Charity Von is a nineteen-year-old budding new artist
on Slanted Records.
From the moment that Charity Von's silk and suede voice
caresses your ears, your mind tells you there is no way that it is
coming out of a 19-year-old.
The soul-infused rock and pop that make up her self-titled
debut o要 Slanted Records, combined with the richness of her voice,
sounds "musically and lyrically" like it should be coming
from someone who has lived a few more years o要 this planet.
Growing up with parents who love music certainly had
an effect o要 her. Much to her continuing embarrassment, Charity's
father likes to tell a story about a time that the family was o要
a road trip. David and his wife were passing the time singing when
a third vocal part entered the music making'in perfect harmony. The
o要ly other person in the vehicle was two-year-old Charity.
"When people ask me how I got into music, I usually
say that it's more like the music got into me," she explains.
"God blessed me with a gift and love for it and before I could
object, it was in me." All of this talent resides in an individual
whose purpose and calling is every bit as potent as her pipes. Charity's
father pastors a growing church in the Kansas City area, but a good
chunk of her formative years were spent traveling with her family
o要 the evangelistic circuit.
Eventually the singing blossomed into songwriting. After
reading a story about how Christ refused to take anything to assuage
the pain he felt on the cross, 10-year-old Charity decided to write
a song about it. "I decided I was just going to kind of sing
the song whenever I was around my mom, to see if she would ask me
about it, " she explains with a grin.
"I kept doing that and eventually she asked me
where I had heard it. She's a songwriter and I didn't want to tell
her I wrote it before getting her opinion, so I just asked her if
she liked it. When she said she did, I told her I wrote it. She was
so happy and excited for me, she sat right down at the piano and helped
me work the chords out."
The songwriting and the singing continued throughout
her teen years. Charity's family settled in a suburb of Kansas City
(the Kansas side, she's quick to point out) and Charity and her sister
Toni made the transition to public school. After her high school graduation,
Charity toyed with the idea of going to college, but she knew there
was another call on her life.
So while her friends went off to school, Charity Von
got a job and continued working on her music. A cousin who was in
a band came in contact with acclaimed musician and producer Billy
Smiley and told him that he had a cousin who could sing.
When Smiley heard Charity's voice and songs, he immediately
began working with her to sharpen her skills. Eventually he began
getting in touch with music labels in Nashville and presenting Charity
There was immediate interest from some of the biggest
Christian labels, but when Charity Von and her parents left a meeting
with executives at Spring Hill Music Group, who had been discussing
the creation of a new imprint for pop/rock music, they knew they had
found her musical home.
Growing up a preacher's kid frequently isn't easy and
Charity had her share of challenges, which are illustrated through
these songs. But it also exposed her to the wonders of being used
by God and that is what motivates her now.
"I feel led to help people my age, teens just
entering adulthood that feel like they've been playing games all through
their Christian lives and they are so sick of it," Charity says.
"And they don't know how to get back in either out of fear of
what God will say or what their non-Christian friends will say, or
because they are worried about their 'image.' I feel that
God has definitely called me to minister to these people, because
I've been there and I've had to wrestle with all of these issues."
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
Charity Von is the culmination of a lot of hard work
and prayer. Musically, it marries the two musical influences that
Charity is most passionate about rock and neo-soul. "Vocally,
my two biggest influences are probably Janis Joplin and Lauryn Hill.
Janis had an ability to mix rock and blues and to draw you into the
emotion that she was feeling at the time. Lauryn Hill mixes the great
doo-wop bands with some hip-hop and neo-soul edge that I absolutely
"But as far as mixing music and spirituality, Keith
Green is my role model. He was an amazing singer and songwriter, but
the priority for him was Christ and to see the lost brought to him.
His ability to use music to minister is mind-boggling and I definitely
look up to him in that respect."
From the outright rock that is "The Narrow,"
"Shine", and "Weight Of The World" to the neo-soul-infused
"Take Me Through It" and "I Believe In Miracles"
to the passion-filled "You Make It Fine" and "I'll
Be (The Pleasure Is Mine)," Charity Von heralds the arrival of
Christian music's newest powerhouse. Although the intensity of the
music is matched in the lyrics, there is a thread of hope and light
woven throughout the project.
As much as she loves music, Charity admits that occasionally
there are times she wishes for a different vocation. "There are
days when I wish I had a more stable and 'normal' life," Charity
muses. "But when God calls you to do something, you do it, regardless
of whether you're feeling it or not. And o要ce you give in and are
obedient, He forms your heart and makes you want to do it."
Charity got started singing in her early childhood at
her parent's church & everywhere else she had the opportunity. But,
she actually got started in the industry through a cousin who was
playing drums in a band called Sky Harbor. He told his producer about
her and set it up for her to fly to his office in Arizona and sing
She has pull much of her songwriting from situations
in her life and the feelings that come from those experiences. She
feel as though we all go through things because God's trying to teach
us something, and it would be a shame for me not to share what God's
been teaching her so that someone else might be able to learn something
from my experiences as well.
Charity's song "The Narrow" was inspired by her high
school years. During that time she really went through a phase where
she was continually jumping back and forth from my way to God's way.
Always walking the line so she could fit in with everyone. Eventually,
she reached a point where she realized just how stupid it was to not
be standing for anything and she made herself choose, once and for
all, which way she'd be going. She was either going to follow God
whole-heartedly or not at all. And after very little thought, she
decided she was going to follow God's way; the narrow way.
Charity Von's was asked what is your Favorite Scripture,
she Replied; "That's a tough one cause I have two favorite scriptures:
Jeremiah 29:11-14 & 1 Peter 2:4-5." She also has two favorite books,
"Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis and "This Present
Darkness" by Frank Peretti.