Thursday, May 6, 2021

Download ‘Shooting Star,’ a Healing Song for Those Affected by Suicide

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Jessica Kneipphttp://www.jessicakneipp.net
Jessica writes about films, and occasionally gets to direct them. Music, photography, art, poetry, reading and travel are pretty good too. She has a love of silent films, they are the closest she will ever get to "time travel."

I first came across Katy Mantyk’s music through a song called Let it Flow, a folk-pop, Americana sound played on acoustic guitar with a floating melody like an echo drifting through a forest. It had heart, healthy heart — the kind of remedy of sound to share with someone who was at a loss in life or needed to heal a broken heart. The message I felt from the song was one of inner-strength, making sense of pain or confusion, letting go, trusting yourself (or that your roots are deep in the earth below), having faith in our path, and relating that to what we see in nature and the divine. It was uplifting, and unlike any other songwriter out there — not only was the messaging good, it also sounded incredible.

Since then, Katy, a New Zealand songbird living in the mountains of New York, has continued to write these catching, purposeful, and utmost beautiful songs. She was part of a trio called “The Good Seeds” in 2016. As a solo artist, she recently released her single Search No More with a powerful music video clip you can watch here:

Earlier this year, Icons Unite held a World Falun Dafa Day 2020 online concert where I was lucky enough to see her perform while everyone was in lockdown. You can catch her performance here — Katy performs at 3hr, 10min, in the songs Michelangelo (another favorite of mine), Swim, Let it Flow, and Search No More.

This past year also saw her co-write a song and collaborate with James H. White on the song Purple Heart — a song filled with gratitude to America’s servicemen and women for their gifts of liberty and freedom.

Katy agreed to sit down and answer some questions regarding her latest single release Shooting Star and the heartfelt promise behind the song.

What first got you into music?

My soul.

Can you tell us about your latest release ‘Shooting Star’?

This song was born from a tragic death of someone I loved dearly. Her life was too short, but she was beautiful… like a shooting star. I know this song floats out across the universe and finds her. But I needed healing, too. I didn’t always know that is what music does, but I went to my guitar and was able to sing hope to myself, and I want to give hope to others who have been affected by suicide loss.

The song has got a powerful promise in it. Every time I sing it, I remember that promise I made. I will never give up, and I will keep on loving no matter how much I hurt. I will keep trying to make my life meaningful and fulfill my wish when I came to this world. We live in a time when humanity needs to enlighten, and we are here to be a part of that. Life is meaningful and precious. Don’t give up. There will be beautiful flowers and a comforting place to rest after we pass through those dark valleys. Stick together. Be there for each other. Be kind and be brave. That is what this song is about.

What is your creative process like?

Like fire and water. Like putting together puzzles from sounds floating in air. Like creating the wind that blows through woody forest trees. It’s very natural and flowing, music finding its way. The music-making process is like a micro-universe of life itself.

Specifically, I really enjoy making music. I start with enjoying. I listen to my music and flow with it. I listen to my heart and let words flow out. Writing lyrics is part puzzles, part philosophy. A song usually is born from playing freely on the piano or guitar and finding something, and then quickly honing in on that and building on it while it is alive. I grab pencil and paper and write down very quickly what comes. 
I also discovered it’s really important to record and capture new music or a song sketch asap, so I do that on my phone, just using a simple recording app. Then I can listen back to it, and hear it more objectively, and more importantly, not forget it and lose it. Recording and listening back is a big part, technically speaking, of my process.

Katy Mantyk playing guitar and singing in the recording studio.
Recording and listening back is the technical part of Katy’s process, but it all starts with enjoying the music and flowing with it. (Image: via Katy Mantyk, with permission)

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Please listen, stream, share, buy the music I am making… making music is not easy, recording and production are expensive and it takes lots of time. If you like my music, please support my work and help me be able to record more.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

There are some incredible producers and chamber music and string arrangers who would be amazing to get the chance with… but I have good friends close by who are really talented and I’d love to colab with them more if we can squeeze out the time together.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Haha!!! I LOVE to sing in the shower. Everyone loves shower acoustics, right?! But believe it or not, I am even shy around my family, so I don’t sing unless my husband isn’t home. What songs? Whatever song I am obsessed with at the time… but for some reason, I fall back on Stevie Wonder songs. His melodies are rich, and I like the challenge. It’s a cappella in the shower, so the melodies need to be good, lol. Casta Diva, Oh Holy Night

What is your favorite song to perform?

I always love a new song, something fresh, but an old favorite of my own songs is probably Search No More, which I released as a single earlier this year. Performing that one is totally different to any other song I’ve done. There is a powerful energy that I lock into while people are listening, like a current flowing between us and heaven, and the song always feels more beautiful than I am possibly able to create myself. Some magic happens.

Katy Mantyk singing and playing guitar by a river.
‘Search No More’ is a favorite for Katy because there’s a powerful energy she locks into while people are listening, like a current flowing between singer, listener, and heaven. (Image: via James Smith, with permission)

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

I think the way the universe or divine works is that we are often given wisdom, advice, and hints for what is relevant and needed for us at the time. So different stages of my life have different best advice. This question is hard. What’s the best? Ever? So much philosophy to draw from… Some of the philosophy I think is “best” may also be the easiest for me to follow, things that come naturally to me, like compassion and kindness. Yet the better advice for me probably falls into the categories I struggle with and need to improve on more, like endurance, working hard to master and reach goals.

If you could change anything in the industry, what would that be?

It’s turned wicked. Music is being used to hook into our lower-level nature in a very toxic way. I’d change the fact that spiritually deviated music is promoted widely and good music isn’t. Music is magic, it has divine powers, people should be more wary about what they feed their minds and souls — the music industry is definitely sculpting people’s hearts and our modern culture and mindsets. 

A lot of the music is clearly toxic to me, but it’s not always obvious on the surface. It can have bad energy inside it from the artists, usually unintentionally I am sure. For example, there is one female artist that is very famous right now; everyone is listening to her. I flicked on the radio one day while I was driving. Her voice was magnetic, soft, and sultry, sort of whispering. At first, I thought it sounded good, but I noticed a strong energy pouring into my body from her voice. I was suddenly given a vision of her voice and it looked like a snake’s tongue hissing and licking my ears, and when I listened, a demonic energy came into me from her voice. I quickly turned it off. But I felt so bad because many people, young kids even, are consuming this music.

Music is a powerful tool. Communists know how to divide and destroy a culture from within, and it has been happening in the U.S. and Western societies for decades, where traditional and healthy culture is “revolutionized” and the music industry is one of the key tools to use in that manipulation. Moral depravity is promoted through music, but that only hurts people and society, and breaks it down.

What’s next for you?

I think I have to keep those cards close to my chest. Life has so many twists, so my plans just never go as planned. I have lots more music to release coming up, an album called ‘From Dust to Gold’ which I am very excited about, and new music to record, I can say that much.

Support the artist and download the song here.

‘Shooting Star’ is out now on all digital platforms. Listen on Spotify. Listen on Soundcloud. Watch the lyric video on YouTube.

For Katy’s Bio and other info: https://katymantyk.com

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