{Behind The Music} ChristiAna on Barefoot Mountain Child

{Behind The Music} ChristiAna on Barefoot Mountain Child

ChristiAna 2

“Barefoot Mountain Child is a product of my mindset during the last few months of my deployment to Iraq. We spent a total of 15 months there and in those last few months it really started to suck.  I was starting to struggle more and more with just keeping my head straight and then one day I got a letter from my Momma and it reminded me of where I came from and that who I was..” – @Christiana_RGB

Live Interview January 14 6pm et:
Episode #289 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

I sang with my 8 siblings quite a bit growing up…
in churches, nursing homes, etc… and was the one kid who didn’t shut up in between the family performances LOL.  However, it wasn’t until much later that I got into singing on a more serious level.  I was on deployment to Baghdad, Iraq in 2008 when I had an experience singing karaoke on a cheap system that marked a pivotal moment for my singing.  We had a Sergeant First Class in the unit who somehow procured this karaoke system and we had this one evening where everybody took turns singing their hearts out.  I picked a Martina McBride song when my turn came and when I started to sing, I saw some of my fellow soldiers stop what they were doing to watch, some of them with tears in their eyes.  It was a one of a kind feeling, really overwhelming and humbling, and made me feel something that I had never felt before. When we came home from Iraq, one of the first things I did was to find a place to keep singing karaoke.  I married my husband Stacy in 2010 and he really ended up being the one thing that pushed me a lot further than I’d ever thought I could go. He took me to sing every weekend and encouraged me to enter every talent show and karaoke contest possible, and kept encouraging me even when I didn’t do so well.  His dedication gave me the courage to try out (a third time) for Operation Rising Star (The Military’s version of American Idol), and that third ended up being the one that took me all the way to end to win the whole thing☺

Barefoot Mountain Child…
It’s about being away from home and family but finding a way to keep being who you are and who you were raised to be in spite of circumstances or distance and time away from your family. Barefoot Mountain Child is a product of my mindset during the last few months of my deployment to Iraq. We spent a total of 15 months there and in those last few months it really started to suck.  I was starting to struggle more and more with just keeping my head straight and then one day I got a letter from my Momma and it reminded me of where I came from and that who I was, was a lot stronger than anything I could go through in Iraq or anywhere, and I wrote the concept and first lyrics of that song on the back of that letter.  In 2014, I had a chance to Co-write the great Rob Crosby as a part of the Operation Rising Star winner’s package and he helped me structure my lyrics a little better and put a melody to the song.  The other part of the package was getting to record Barefoot Mountain Child (along with another original) at Riverfront Studios in Nashville, TN.

ChristiAnaI currently do not have an album but…
will be working on creating an EP with my two original songs. I have other songs that I’m currently working on but am definitely proud of what I’m starting with.  My first two songs have really been like taking a look into where I started with my goals and dreams but I’m looking forward to creating more music that will show how my life has changed since I started too.  I love good country/southern rock music and how it tells stories and I can’t wait to use it to tell the rest of mine.

I live in south central Missouri…
near Fort Leonard Wood, where I got out of the Army at this year.  We are pretty fortunate to have decent scene for live music, there is a college town 20 minutes one way, and then there’s Lake of the Ozarks (Which has tons of stuff going on every summer) an hour in the other direction.  Both locations offer plenty of great venues and crowds who love live music.
Places to go- We play a lot in the college town of Rolla, MO at a couple of really cool places called “The Locker Room” and the “Tater Patch”  both venues are very dedicated to bringing quality live music to town every weekend so you can always find great bands and artists playing at one or both places.  During the Summer you can’t go to Lake of the Ozarks and throw a rock without hitting a great lakeside bar with some kind of live music being played.  Our favorite places to play at the lake have been Backwater Jacks, Shady Gators, Go Fast Betty’s, and Bootleggers.  We also recently got a chance to break into the Jefferson City scene when we got the invite to play a venue called “The Mission”.

I love to…
ride horses and motorcycles☺ They make me feel free and THAT is fun.

Music business…
I have some mixed feelings about it so far. I’m kind of afraid that it won’t be very excepting of me as I’m trying to break into it at a much later stage in life than most people do (Particularly females).

Pros and cons…
I have had a few comments made that I am too old (I’m only 29) to just now be attempting to make a career of music.  That is definitely a con and was certainly discouraging.  But the pro’s have been the countless people I have encountered who give me great feedback from my band gigs.  I have also been very blessed to have met a few established musicians such as Lee Brice, John Fogarty, and Willie Nelson, all who really gave me significant advice and encouragement.

Hurdles and pitfalls…
I think having my husband on my team has been my biggest secret weapon.  He’s very structured and meticulous and is the business side of everything for me.  We both complement each other very well.  I also have a tremendous group of musicians that have stuck with me and helped me to grow creatively while also helping me to find focus and direction.

Social media…
can be your best friend or worst nightmare.  My husband started using it initially to help promote me during the Operation Rising Star contest and we became acutely aware at what a huge asset it can be in helping to reach audiences that would normally be completely off limits because of physical limitations (i.e. distance, lack of radio play, etc…)

Challenges that you’ve had to overcome…
Haha, so far, learning how to do all the PR, along with doing the band stuff, and then also trying to figure out how to continue to self-promote has been the greatest challenge.  It’s crazy weird to go from being a Soldier in an entirely structured environment with this particular recipe for success, to being a singer in the world of showbiz where there’s no specific formula for how to make it work… it can definitely be disconcerting.

Singles vs an album…
I think the way that music is so readily accessible nowadays really makes it more appealing to think of doing singles.  Most music is available on line, on multiple formats, so with my limited knowledge, I’d just say that it’s probably going be easier and potentially, reach more of an audience if people can hear and purchase your music, one song at a time.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Jesus.  There’s so much stuff I’d love to ask him.  But if not him then definitely Johnny Cash.  Mr. Cash created his own brand, and made this huge impact on country music, and he did it all the way he wanted to do it.  I love to know where that confidence and focus came from.

Mr. Cash gets such a rep for being a badass and an outlaw, but I don’t think that it was really his intent to come across that way.  He just wanted to do things his way, and he didn’t want people trying to tell him how he should build his world.

Music Trends and finding your balance…
I think it’s a matter of personal perspective.  There will always be the trends that try to tempt you into morphing into something that you didn’t set out to be.  But if you wanted to be trendy and current and use that premise to reach a certain type of listeners, then that’s ok too.  I don’t think there is very good balance on regular radio, but nowadays, there is so much music available on multiple platforms, that I don’t think it’s the end of the world if everyday radio stations don’t play a good mix.

I am most afraid of…
MATH!  Haha, just kidding;) I was always nervous about math because I was never good at it but I’ve been taking a pre-algebra class so I’ve just about got it beat now!  Honestly, I’ve just come to a point after spending several years in the Army and in a combat zone, the only thing that scares me is the thought of wasting my life or spending it chasing after things that I was not meant for.

My personal definition of success is…
Because of my faith in Christ I can’t help but say that my definition of success is understanding your distinct purpose in life and then living your life to fulfill that purpose.  A personal success story for me started before I even embarked on my music ventures.  I was raised in a very service oriented family and I always felt an unmistakable pride in our armed forces. That pride led me into the Army at age 20 and I set goals for myself literally within the first few weeks of basic training.  I knew I wanted to be a leader of Soldiers almost immediately and I set goals for myself to become a Non-commissioned Officer. A few years into my service I got to see that goal come life after a lot of hard work and it’s still something that I take immense pride in, and it was a path that taught me how to pursue a goal relentlessly and never take no for answer until you get where set out to go.

My over-all goal for my life & career is… 
Honestly, I just want to make good music and keep looking for opportunities to sing to anyone who wants to listen.  If that means I end up being forever a karaoke singer then I am prepared for that, but if I am so blessed that it means I get to write, record and perform for crowds all over the place then I am going to keep busting my butt to make sure that I am prepared for that too.  My main goal is just to pursue fulfilling my purpose, and I believe that my purpose is to sing.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) Understanding and accepting the fact that I do not have to be an amazing vocalist in order to use my voice to reach people and connect with them.  For a long time I thought that since I couldn’t “blow” like Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, or Tina Turner, then I had no business even attempting to make a living at singing, but a few life changing moments changed my mindset.

2) Intentionally placing myself in every possible situation where I am forced to relax and focus on becoming a performer in conjunction with the singing.

3) Choosing to step away from a promising 8 year career in the Army to throw myself into the notion that maybe… just maybe, I could do well enough in music to make some kind of a living at it!

Social media:
Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/christiana1
Facebook Band Page: www.facebook.com/teamchristiana
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Christiana_RGB
Facebook Personal page: www.facebook.com/stacy.ball.9250
You Tube:  www.youtube.com/channel/UCqQMVsC7VNA_5XzavnZIlQw
Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/stacyball
Flicker: www.flickr.com/photos/128887020@N08/
Instagram: Christiana_RGB
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/StacyNCAna/

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