As one of the most highly acclaimed performers of our time with five Grammy® awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records, five gold records, and eleven million units sold, Sandi Patty is simply known as The Voice. Sandi Patty is also the most awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history, with 40 Dove Awards. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and as an Indiana Living Legend in 2007.
She has released over 30 albums and she has just released her brand new album "Christmas Blessings." We are so honored to be able to catch up with her for this Hallels' exclusive Christmas interview.
Hallels: Sandi, so grateful for your time. Congratulations with the release of "Christmas Blessings." You have had a number of Christmas releases before, so what do you hope to achieve with this new project?
I have always loved Christmas and Christmas music so much. Some of my favorite memories of our family have been during the Christmas season. My dad was a minister of music and pastor, and many Christmas seasons we were involved with Christmas productions at our church. Or even just sitting around the piano, my mom playing and all of us singing carols (which we still do during this season!). I love the music, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the joy.....everything that Christmas represents. I hope that those who take the time to listen will be reminded of the joy, peace, and hope that this season represents.
Hallels: You have one original song that you have co-written entitled "The Little Things." For our readers who may not have heard, what's the song about? And what inspired you to write this song?
I began thinking one day what it is that I really love about this season. And I quickly realized that it wasn't the BIG things, it was really all the little things combined. The conversations with the kids who've come home for the holidays. The coffee trips to the local coffee place-and coming home with 12 original and unique coffee orders. Singing around the piano with our family. Watching our little grandson discover the lights and the sounds and the smells of this season. It's never any one big things, its all the little things combined.
Hallels: I believe "Christmas Blessings" is only available at Target and Cracker Barrel Country Stores only, why did you choose to release your album through these avenues?
Well actually it's not just at Target and Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. However, both Target and Cracker Barrel actually have special editions at each store with exclusive tracks just on those albums. Also, I'm so grateful that the album is on iTunes, Family Christian Stores and many other retailers. So, really there are three different versions of Christmas Blessings. ha! I'm just so grateful that all of these fabulous stores want to carry my music!
Hallels: You are also touring in support of the album, what can our readers expect from this tour?
There is a sweet kind of magic that happens in a live show that is hard to capture fully on a recorded project. I love sharing Christmas music with the audiences who are so kind to come to the concerts. This tour is everything from Performing Arts Centers, to full INCREDIBLE symphonies and orchestras, to smaller intimate church settings. And I truly love them all. I have the most amazing band accompanying me on this tour-some of these guys I've worked with for over 30 years. It becomes like a family on the road. I do become very very focused on vocal health and most days I won't even talk before the show. Talking is one of the worst things on your voice. To gear up for this tour, I want to be very vocal health smart, so that I can really enjoy each night with each audience. No two concerts will be the same and that is the joy and a little bit of the anxiety of live shows.
Hallels: How do you keep singing your old hits and these Christmas carols fresh with each performance?
I love the recording process, but there is something truly magical about the live concert process that is at the same time terrifying and joyful. There's so much that could go wrong...that's the terrifying part. But, oh, there is so much that can (and most of the time does) go right. No two concerts are the same. No audience is the same. No venue is the same. I often say that I work for those who buy the tickets or the CDs. They are my boss(es). And I always want to make my boss(es) happy and most importantly FEEL the message that I'm trying to share. Seeing them smile on their faces when I sing a familiar song makes my hearts so happy. Watching as they connect to a new song, or laugh at my attempt to be fuuny-those are things that keep it fresh for me. I try to remember how I felt when I first heard a song or sang a new arrangement and realize that's how the audience may be feeling when they hear the "firsts". I don't ever want to forget or take for granted the enormous honor of singing and sharing music and getting to do as my profession and mission something that I hold very dear to my heart.
Hallels: Speaking of Christmas, what does Christmas mean to you personally?
Chuck Swindoll has been quoted as saying "this is the one time of the year that the world is singing our (Christian) songs." I love the idea of that quote. The message of Christmas, the celebration of Jesus' birth, the gratefulness to God for sending His only Son...THAT is why I love this season. There seems to be a little more kindness in the air....Good will toward all our fellow humans. I like that part of it too! As followers of Jesus, it's so important that we celebrate Him all year long, not just a Christmas.
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