We had the good fortune of connecting with Christen Ball and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christen, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I believe that many times, our dreams as a child or as a teenager have a lot to do with what we are supposed to pursue as an adult. For me, high school was what I like to consider my purest creative state. I was sitting in my room, writing songs, and then performing them—and I was simply making art that was real to me. It was too early for my dreams to be tainted by negativity from others, so I just went for it because I loved making that art. When I sometimes lose sight of what I am doing, it’s those early moments that keep me grounded and remind me of what I’m supposed to do. Years later, I keep pursuing making music because I know it’s what I’m born to do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m proud of my art because it’s that…art. I’m not trying to write a hit, I’m trying to make art (music) that is real to me…and I will always be able to stand by and be proud of something that is real to me. In the writing session for my most recent single, Skyscraper, I literally read my co-writer (Deanna Walker) journal entries about a previous breakup and she crafted those thoughts into song. You can’t get any more real than making journal entries into song!
To get where I am today, it’s taken a lot of hard work, trial and error, and a lot of being willing to learn and get better. For example, I recently started taking voice lessons because I want to keep pushing myself further and there is so much more I can learn. Before jumping into full-time artistry, I also learned so much by singing background vocals and playing guitar for other artists who have stronger voices or who are better musicians than me. As far as overcoming challenges, and even how I’ve navigated this music path…my faith in Jesus is what has kept me from completely falling apart at times. I keep an ear on His heart to guide me and lean on Him when I’m struggling. My husband has also been such a source of stability for me. As a creative, I’m all over the place sometimes— and Michael holds me steady when I’m like the wind.
As far as what I want the world to know about me…I want to be known as a creative force in music— as someone who is a bit of a sledgehammer to the current “box” of certain aspects of the industry. I want to follow in the footsteps of my hero’s: The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and the Moody Blues…who made beautiful rock music that was real to them. Also, I want to be known as someone who did not compromise artistically or morally— and my faith is a driving force for both. Actually, artistic and moral purity are at the top of my list of what I want to be known for.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The best hang in Nashville is Living Waters Brewing in East Nashville— and actually, they have live music every Wednesday. My friend Gideon Klein spearheaded the live music there, and I’m in the house band each month for a full band writers night along with my husband on drums. Four songwriters send their music to the band, we learn it and play it with them with no rehearsal! It’s always a great adventure, musically excellent, and very entertaining.
Another fun local spot is Nectar Urban Cantina in Donelson— great tacos, great queso, and friendly staff!!
Sam and Zoe’s is my favorite coffee shop in Nashville— their Dirty Chai is my favorite drink in the world.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Michael Ball, deserves ALL the shoutouts! He has loved me through thick and thin and holds me steady spiritually by drawing me closer to God, emotionally, and musically (he is my drummer after all). He’s the best man I’ve ever known, has the most integrity of anyone I’ve ever known, and is the hardest worker I’ve ever known.
Other: Twitch: https://m.twitch.tv/christenballmusic