The 116 Life Episode 47: Silent Night with Crystal Nicole
On this episode of The 116 Life, had the pleasure of welcoming the incredibly talented Crystal Nicole to our show. Crystal is not just a singer, songwriter, worship leader, producer, and vocalist, but also a Grammy award-winning artist.
Celebrating Life and Music at 40
We kicked off our conversation by celebrating Crystal’s recent birthday. At 40, she radiates a warrior energy, a testament to the battles she has faced and overcome. She attributes her strength to the wisdom and personal growth she has gained over the years. We also discussed her upcoming performances and a video she recently shot.
Crystal’s successful music career is not about making money, but about the love for music and creativity. She reflects on the things money can’t buy, such as security, confidence, and peace, and emphasizes the importance of purpose in her life.
Reimagining “Silent Night”
One of the highlights of the conversation was discussing her recreation of the song “Silent Night” for the Gift project. Crystal wanted to make it worshipful and dope at the same time. She had some hesitation in approaching such a classic and beloved song, but she was able to reimagine it by embodying a moment and writing a soundtrack to life. The powerful lyrics of the song can be enjoyed throughout the year.
A Childhood Marked by Tragedy
Crystal’s journey into music began in a household plagued by domestic violence. Her father brutally beat her mother, culminating in a tragic incident where her mother was shot multiple times. Crystal was only seven years old at the time. Music became a refuge for her, a way to drown out the sounds of the fighting and find solace.
The Struggles and Triumphs in the Music Industry
Crystal’s journey in the music industry has been marked by struggles with body image and self-worth. She was constantly criticized and told that she wasn’t attractive enough to be an artist. Despite these challenges, Crystal found solace in songwriting, using it as a form of therapy to express her frustrations.
Her journey into music and pursuing it professionally was not easy. She faced constant criticism and rode on bald tires with no car insurance, relying on slim jims for lunch. She recalls being in the studio, hungry and trying to sing over the sound of her growling stomach because she couldn’t afford food.
A Breakthrough with Jermaine Dupri
Her breakthrough came when she caught the attention of Jermaine Dupri, who became the first songwriter he signed. Working with Jermaine was a rigorous process, with him constantly pushing her to rewrite songs until they were perfect.
Faith and Music
Crystal’s Christian faith has played a significant role in her music career. She struggled with her identity and didn’t fully embrace her role as a daughter of God during that time. However, after gaining success and accolades, she had a realization and decided to turn down opportunities that didn’t align with her values.
The Power of Love and Trust in God
Crystal talks about how she used to struggle with the idea of writing love songs instead of songs about Jesus, but she eventually realized that God is love and that love can be a way to honor Him. She also emphasizes the importance of not limiting God to specific genres or categories, as He can work through various types of music and artists.
The 116 Life: A Final Note
As we wrapped up our conversation, we expressed our gratitude for Crystal’s contribution to the culture and music. We also acknowledged a particular song that brought many good days of great music.
You can find Crystal Nicole on Instagram as @thee_crystalnicole. We hope you enjoyed this episode of the 116 Life and God bless.
The Silent Night Record (00:02:20) Crystal Nicole talks about the Silent Night record and how it has become one of her favorite songs that she has ever written.
The Purpose is Currency (00:04:32) Crystal Nicole discusses how she has learned that certain things like security, confidence, and peace cannot be bought and that purpose is her currency.
Reimagining Silent Night (00:07:45) Crystal Nicole explains why she was hesitant to approach reimagining the classic song Silent Night and how she wanted to make it a worshipful and dope record.
The Grammy award-winning songwriter (00:09:33) The hosts discuss the impact of having a Grammy award-winning songwriter say that one of her best songs was written under the 116 umbrella.
The remix of “Silent Night” (00:11:33) The hosts talk about how the remix of “Silent Night” came together, with Que Parker requesting to sing on the track and the process of reworking the second verse.
Crystal Nicole’s upbringing and musical family (00:14:19) Crystal Nicole shares her upbringing in Atlanta, growing up in a musical family, and how music became a safety net for her in the midst of domestic violence.
The Lord interjects in the story (00:20:02) The guest talks about a moment at a youth camp where she felt singled out by God and had a personal encounter with Him.
Journey into songwriting and artistry (00:22:31) The guest discusses her pursuit of music professionally, facing criticism and rejection, and finding solace in writing songs.
Ascend into the industry and resolve as a songwriter (00:28:16) Crystal talks about her success as a songwriter, including writing for Rihanna, and the process she went through to overcome self-doubt and pursue her artistry.
The long process (00:28:37) Crystal talks about the long and challenging process of becoming a successful songwriter, including financial struggles and rewriting songs for Jermaine Dupri.
Writing for big names (00:31:23) Crystal discusses the various artists she has written songs for, including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, and more.
Reconciling faith and artistry (00:34:18) Crystal opens up about the struggle of being a Christian and writing songs that may not align with her beliefs, and how she eventually made the decision to prioritize her faith over success.
The experience of writing songs about Jesus (00:38:02) Crystal discusses the struggle of wanting to write a song about Jesus but getting love songs dropped into her spirit instead.
The idea that God can operate in different genres and styles (00:38:59) Crystal talks about how she used to believe that God could only operate in certain genres and catalogs, but she has come to realize that there are things that honor Him in various styles of music.
The experience of trying out for The Voice (00:40:52) Crystal shares her experience of auditioning for The Voice and the nervousness and challenges she faced during the process.
Acknowledging the Impact of a Song (00:47:40) The hosts discuss the personal significance of a particular song and express gratitude for its impact on their lives.
The Importance of Acknowledgement (00:47:50) Highlighting the significance of receiving acknowledgment from others and how it can be a source of encouragement.
Closing Remarks and Preview of Next Episode (00:48:01) The hosts wrap up the current episode, express their excitement for the next one, and bid farewell to the listeners.
Related Radio Show: 116 Life