Crosswalk.com Chats with Kathy Troccoli
- Matthew Turner Music and Entertainment Editor
- 2001 4 Jan
Matt: So, you did a "big band" gig for Christmas?
Kathy: The Sentimental Christmas record is big band. As a matter of fact, I recorded it in your neck of the woods as far as using a lot of the Navy jazz band. Last year we used just a couple of horn players, and this year I'm just doing a combo thing. I'm bringing these four great jazz players, one guy's been playing standup bass, and it's just wonderful.
Matt: Is this jazz and big band thing something new that you're just getting into?
Kathy: No, this is what I was weaned on. When I started doing Christian music I thought that if I'm going to do Christian music I'm going to do pop music. The only opportunities I've had, and I'm very grateful for them, were to do this record with Sandy (Patti) and when we were discussing doing a Christmas record, I said, "This is a perfect opportunity to do that kind of music with Christmas music." It's just romantic and wonderful. It's one of my favorite records I've done, my Christmas record.
Matt: Your photo shoot for your newest album was awesome! Do you have a fashion consultant or someone who helps you out with image?
Kathy: Thanks. They actually have these new people at Reunion (Records) who help me out, and I just love it. Beforehand we talked about the way it was going to go as far as the setup, and they said, "What if we just dressed you in the same color as the room?" So we have this red and blue and green and yellow, it's just great. It just came out and it's doing really well. The single's done well, it's in the top 10. I'm real excited that I have almost a 20-year career and it's still going strong.
Matt: How do you feel after 20 years in this industry?
Kathy: I'm thankful. There are some people at concerts that say, "I listened to you in college! I listened to you in high school! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you." I go, "No. Are you kidding?!" I think that there are few people that can say that. Being in the camp of people that have lasted, like Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W. Smith, I feel very honored. I don't hesitate at all.
Matt: There is a joy and contentment that is more evident in this album. Is that a reflection of where you are personally?
Kathy: Absolutely. It's so funny, because I've been doing so many interviews about this record but no one has pointed this out. I think I've been coming into myself in the last couple of years. I've tried so many things I've really wanted to -- the pop thing, whatever record I've wanted to do -- I've done all kinds of styles of music. Lately I've been getting into this whole speaking, author, singing thing. I've done some of my first keynotes. I feel like I'm really coming into my own thing, a really deep ministry is happening. I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever have. I don't feel like I'm going into my record company or anywhere else trying to prove myself or having people telling me what they think I should do. I'm just kind of setting the stage for it and trying to listen to God, and it's been a sweet, sweet time in my life. It's not striving, as it used to be, which is peaceful.
Matt: What's your favorite song on the album?
Kathy: I think Break My Heart. Some of the people that hear that song go, "Oh, I don't know if I could say that." When you've lived some of the things that I've lived, and we all have come through hard times, you just start learning that most of the time, the deep things you learn and the way your heart starts changing is through the sorrowful times, when you really have to seek the Lord and really see His faithfulness. So it's like, "Hey Lord, I know that's what it takes, so just break my heart gently."
Matt: Rumor has it that you may be working on a pop album soon. Is that true?
Kathy: No. I think I'm open to doing one, but my focus isn't there right now. As a matter of fact, I have about 20-something conferences booked. I'm just loving speaking and singing, and I have a book coming out in January called Falling in Love with Jesus -- its with Word -- and it's going to have a Bible study and video attached. So I'm getting into all kinds of stuff like that, and seeing lives changed.
Matt: Are you speaking to mainly a female crowd? What types of topics are you covering?
Kathy: Mostly female. I'm not necessarily a teacher, I'm more of an inspirational speaker. So I share stories, I share some things from Scripture, but it's more of a testimony of the faithfulness of God. I did a keynote where I had to do four one-hour sessions a couple of months ago, so I talked a lot from the book that's coming out and encouraged women to continue in intimacy with Jesus. It was lots of fun.
Matt: What first got you involved in the whole speaking thing?
Kathy: I started doing a couple of women's conferences three or four years ago and it was natural for me to speak in between songs. A lot of artists do, but it was a little bit more than usual. So a number of people encouraged me that I could write books and express myself in that way, as far as speaking. So I just started doing it more and more, and now I'm being hired to do that. As a matter of fact, the big Women of Faith conferences hired me for five singing, five speaking engagements next year. That's real exciting.
Matt: Who's your hero (after Christ of course)?
Kathy: One died -- Mother Theresa -- because I believe that she laid down her life and lived the gospel and lived it well and lived it as a servant. One of my heroes is Billy Graham in the sense of -- I'm sure a lot of people say that -- but the reason why I love Billy Graham so much is that he's been able to gain respect in all parts of the world, which a lot of people who don't follow Christ get to experience. I think that he loved people well and I think he's been fair. I think he's communicated God's heart very effectively. That's a hard thing to do, to be respected in the world and yet be a man that believers admire.