Singer/songwriter Christy Barber is no stranger to the stage. She started singing in public by the time she was 10 years old, and says she never experienced the stage fright that afflicts so many performers. Instead, she says, the experience of singing in front of a crowd was exhilarating. Nashville-based record label, Lamon Records, discovered Christy at a music talent search competition and immediately signed her to a record deal. Her debut EP, Love’s Sweet Salvation, released this morning, February 28, 2012.
Mike Parker– I understand your parents were musicians. Knowing the inherent challenges of the music industry, did they encourage you to pursue career in music or offer any advice about the pitfalls of such a career?
Christy Barber– We were raised with music, but we weren’t pushed into it at all. I started piano when I was five, and violin at around age 12, but I always loved singing. Growing up my parents never really talked about music as a career. I just did it because I loved it and doors just opened to do it more.
Parker– Your debut EP, Love’s Sweet Salvation, releases today. How are you feeling?
Christy– It’s very surreal. You hear so much about musicians having to pay their dues to get where they are; banging on doors on Music Row and playing for tips at honkytonks to make ends meet. Honestly, I didn’t live the starving artist lifestyle, but I think I paid my dues in other ways, and I feel so blessed that the doors opened up for this opportunity.
Parker– You are an accomplished songwriter and you have two original songs on your project. If you had your choice, would you prefer to write for other artists, or to sing other writer’s songs?
Christy– I would definitely choose singing, but I am really picky about the songs that I sing. I have to have a deep connection to the song, whether I wrote the song or not. I love writing songs, but songwriting is hard when when you are a perfectionist.
Parker– You signed your record deal with Lamon Records during a songwriter’s competition. Can you talk about how that process?
Christy – I have two little kids, and I’m married and I struggled with a chronic illness for several years, although I’m better now. My husband really pushed me into it. He encouraged me to give it another shot, so I searched the Internet for Christian songwriter competitions and came across the Music Artist Talent Search & Songwriter Competition at the Gideon Media Arts Conference. I entered, but then it took four months before I even heard that I made the top 10.
Ironically, I didn’t win. I was a runner-up, and I thought I would continue to sing, but that my career was going to take a different path. Dave Moody, whose record label, Lamon Records, sponsored the competition, made a beeline to me immediately after the awards banquet and said he still wanted to sign me. Of course I turned him down. Not!
Parker– Tell me about singing in nursing homes.
Christy– I am passionate about that, and consider it a ministry. I was raised to have a deep respect for people who are older than me. I learned that the elderly have so much wisdom and experience to share, and we seem to forget that. I visit people in nursing homes and I sing Patsy Cline and Ella Fitzgerald – songs that they grew up with, then I just visit with them. I take my little girl with me and she is learning to respect and honor the aged through that. I can’t imagine a greater group of people to have for friends. My heart is with them.
Parker– Last words.
Christy– This EP has so much of my heart and soul in it. I went through a really dark time back in 2002, and it made me question my faith and the people around me. This music is not about getting rich or famous. It is really about reaching out to people to let them know that we have a heavenly Father who cares about them.
The Seven Questions
1. What’s your favorite sound?
Christy– My two kids laughing.
2. What makes you happy?
Christy– Being outside with my family, spending time with them.
3. What makes you angry?
4. What is the secret of success?
Christy– Find out what you love to do and do it, no matter how big or small.
5. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, living or dead, who would it be?
Christy– My Grandpa Noon. He fought in WWII and he was an amazing man of God. He passed away when I was first getting to know him and I wish I had more time to spend with him.
6. What is the epitaph that is written on your tombstone?
Christy– “She loved life, her family and Jesus.”
7. When you get to heaven, what is the first thing you want to hear God say to you?
Christy – “Welcome home. I’ve got that hug ready for you.”
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