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Katy Nichole will perform in the Buffalo area on Sept. 15. (Photos by Hannah Burton, courtesy of Hoganson Media Relations/Centricity Music/CMA Media Promotions)
Katy Nichole will perform in the Buffalo area on Sept. 15. (Photos by Hannah Burton, courtesy of Hoganson Media Relations/Centricity Music/CMA Media Promotions)

Q&A: Katy Nichole's life takes unexpected turns, leading to unimaginable blessings

by jmaloni
Thu, Sep 1st 2022 09:05 pm

By Joshua Maloni


GM/Managing Editor

None of this was supposed to happen to Katy Nichole.

Not a chart-topping hit.

Not performances at legendary venues.

Not opening for Chris Tomlin or Jeremy Camp.

You see, Katy was ready to embark upon a career in the medical arts. She not only set her mind on this profession, but went to and completed school to become a certified assistant.

That she was able to do that was somewhat unexpected, as well.

Just a few years earlier, at the age of 15, Katy underwent surgery to correct her spine – something deemed necessary to treat her scoliosis. Metal rods and screws placed in her back resulted in lingering bouts of extreme pain – and, even worse – extreme depression. Things got to a place where, as Katy recalled in her biography, “At one point, I looked at a bottle of pills I was given, and I was like, ‘It would be that easy.’ ”

It was then, she said, “I remember picking it up, and I heard the voice of God say, ‘Hold on. I’m not done yet.’ Every time I would hit that low point, I would hear that same voice.”

Katy had another operation – this time to take out the implants – and “When I came out of the second surgery, that smoke cloud was gone. I encountered the Lord in that moment. My x-rays after the surgery showed that my spine was actually straighter than when the rods had been in it. So, when I say that God can do miracles, I mean it, because I’ve seen it.”

She started singing in church – not remotely thinking it would amount to anything other than leading people in worshipping God.

She caught the attention of The Afters lead singer Josh Havens, who invited her to perform at his church, The Grove in Phoenix. Soon after, Katy started releasing original songs online, and wound up receiving a recording contract from Centricity Music.

Her self-titled, debut EP features six songs, including a collaboration with Big Daddy Weave frontman Mike Weaver (“God Is In This Story”).

It’s the self-reflective “In Jesus Name,” however, that has become an anthem and a rallying cry for the millions of people who have streamed the song, watched it online or heard it live in concert.

“Holding the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 for a debut single from a female artist ever on both the Billboard Hot Christian Songs (14 weeks) and Christian Airplay (nine weeks) charts, ‘In Jesus Name (God of Possible)’ also continues at No. 1 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel Songs chart, occupying that top spot virtually every week since it released Jan. 26,” a press release noted upon the EP’s release. “Nichole further breaks into the Top 5 on the Billboard Emerging Artist Chart and was named a YouTube ‘Trending Artist On The Rise’ for the song’s concept video that has been streamed nearly 6 million times.”

As of this writing, “In Jesus Name” has only dropped one spot, to No. 2 on the first Billboard chart. “God Is In This Story” is No. 10 on the second rankings list.

Katy will share her songs locally when she visits The Chapel on Thursday, Sept. 15. She is part of Jeremy Camp’s “I Still Believe Tour.”

Prior to that, she took time to share more of her story. An edited Q&A follows.

Katy Nichole will perform in the Buffalo area on Sept. 15. (Photos by Hannah Burton, courtesy of Hoganson Media Relations/Centricity Music/CMA Media Promotions)


Q: Now, in as much as this is the first time I am meeting you, I am sure that you are a professional; you take every appearance seriously. But I realize that you are coming to see us after a summer in which you've performed at Red Rocks, and on the Opry stage.

Katy Nichole: (Laughs)

Q: I'm thinking we might have to have elephants and fireworks, and maybe some wire-walkers that night. Is that fair?

Katy Nichole: Oh, my goodness, you know what: It does not take a venue of the size of Red Rocks or any of those things to bring in the presence of Jesus. We're gonna worship regardless. It's gonna be a great night.

Q: I appreciate you saying that. And I know that the concertgoers will be happy to hear that, as well. Nevertheless, I have to ask you: How amazing was it to perform on those stages?

Katy Nichole: It was just amazing. And what a blessing that God would just allow me to be able to stand on those stages. And you know, especially at Red Rocks, where I was just in the middle of the most amazing nature. It was insane! I can't even describe it to you; I was kind of speechless, because it was just amazing. And, and again, it's like, I'm in the middle of God's creation. It was amazing.

Q: We know God has delivered you from physical and emotional challenges. You've been very open about sharing that. How are you doing today? How are things going for you?

Katy Nichole: Yeah. You know, I still deal with things to this day, of health issues and things like that. But I'm standing on the strength that God has given me; and I pray for health every morning – just that God would continue to bless my life and keep my body strong. And he's done a great job of pushing me forward. So, I keep going every single day.

Q: Of course, those are uncomfortable challenges that you did not ask for; you did not bring upon yourself. But I want to ask you about something that is potentially uncomfortable that you did opt to put upon yourself – and to your credit. And that is the fact that, as it says in your press release, you're unashamed to say the name of Jesus. And I know your songs have been taken from your personal prayer journals.

That's not something that every musician opts to do. Why was that the right thing for you?

Katy Nichole: Well, honesty is the first thing that I want, is to just tell the truth – and Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. And so, I want to speak that into the world. I want to speak the good news of the gospel.

And so, I spent a lot of the last three years of my life just reading my Bible and having conversations with God, and that was through a prayer journal. And so, a lot of those moments turned into some of the songs that I have written and that you'll hear today.

And, specifically, “In Jesus Name.” But, you know, “In Jesus Name” came from a really dark season in my life. I went back into a prayer journal that I didn't even expect to see what I saw. And I was like, “This is such a full circle, God moment,” when I started highlighting the fact that I was praying that prayer over myself. And now, I get to pray that over other people – and what a gift that is.



Q: So many musicians that I have spoken with, the pandemic, of course, had a big impact on them as far as how they could tour, and where they could tour, and how they could get their music out to people.

If my math is correct, then your dark season happened before the pandemic. If that's correct, then I'm wondering, did you find you were better prepared to deal with that, then, because of that dark period? And did you find that maybe that put you in a better position to create music that could help others when they probably needed it more than ever?

Katy Nichole: Well, I mean, the dark season in my life was a three-year-long period. And it was scary. And I was 15 years old when it started. And that turned into me being incredibly depressed, and having such bad anxiety that I, like, couldn't get out of bed, and I couldn't leave the house. And I mean, I did; I still did those things.

And so, when, when that comes back around – which it will, and it does – because I'm always on this healing journey; and I'm always gonna deal with bouts of anxiety and depression – everyone does. I mean, it's a human thing. But I would say, now, dealing with those things, I do deal with it in a different way. And I handle the situation maybe with a bit more clarity as to what's going on.

And, you know, there are some attacks of the enemy that they seem like they're too big, and “How could I ever get through this?” But I'm here to say that my God is so much bigger, and he can always handle those things.

So, that's why I've turned to a prayer journal. I take real thoughts and real emotions, and I write them down first, to validate the feelings and emotions that God gave to me. But then I give them to him, because I have to surrender those things. Or else, you know, they'll just sit – and we don't want to sit in those things for too long.

Q: You've talked about the fact that your career path took some different twists and turns. You were thinking about getting into the medical world. Did you know at that time that you had the talent to be a singer, and that you could be viable as a performer? Or did that come after you had gone down that medical road?

Katy Nichole: You know, I actually, the funniest story is the medical assisting moment I had in my life (laughs).

I have always been a singer; like, I love to sing; I've always loved being on stage. It's just been something that has been built into me since I was really little. So, I always kind of had that dream of like, when I was younger, I always said, “Oh, I want to become a pop star.”

I always was writing songs and singing and doing that, way before the medical stuff. But I kind of took a detour because, all of a sudden one day, I woke up, and I was like, “You know what? I'm gonna go to a trade school, and I'm gonna get my medical assisting certification (laughs).

And so, I kind of dropped everything with my music for a minute, and I just called it a hobby. I didn't really want it to be my job anymore. And I did the medical assisting thing; I got my certification. And by the end of it – even though I loved it, and it was something that I totally would have pursued had I not seen doors open in different other directions – I probably would have stuck to it. But God opened doors into music that were completely undeniable – and I needed to walk through them.

I had been writing a lot of songs; I had a mentor; I was leading worship during all of that. Like I said, I kind of just started doing different things. I wasn't doing it as my job anymore. But I was doing it as serving in a church, and just as a hobby of like writing songs. And that was my place of just, like, peace and joy.

So, I was still doing it, but I didn't really know where that was going to land in my life. And so, the fact that I do what I do now is kind of insane to me.



Q: Well, also, speaking of insane, I mean, you're 22 years old. How do you wrap your brain around the past 12 months and everything you've accomplished? The success your music has had, the performers that have not only shared the stage with you, but have vouched for you?

Katy Nichole: I mean, I'm just blown away constantly. I don't think there's ever been a moment where I was like, “I can see this now.” It's still a day-by-day, like, I take it one step at a time.

I don't know why God chose me to do this, or I feel incredibly undeserving to be standing on Red Rocks stage and Grand Ole Opry and things like that. I feel very undeserving of that. And, in all honesty, I am; but I also think that my goal, at the end of the day, is to serve God, and to bring the good news.

And that's why I'm not ashamed to talk about Jesus, because I know for a fact that, if I don't go out and share that, then I'm not doing what God has called me to do. And there would be no point in me doing this.

And so, the only way I can wrap my head around it is just to be like, “Well, God called me to go share his name. And regardless of if I was standing on a stage, and regardless of if I was singing these songs, I would still be doing that no matter where I am.” So, that's how I wrap my head around it. And I'm just incredibly blessed to do it the places that I'm able to do it.

Q: Listening to you now, and having listened to your music, I just feel like it would be a help to so many people, to so many listeners. What is the conversation with fans – and what is the feedback you've gotten lately?

Katy Nichole: You know, I have heard incredible stories of healing and miracles, and all of these things – of just people being impacted by the music, and just God working through them and working in their lives. And really, it doesn't take a song to do that. But it takes faith, and looking to Jesus in those hard times.

And I am so thankful that the song “In Jesus Name” has now become words to pray. I am so grateful for that. Because I know that that wasn't me. I didn't do that. God did that. And the fact that now people are having conversations – real conversations – with the Lord, and praying this over their loved ones, is just an incredible thing to me. And so, anytime that someone shares like a vulnerable moment, or just a story of how the song has impacted their life, it just means the world to me.

Q: So, for this show in Buffalo, you are coming with Jeremy Camp. I’ve had the good fortune of chatting with him a couple of times. I mean, this is a dude that lost his wife and then wrote a song called “I Still Believe” – which just blows my mind. Tell me a bit about Jeremy Camp, and how you got connected with him and his team.

Katy Nichole: Well, honestly, I have a crazy story. The first artist I ever opened for as a Christian artist was Jeremy Camp. I was like the opener in a festival. So, I didn't meet him or anything. I never got to see him. But it was the fact that that was the first thing I ever did. I think it's such a full circle thing now, that I am on his tour. That's unbelievable.

But, you know, when they talked about us possibly going out on tour together, I was just like, “That's a no-brainer. I love Jeremy Camp; love his music; love his heart. He's just awesome.” I'm so grateful that we get to go out and play some shows together.

•Catch Katy Nichole and Jeremy Camp on the “I Still Believe Tour” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at The Chapel, 500 Crosspoint Parkway, Getzville. For tickets or additional details, call 855-484-1991 or visit www.platformtickets.com.

Katy is online at https://katynichole.com/, on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

Katy Nichole will perform in the Buffalo area on Sept. 15. (Photos by Hannah Burton, courtesy of Hoganson Media Relations/Centricity Music/CMA Media Promotions)

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