs on the Hero album, and he just loved it. So he called me back and he said he was going to call my mom. Within two or three weeks we got a phone call that he wanted us to fly down to record a song with him, and I was super excited, like that was one of my dreams come true.

Kirk Franklin & Donovan in the Studio in 2007

SOAR: Awesome. Speaking of dreams, I read [in your blog] you also got to perform at a release concert called the “Following Our Dreams” concert, for your friend Jacob Latimore?

DO: Yes, I did, it was just full of a whole lot of young people, and even grown-ups too, and I think everybody enjoyed themselves, I certainly enjoyed myself. The dancers, myself, Jacob, everybody there. Even with R&B, I just loved it.

donovanrolemodelsSOAR: You said it was R&B, how did you feel, did you feel nervous about singing, how did it turn out?

DO: I felt comfortable because it was just a mixture, they are R&B and Gospel too. I was Gospel and some of them were R&B, some were dancers, and I just felt comfortable.

SOAR: That’s cool that you get to go into other settings and sing with other people who are singing other genres.

DO: Yeah, I just felt like light because I was singing Gospel. Yeah, I just felt like everybody enjoyed themselves, I certainly enjoyed myself.

SOAR: That’s great. So who would you say are your role models, people who inspire you? It could be musically or people in your life who inspire you?

DO: Smokie Norful, because of how humble he is, and how sweet his spirit is. When I met him he just had encouraging words for me. And so did Kirk Franklin, he gave me some really good advice and great wise words for me and we had some similarities, so he’s definitely one of my role models. J. Moss, because I like the way he speaks to people in his music, and how he writes. Donnie McClurkin because of how anointed he is. And I also want to be as anointed as all of them. So those are my role models.

SOAR: They’re great. How do you balance being a kid with your ministry?

DO: Well, my mom she helps me, she makes sure that I have time to be a kid and have fun. We do vacations and get aways, so she just makes sure that I’m being a kid and also being a Gospel artist too, so I have the best of both worlds.

donovanipodSOAR: Definitely. How is it like at school? Do the other kids know about your singing and what have they said to you?

DO: Yes, everybody knows. When Kirk Franklin’s CD [“The Fight of My Life”] came out, like every single day people were coming up to me, to my locker. At lunch all the girls were like “Oh my gosh! You’re on Kirk Franklin’s CD…” By, like, a month passed and “A Whole Nation Song” was all on their ipods. They were just like jammin’ to it. It was just funny, it was just funny. In a month everyone just had it on their ipods.

SOAR: That’s pretty cool. I heard you have another passion, in acting. How’d you get started in that?

DO: I can’t really remember how, but I just remember trying out. I started off with one role, and I ended up with four more so I had five all together. It included singing, acting and dancing. So I just enjoyed myself in that, and it was actually called Modjeska Youth Theatre. It was “Suessical the Musical.” It was a play about all of Dr. Suess’ musicals and stories, so it was very fun.

soardonovanowensmediumSOAR: Cool. So do you have any other acting roles coming up?

DO: It’s in the works, so we’re praying and hoping that I’m getting in a movie.

SOAR: That’d be awesome. So what else do you like to do for fun, like read, play video games, play any sports?

DO: I like to play video games and I like to draw, and I like to read. Mainly I like to draw and read, when I don’t feel like watching TV. Mainly everyday I just sing and hum, and draw, and that’s pretty much what I like to do.

SOAR: Cool, do you have any favorite books or video games?

DO: The game system that I like the most is the Wii… And my favorite book is called Silver Cage… It’s a very good book, it’s kind of similar to the style of Harry Potter books, but I think it’s better than Harry Potter books. I like it.

SOAR: Cool, I might check that out. So with the singing, and the acting and all that, have you thought about what you want to do when you get older?

DO: Well, I want to be a fashion designer I want to have my own line of clothing and I also want to be a singer. I want to be a producer too.

SOAR: Well I’m sure that with your faith in God and with everything that you’re doing now that you’ll be able to achieve those dreams and goals. I was wondering do you have a favorite scripture that you’d like to share, something that inspires you the most?

donovanquotedreamDO: Well, its Luke 9:48. The scripture just talks about how God is saying whoever receives this child in my name will receive me, and whoever doesn’t receive this child doesn’t receive the anointing I have in him. I just like that scripture because sometimes I get discouraged because grown-ups just don’t think that I sing, I’m just a little kid. I’m just a little kid just coming up and singing and whatever, and they just don’t think that I have the anointing, so I just base myself on that Scripture.

SOAR: Well, definitely that’s a great scripture. Do you have any advice for other young people who feel like that or who want to use their talents for God but they might be afraid or unsure that they can do it now when they’re young?

DO: All I have to say is just follow your dreams, don’t ever give up. Remember it’s all about God put Him first. I have a song called “I’ll Be That” its actually my single, and it talks about how you get talked about, and how you get teased just because you have a relationship with God. It’s alright to say I’ll be that, it’s ok. It’s ok, just follow God and you’ll be alright. That’s all I have to say.

SOAR: That’s really good. What do you have coming up next, any projects or events?

DO: Well right now we’re just promoting the album, yeah we’re gonna have a lot of spots in cds, and pretty much interviews. We’ll be promoting the CD pretty much.

SOAR: Great, so where can everyone go to learn more and to purchase the album?

DO: Well my website is where you can purchase the CD and also listen to some of the songs. You can find out a lot about me, I have my bio. And a lot of people if you have Myspace, you can hit me up on Myspace,, where if you send me a friend request and I add you or you add me we’re having giveaways, where we’re going to have raffles, games, a whole lot of stuff. So all you have to do is be my friend on Myspace.

SOAR: Is there anything else you wanted to say, or do you want to give a shout out to anyone?

DO: Just to my family and all my friends, thanks for supporting me.

SOAR: Thanks so much for speaking to me today Donovan.

DO: Thanks for having me.

SOAR: Good luck on everything and God bless.

DO: Thank you.

donovanalbumSOAR: Bye.

DO: Bye.

Find out more about Donovan & hear more of his music:
Myspace: Youtube:


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About the Author

Julene Fleurmond, editor of Dream in Soul Magazine, is a young dreamer, entrepreneur, artist, writer and speaker who loves to create to inspire others. She founded her own creative media company, Envibrance Studios as a teen, and runs an inspirational apparel & product line. Visit her website online at

One Response to “ Giving All That He Has: Interview with Donovan Owens ”

  1. Amen! I loved it. I have never heard of him and am glad you featured him here. I pray God conitnues to grow His roots deeper in Him, so that He will be able to sustain the fame and upward growth that will definitely come from his talents. Good stuff.