Interview: "Blue Jay" - Katy Weirich
"Blue Jay", one of your new releases, is an uplifting ballad that has a beautiful message about hope. What inspired this song?
Katy: This song was inspired by my own story of recovery battling severe postpartum anxiety and depression after my second child was born. During my healing journey which took about 6 months, I would see Blue Jays during my day-to-day activities and these sightings always came at very precise moments where I found myself needing encouragement to keep moving forward. Sometimes I'd happen to just glance outside my window and right at that moment, a Blue Jay would land on a branch right then and there. Seeing them honestly felt like hugs from the Lord and overall just gave me a sense that He saw me in my struggle and reminded me that I wasn't ever alone - that He was right there with me and that despite all the crippling circumstances I would fly again. This song speaks to my story's lament and pain but also the hope and beauty of watching how the Lord carried me and sustained me through just as He promised.
How do you balance your music career with your duties as a worship leader?
Katy: I view both of these facets of my path in music to ultimately serve under the umbrella of ministry. Whether writing and releasing songs of worship for the Church or leading music for actual worship gatherings, the purpose for both of these is ultimately the same and that helps prioritize the two as different opportunities for service come along. For me it's basically trying to go back to the "why" behind everything that I'm doing - I'll be the first to admit that it's so easy to get distracted and lose sight of the main mission which is serving God and others through music. If I get too caught up with some of the superficial stuff like stream counts, ratings, and the like - then I've lost sight of the role I've been called to. Overall, it's practicing prioritization and trusting that the Lord will direct my steps.
You mention on your website that you struggled with postpartum depression following both of your pregnancies. How did this shape you and your music career? Has overcoming postpartum depression helped you face other challenges?
Katy: My struggles with mental health issues after each of my 3 pregnancies have definitely sharpened me and I've learned so much through these trials. The experiences have given me something to write about and a heart for using music to help minister to others. The truth is we are all struggling at some point or another and the truths that were my anchors walking through some dark times are the same truths proclaimed in my music to remind others who are in the trenches with their own life's trials. Overcoming postpartum mental health issues has definitely equipped me to face other challenges and not give up when things get really hard. I've learned so much about God and how faithful and trustworthy He is in every situation, no matter how dire.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Katy: The Word of God is definitely my biggest influence in life and some theologians I absolutely love include Charles Spurgeon and A.W. Tozer. In addition, the writings of the Apostle Paul in the Bible have totally influenced how I continue to walk through struggles. My High School sweetheart - now husband of 11 years, Jonathan, has and continues to be a major influence in my life, always there to encourage me and cheer me on.
What is your songwriting process like?
Katy: Much of my writing materials stem from things I'm experiencing in my day-to-day and that coupled with scripture that speaks to those circumstances is my overall recipe for songs. I typically write the lyrics first and pair those with one of the many melodic ideas hummed via voice memos on my phone. These melodic ideas sometimes strike at the most unlikely moment, so I've gotten in the habit to pull out the phone and just record it for future use. That way I have a nice sort of catalog of options when I sit down to tie everything together. I've been told I'm a pretty methodical writer and yes, I've been known to use a thesaurus when I write. For me, the songwriting process is a puzzle, and lots of tweaking and fine-tuning of the words to get the perfect lyrical interpretation of what I'm trying to say.
Looking toward the future, what are your hopes for your music career?
Katy: Looking forward, I'm hoping that I continue to get more and more opportunities to lead worship and perform music for people as a way of serving. I hope to continue writing and collaborating with others in the industry who can sharpen me and make me better as an artist. I also want to release more projects in the future as well and would also like to perhaps transition from being an Indie artist to partnering with a label and publisher if it was the right fit for both parties.
Interviewed By Hannah Conkin
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