In this week’s episode host Kristin Schell interviews singer-songwriter Christa Wells. An award winning songwriter, Christa has collaborated with Nashville artists to write hit songs such as “Held” (Natlie Grant) and “Red Sea Road” (Ellie Holcomb). Christa is currently working on her 5th album and she shares behind the scenes look into how she has learned to trust the process.
Join Kristin and Christa for a conversation about the importance of community. Christa shares how even though she’s in a season of having little to offer, she’s even more committed to opening up her home to friends and has found great joy and community in doing so. We are all called to be agents of hospitality, and Christa gives practical ways to share in any season of life.
In today’s episode of The Turquoise Table, host Kristin Schell interviews Christa Wells, a singer and songwriter living in Nashville, Tennessee. She’s an independent artist and has released five albums in her uniquely soulful style. Christa is passionate about mentoring other artists and shares with us how important community is to creatives. She also gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her latest album and its inspiration.
Christa’s life involved music from a very young age, and she fell in love with Amy Grant, hanging on every word of her parents’ records. Later on, she developed a taste for alternative and pop genres, which have really influenced her own songwriting style.
Christa’s career had many stops and starts, plagued by terrible stage fright that made its appearance when she was 14. A fellow artist suggested that Christa instead look to songwriting. She struggled with not pursuing a career as a singer, because that’s what she told everyone she was going to be. Yet the pressure fell away when she started song writing in her 20s. She did step back into singing and is now working on how to dismantle her stage fright. As the Bible says many times: do not be afraid.
Trust the Process
Christa does a lot of journaling, verbal processing and reading to sort through themes and figure out how to write a song in a way that will be poignant to many people. She learns from her community, writes on her own, and then puts it back out into the world through performing with others and to audiences. Taking her ideas into community is the greatest joy to Christa, because she continues to learn and gathers feedback.
Making community a priority has fed Christa’s creative process and joy, so long as she’s also taking care of herself. She explains that you don’t have to wait until you have something big enough to give. You can start by gathering just a few people, asking them to bring something to eat, and providing the venue for inspiration. Christa gets into the details of her creative process. She relies on the musical extended community to pitch in and fund her work on platforms like Kickstarter or Patreon.
Christa’s last album, Velveteen, was written in the years around the end of her marriage, where she was wrestling with identity. Her current album is being written at a time when she’s rising up, growing, and learning from her suffering. She shares with us exactly where she is in writing the songs for the album, the theme of water that is emerging, and how her intuition guides her process.
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Fun photos from a House Concert Christa performed at our house several years ago.