Charity Von is a nineteen-year-old budding new artist on Slanted Records. Her self-titled debut
is a soulful blend of pop and rock and has already created a buzz in Christian music since its release
this September. Charity recently took some time out of her busy schedule to reflect on the new record,
life as a "pastor's kid" and the Christian walk...
This interview took place on: 12/10/2004
Jesus freak Hideout: When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I have always wanted to pursue a career in music. From the time I was a young child that was the only
thing I ever wanted to do.
JFH: How did you get started?
Iíve been singing since early childhood in my parentís church & everywhere else I had the opportunity.
But, I actually got started in the industry through a cousin who was playing drums in a band called Sky
Harbor. He told his producer about me and set it up for me to fly to his office in Arizona and sing
for him. After hearing me he asked me if Iíd be interested in signing a production & development
contract with him. After much prayer, I said yes and a few short months later I was signed to
JFH: What artists have influenced your sound?
Iíve probably been the most influenced by Janis Joplin and Lauryn Hill. I just love both of their sounds. You can just feel the music when they sing.
JFH: Where do you pull most of your inspiration for songwriting?
I pull much of my songwriting from situations in my life and the feelings that come from those
experiences. I feel as though we all go through things because Godís trying to teach us something,
and it would be a shame for me not to share what Godís been teaching me so that someone else might be
able to learn something from my experiences as well.
JFH: How has being the daughter of a preacher affected your faith?
Being a preacherís daughter has definitely strengthened my faith. Even though I think there were
situations & obstacles that definitely could have damaged my faith if I would have allowed them to.
It all depends on how you allow the negative things to affect you. You can either let them drag you
down or you can rise above them and become a better person. My parents always taught my sister and
I that. And because of that I think weíve come out okay. But, I am 100% thankful that the Lord
blessed me with awesome parents that were dedicated to the call. Being raised in that, it really made
it clear to me just how important it is to follow the Lord no matter what and it really gave me a sense
of the destiny God has for everyoneís life.
JFH: What kind of advice can you give to a child struggling with the stresses
and difficulties that may come with being the child of someone so heavily involved in ministry?
Charity: To those kids that are in very active church families, my advice to them is,
never base your faith on what other people are doing. Good or bad. Find the Lord for yourself.
Pursue a personal relationship with God. That way, when you see people around you that are supposedly
the best Christians fall or make a mistake, you wonít be affected by it. Cause youíll realize that
God is so much bigger than whatís going on in church. And God made all people, but that doesnít mean
Heís like us. Just because we fail, that doesnít mean He will. In fact, God never fails.
JFH: What kind of struggles inspired the song "The Narrow?"
"The Narrow" was inspired by my high school years. During that time I really went through a phase
where I was continually jumping back and forth from my way to Godís way. Always walking the line so
I could fit in with everyone. Eventually, I reached a point where I realized just how stupid it was to
not be standing for anything and I made myself choose, once and for all, which way Iíd be going.
I was either going to follow God whole-heartedly or not at all. And after very little thought,
I decided I was going to follow Godís way; the narrow way.
JFH: "Alone" is a song you've said was born out of your struggle with
growing older and losing friends and family through the paths our loved ones take growing apart from
ours. What has God taught you through this and what kind of encouragement can you give to someone else
struggling with that?
The Lord has really taught me the drastic measures Heíll go through sometimes just to get our
attention. Itís amazing just how much He wants us around. He was willing to pull all my friends
away from me just so He could have me to Himself. I remember after I realized why He had brought me
to this place of loneliness, just how bad I felt for not giving Him his due time and place in my life.
God has to be #1 in our lives always. Not just when we go through some hard times or when we lose
control. If we donít have Him in this place, Heíll find a way to make us realize it. So, for those
going through a season of this, you better figure out where your priorities have been. Because, honestly,
if you think about it, it wouldnít affect us in the slightest if we have God in the #1 spot in our
lives when this happens. Because our center would still be there. Thatís all that matters. So stay
strong. Sometimes the Lord brings us to that dark place just so we can see how empty our lives are
without Him. And when itís all said and done, and Heís taught you your lesson, make sure you keep
Him #1, and the blessings that will flow from that will be unimaginable.
JFH: What is your most favorite song on your self-titled debut album and
I think my favorite song on the record is ďTake Me Through It.Ē I think itís because it pretty much
sums up the whole record. It basically makes the statement that I canít do it without the Lord.
Thankfully, Iíve realized this early in my life, because thereís so much freedom in knowing that we
canít do anything with out His grace. And I think thatís a place everyone needs to be in.
JFH: What has God been teaching you lately?
God has been teaching me to really value life and the importance of redeeming our time. One of my
close friends just died recently in a car accident. And even though that was a terrible thing to deal
with, the Lord really has a way of turning bad situations into good learning experience. And I really
believe Heís trying to show me that life is short and we need to take advantage of every moment for an
opportunity to bring glory to the Lord.
JFH: What is your favorite scripture?
Thatís a tough one cause I have two favorite scriptures: Jeremiah 29:11-14 & 1Peter 2:4-5.
JFH: Favorite Book?
I also have two favorite books, ďTill We Have FacesĒ by C.S. Lewis and ďThis Present DarknessĒ
by Frank Peretti.
JFH: Favorite Movie?
I honestly could never, ever choose my favorite movie. I love movies and it would probably be almost
just as hard as picking a favorite song. Itís that bad.
JFH: Favorite thing to do when you're not touring or songwriting?
My favorite thing to do in my free time is hang out with my family. ( As lame as that may sound.)
I love my family and I donít get to see them a whole lot since Iíve began my career in music so, when
I do itís always a blast. I think thatís mainly cause, weíre all so crazy. Especially, my sister and
I. The two of us together are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
JFH: If you weren't doing music, what do you think you would be doing?
Honestly, I donít even want to think about what Iíd be doing if it wasnít music. I have never, ever
wanted to do anything else. If I wasnít an artist, Iíd be in the music industry & if I wasnít in the
industry Iíd be a professional fan.
JFH: With Christmas just a few weeks away, can you tell us your favorite Christmas memory?
For me the greatest part of Christmas is Christmas Eve. We have a family Christmas Eve tradition that
we always uphold every year. First, we go to our church Christmas Eve Candle Light Service which is
always beautiful and manages to get you in the Christmas Spirit. Then we come home and eat our
traditional Christmas Eve meal of Oyster Stew. After our amazing meal, we sit down as a family and
read the real Christmas story as found in Matthew and in Luke. Itís always a beautiful evening and
my favorite part of the holiday.
JFH: Final comments?
Thank you for the interview!!!!!!!!!