There are few artists who are as multifaceted as Kathy Troccoli. Whether it’s her fierce commitment to comforting the broken-hearted with her books and public speaking engagements, or the encouragement and inspiration she brings with her voice in a career that spans more than three decades. With a musical resume that includes eighteen #1 radio hits, along with a pair of Dove awards and three Grammy nominations, Troccoli remains one of music’s most authentic and versatile artists. Her success in Christian music has even crossed over into the mainstream, which includes her #1 hit from 1991, “Everything Changes.”
Troccoli’s newest project of encouragement is “KT’s Comfort Box,” a package-collection filled with songs, sentiments and Scripture, creating a perfect gift for those who may be hurting. She’ll also be launching another series of live dates in support of the package with her “Comfort by Candlelight” events.
AXS recently spoke with Kathy Troccoli about “KT’s Comfort Box,” her new tour and more in this exclusive interview.
AXS: What inspired you to create a “KT’s Comfort Box” package?
Kathy Troccoli: I've done so many concerts and have met so many people over the course of my career. Whether it's a conference room in a hotel or a large stadium where I opened for Billy Graham, the one consistent thing I hear from people is how much my music (and music in general) has touched their life. I've heard many stories of heartache and how my music was able to help people cope. I wanted to give people something they can either buy online or at my shows that will remind them of the experience and came up with the comfort box.
There are a lot of cool little things inside of the box, but one of the major ones is called Comfort by Candlelight. It’s a CD containing a combination of new and old songs that are all songs of comfort. I’ve also included a series of comfort cards with encouraging quotes and lyrics as well as a Comfort Scriptures CD with audio versions of me reading Bible Scripture.
AXS: What can fans expect from your upcoming “Comfort By Candlelight” Tour?
KT: It's an evening where I’ll be speaking and singing. My accompanist, Michelle Margiotta, and I will be doing a lot of tunes and songs that people will know. I’ll also share stories of my life and how I’ve been able to overcome things by incorporating God's stories. What’s wonderful about these shows is that I get to see three or four generations of people.
AXS: What’s your songwriting process like?
KT: Sometimes, it starts when a melody pops into my head. Other times, it might start out with just a title, as was the case with the song, “My Life Is in Your Hands.” I started writing it when my mother was dying of breast cancer. I had just come home from the hospital and was grieving. I prayed to God and said, “Lord, my mother’s life is in your hands. My life is in your hands.” I wound up writing that line down. I had a friend I was writing with at the time and I told him about this great title, and the two of us wound up writing this incredible melody. Ultimately, I always write from the heart.
AXS: Many people know you from your huge crossover hit, “Everything Changes.” Can you tell me how that song came about?
KT: I had left Christian music for a little while and moved to New York where I met a producer named Ric Wake. Ric was producing Taylor Dayne at the time and had also done some things for Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. He really liked my voice and suggested that I sing backup for Taylor on her first few records.
Afterwards, I wanted to try to do something on my own that would incorporate a little crossover with Gospel and pop. Low and behold, Ric told me about this song he had by Diane Warren, and my ears immediately perked up. He said Diane had originally written it for Taylor, but she had recently signed to Arista with Clive Davis, and they passed on it. We ended up recording the song with Ric producing it like he would for Taylor and it became this big hit. It was a lot of fun and I’m so humble and thankful for it.
AXS: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
KT: This will be my twentieth anniversary hosting an annual cruise. Over the years, we’ve toured places like the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Alaska. This time, we’ll be going on a ten-day cruise through the Panama Canal. I’ll be doing a night of hits, Gospel and jazz and we'll also have morning devotionals. It's going to be a glorious time.
AXS: Of all the highlights of your career, what stands out to you as most memorable?
KT: Over the years, I’ve been able to sing with the best, and even shook hands with Pope John Paul. But they're all fleeting memories next to the stories I hear from people who tell me how my music has given life to someone. I like to call these moments making a mark on someone’s eternity. In the music business, you can either bring life or death with what you do. Music is powerful, and for as long as God allows me to sing, I’m going to bring life.