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Christy P Klotz Honors Her Grandma in New Song “Jesus Callin’”

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I am a storyteller. No matter the medium — music, books, art, podcasting — I am telling the world’s most interesting story. How can I make such a claim? Because I tell stories about people, the world’s most interesting subject. I tell stories about you, about your life. About the ups and downs that you’ve surely already experienced today. About your greatest heartache, and deepest joy. I lean fearlessly into what makes us all human, and we go on a journey together. We travel through the raw and the real, and we also keep it light (because we all need that). -Christy P. Klotz

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Your bio states, “I am a storyteller.” What is your favorite story that your gma told you growing up?

I love this question. Gma was an Italian Catholic woman who married an Indian-Hindu man at a time when that was particularly unpopular. I enjoyed hearing about her experiences traveling across the U.S. as a biracial couple. She also took the “Queen Mary” over to India when her and my grandpa first got married. She ironically really hated adventure, but her life was still full of it!

You posted about watching Taylor Swift’s documentary. Which artists have influenced your music?

Shania Twain’s “Come on Over” album was my karaoke jam when I was a little girl. I also really love me some T-Swift. I remember when her self-titled album came out and “Teardrops On My Guitar” was available as a free download on iTunes. I played all her music on repeat. She has a way of really capturing each stage of a young girl’s life. She gave language to such personal and vulnerable feelings of love and heartbreak, and I feel like I’ve grown up with her as a big sister in a way. I am heavily influenced by Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King as well. I look up to them and their abilities to write as well as they perform.

Which song of Taylor’s is your favorite to cover?

I think “Our Song,” is so fun, but more recently I’m obsessed with “Lover.”

“Your Goodness”. What inspired the write? How has the song resonated right now with fans?

I was writing and recording with the band Well Collective Music at the time. I had recorded little pieces of lyrics and melody over quite a few months. I was going through a really tough time in my life, and I sat down at the piano one day where it all came together. Later that week, I played it for the band at the studio and they were immediately obsessed. It’s one of the special ones that is dear to my heart. I think it speaks to a lot of people who have gone through a difficult time and are wrestling with God. For Christians there can be a first love stage, where everything feels very hopeful and positive. But then life happens, and sometimes it creates a disillusionment. It’s sort of the age old question, why do bad things happen to good people? In the midst of COVID-19, I think it’s helped people acknowledge their feelings and struggles, while in the end still holding onto the deep sense of hope that we all need: That God is good, and for us, especially when life is hard.

Can you share the backstory to your new single “Jesus Callin’”?

Jesus Callin’” is about my grandma’s life. The night she passed away, she had the “Jesus Calling” book worn out by her bedside. I had this line circling around in my head for a while: “Now there’s a Jesus Callin worn out by her bedside.” One day, all the lyrics and melody just kind of came to me. I quickly pulled out my phone and recorded everything a capella. I knew it was right. It really felt like a gift. I edited a little in the coming days, but it was pretty much good to go. Sometimes creativity works like that, where it just kind of comes to you, and those moments are always precious. I think this song is special because we all get to the end sometime, and we all grieve those we love. It’s very human, real, and hopeful.

How did you choose the song as your first single as a solo artist?

I had four solid songs that I showed my producer, Jordan Seah, when we were starting the recording process. “Jesus Callin’” really spoke to him in particular, and we had a similar vision for it. There is another song called “As Lovers Should” that was a close contender as well, and will be released next!

The production story for “Jesus Callin’”. Did fan response encourage you to start your podcast?

People found it very interesting to know how it was done! I think we see other people making things and it seems intimidating. I love sharing information and helping other people make the world a more beautiful place too! The podcast is a great platform for people to talk about what they love, and how they do what they do — both as artists, and as business owners.

You host the “How We Create” podcast. What is involved in producing it? How can fans interact with your guests after listening?

Connections with amazing creatives, a bit of audio engineering, and good listening skills! I typically link guest’s websites or social media accounts in the description of each episode, as well as saying it aloud.

What are the take-away messages you hope fans come away with after listening to your podcast, especially as we are all challenged by being homebound while wanting to create?

I hope they will feel inspired to go and do it! Listening to other people’s stories, and how they navigate the world helps me gain new ideas and develop different ways of thinking. It’s good to hear how other industry professionals navigate their creative businesses. I hope people feel more confident in their own ingenuity, and courageous to take steps forward. I also hope they just take away interesting tidbits about how some of the world’s most fun jobs function behind the scenes.

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What challenges have you personally faced and overcome to make music with people while being quarantined?

It’s challenging not to play live. There is something special about sharing that moment with everyone — the band and the audience. It’s something that can’t be fully captured on film. There’s an energy that I think makes everyone feel alive that you can’t quite get from your living room couch. However, it’s been cool to see how much can be done remotely. I’ve been working on my second single with my producer, Jordan Seah, and mixing engineer, Matt Newman, by sending stems back and forth. I’ve also gotten to collaborate with a producer, Snowlab, who actually lives in another state. It’s been broadening my world to how many people I can connect with and work with remotely.

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Author of “Perspectives: poems to a dear friend”. From start to finish, what is it like to see the final product?

It’s amazing! Writing, illustrating, and publishing this book was one of the most challenging projects I have undertaken. I’m so happy to see it finished, and in people’s hands! I began it as a project for my Master’s program, and ended up finishing it about a year later. I had two great editors, Melinda Casey and Katharine McDowell, who helped me polish it up. I wrote all the poems first, and illustrated them later. It went through a lot of different looks and orders, and I’m finally happy with the way it came together!

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Love the “A bit more about me (random edition)” in your bio. Since pretty much everything in our everyday world has been impacted by the pandemic, how do you feel your mindset changed?

Aw, thank you. I think my mindset is a little more driven by my heart-set at the moment. My feelings are truly all over the place. There are some days with anxiety, some days full of gratefulness, some days of boredom, some days of sunshine. I’m thankful to have my health right now, and mourning with those that do not. Many of us feel a financial strain as well, and that can be very stressful. There’s a poem in my book called, “This Too Shall Pass,” and I recite the words sometimes. I remember that the skies will clear once again, and I try to limit the amount of news I take in.

Keeping your creative juices flowing and moving … are you still able to take walks?

Yes! I take a lot of walks. I love walking and being outside. I live in Southern California and I try to take advantage of the sunshine anytime I can. It brings me so much happiness. I’ve discovered some new trails as well which has been fun.

You posted “love going on dates with husband !! “ What creative ideas have you come up with for date nights at home?

We have started cooking a lot! We make a day out of it. We brave the grocery store for ingredients, watch the recipe video (if there is one), put on some music, pour some wine, and have at it. We’ve cooked Ina Garten’s spaghetti and meatballs, enchiladas, coq au vin, shrimp and veggies, Greek chicken, and many more! The music really makes the whole experience, and always brightens our mood.

What are the positives you see coming out of all this?

Many of us have gotten a chance to slow down, to get out of the rat race for a while and just be. We get to remember that we are human beings not human doings. We are also all going through this together. Coronavirus is no respecter of persons, and we have to work as one giant team.

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