Katy Crawford -10 Questions Music Interview
Katy Crawford is a singer-songwriter who has led worship for more than a decade both at her church in the US and within many French-speaking countries. Katie was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, where she grew up in the church ministering alongside her family. Katy is lives a purpose-driven life as she strives to bring the songs the Lord has given her to people around the world. Combining her love for Jazz, Bluegrass, and pop, Katy is devoted to writing original songs that communicate the fulfilling relationship she's experienced in Christ. She released her first EP in French, Pour Te Louer (To Praise You), in 2015, followed by her debut full-length project in English, Our Love Story, in 2016. In November 2017, she released an EP, Closer, followed by singles, Grace That Saves the World (2019), and By My Side (2020). Her latest EP, Dwell, recorded in Nashville with Billy Smiley, includes songs written from the Psalms.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I definitely would say that the “catalyst” for my writing music was when I started vocal training with Andrea Wallace, of 288 Vocals. As a kid, I often wrote little poems that I treasured, but rarely shared with anyone. But when I started training with Andrea at age 15, in addition to practicing my vocal repertoire, she had me begin reworking already written songs, using different styles. That was my first taste of experimenting with chords, genres, and melodies and inspired me to create something of my own. And, since I was, at the time, homeschooling, taking self-paced correspondence courses, much of my days were spent avoiding my school work, and instead, tinkering with the piano and writing.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Well, I was playing the first half of my set at a restaurant where I had a residency, when in the middle of singing, I noticed a man with an instrument case walk through the door, look at me quizzically, then proceed to the bar. He was shortly followed by another, then another, then yet another. I was rather puzzled but continued singing and playing as if nothing was strange, figuring maybe they had all just come from a rehearsal and were stopping in for a bite to eat. The musicians sat nearby and listened and responded well to my music.
When I took my break in the middle of my set, they came up to me. They were super kind and complimentary, although a bit confused: they told me they had been booked to play that evening. These lovely people were an Irish Folk band. When we jointly asked the management about the double booking, they assured us that they normally double booked at their venue (which I had never experienced in my many times of playing there), that it was totally fine, and that they would send the Irish band to a side room to play, while I would continue my set in the main room. They insisted that the music would not carry over from room to room.
The Irish folks were none too pleased, being sent to a side room rather than the main stage, and I was bewildered, but I continued with my set. Sure enough, I started playing and singing, and you most definitely could hear the Irish music clashing with my own. And though I adore Irish Folk music, it was a cacophonous mess. I kept it lighthearted onstage between songs though, and sincerely wished I had some Irish tunes prepared so we could all play together.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Honestly, having the opportunity to meet and work with so many incredible and legendary musicians in Nashville, including Billy Smiley, who produced my new EP, Dwell. They are all such phenomenal musicians, but down-to-earth and friendly, too.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I am a lyrics person, so it usually starts there for me. With my secular tunes, oftentimes a unique phrase comes to my mind, then I begin mulling it over, imagining a story surrounding that phrase, then I begin adding melodies and instrumentation.
With my CCM and worship tunes, it can sometimes be the same way. But most of those come from times when I am in prayer or am leading worship at my church, then the Lord drops into my spirit a scripture or an expression of praise or adoration for Him, and that becomes the seed from which new songs can develop. But on occasion, I sit down and play some chords on the piano and simply sing before the Lord, and He gives me the words He wants me to speak in that moment. In any case, for me, I have to access that creativity regularly, otherwise it goes dormant.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I often wish that the music industry was as simple as it used to be back in the early 20th century. Back then, though I do recognize it was far from easy to do, singers and songwriters would go from radio station to radio station and have their songs heard and even find jobs performing, and that is how they got their big break.
Nowadays, it seems more often than not that the only way for an Indie Artist to have his/her music heard by people of influence in the music industry is by a huge stroke of luck or by an equally huge investment. And without those influential people, he/she is set adrift in the vast sea of other artists who have maybe 100 streams online. It is such a shame because there are so many hidden gems out there!
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I would love to share the stage with Lauren Daigle. I had the great pleasure of attending one of her concerts recently. I already knew I loved her voice and her song style, but I found that she is also an energetic and fun performer! She and I have a lot in common, with our love for jazz and unique beats. I would love to jam on stage with her!
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Lately, I have been doing mostly solo gigs, which is just me and the keys, so prepping for a live show at my house involves a lot of piano practice and vocal warm-ups. But when I have need of a full band, I have a group of extremely talented musician friends whom I can call upon. I send them recordings and charts, and all we have to do is run through each song once or twice and we are set.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I would say the most challenging song for me to write from this recent EP was “Dwell.” All of these songs were written during a time when the Lord had me read a psalm a day and write a song from each. Many of those were challenging in themselves, but Psalm 23 is such a well-known scripture and has been reshaped into so many songs over the years, it was a daunting task to try and make it something unique and new. So, I wrote a verse and a chorus and that as about all I could do.
Despite trying to complete it early on, the song collected dust for 5 years before I finally finished it in January of this year. When Billy and I decided to record a Psalm project, I went home and dug out a few of those more challenging songs to try and find a way to make them work (“Who Am I” is one of those, by the way). The Lord was faithful to give me inspiration. I wrote a second verse and a bridge and sent it on to Billy. It was a good song, but it felt like it just wasn’t reaching it’s potential. Then Billy had the genius idea to switch the chorus and the bridge, and now I can’t imagine it any other way!
What's coming up in the future?
I minister a lot internationally, so I plan to translate a few of these songs and record versions of them in French and in Spanish, in order to bless those communities. I also hope to record another Psalm project with Billy, including other songs from this series. He and I also released a Christmas single in December 2019 and I hope to revisit the holiday theme with him soon!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
My music is available on all digital outlets
Hers are the links to the music distribution platforms!
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