Katy Nichole’s Honesty and Talent Highlight Her Hit Debut Album

John FarrellBy John Farrell11 Minutes

On February 24, 2023, Katy Nichole’s debut album, Jesus Changed My Life, released with much fanfare … all well-deserved. The 11-track compilation features a nice blend of upbeat, uplifting anthems and more soulful, reflective songs.

Whether you’re familiar with Nichole after watching her co-host and perform at the GMA Dove Awards show or listened to a couple of her songs on the radio, Jesus Changed My Life will surprise you with her honesty and wow you with her talent. Two of the singles off the album are already mainstays on national radio programs, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple others enter more radio stations’ rotations.

Success from the Start

Although all 11 songs stand up well individually, the two that knock Nicole’s album into the stratosphere are the opening track, “In Jesus Name (God of Possible),” and the third selection, “God Is in This Story.” The two songs’ powerful lyrics and catchy tunes drive listeners to sing along, sometimes at the top of their lungs. (I know … I’ve witnessed this, and perhaps I too have fallen victim to this phenomenon.)

“In Jesus Name (God of Possible)” was Nichole’s first single, releasing on January 26, 2022. It immediately shot up the charts where it sat atop Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart for 20 weeks. Not only did the song do well on the charts, but it gave the 22-year-old artist her first KLOVE Fan Award for “Worship Song of the Year.” The song became hugely popular when it went viral on TikTok and Instagram.

For her, winning that award was memorable. “I feel as though I’m a worship leader at heart and that would be one of the greatest honors to receive,” Nichole told Inspiration Ministries previously. “I was completely blown away because I’ve been leading worship now for the last three years and it’s something that’s so special to me. To win an award like that is just unbelievable because that’s how God can move.”

Nichole originally wrote the song in August 2021 as a prayer in her prayer journal, but it was a completely different song at the time. The song was once a prayer she prayed for healing for herself, but now it’s a song she’s honored to pray over others.

“I think what I’ve realized over time and having heard the stories behind why people are feeling this song different than others is that there’s power in prayer. And people are finally finding the words to pray,” Nichole also told Inspiration Ministries. “There’s something about that that just blows my mind because I know for a fact that it has nothing to do with me, but it has all to do with the words that God gave to me and He’s allowing me to speak over others. And now they get to speak it over their loved ones and their friends.”

What makes this song resonate with so many people is its message of healing and the transformative power of prayer:

I pray for your healing that circumstances would change /
I pray that the fear would flee in Jesus name /
I pray that a breakthrough would happen today /
I pray miracles over your life in Jesus name /
In Jesus name.

A Collaboration That Works

The third offering on the album is another song that earned a high level of acclaim, “God Is in This Story.” This song stands out on the album since it features the Christian band Big Daddy Weave. The band’s breathy sound is the perfect complement to Nichole’s emotional resonance that rings out through the words.

Regarding teaming up with Big Daddy Weave, Nichole had this to say: “I went out on the road with them, and I was singing the song ‘God Is in the Story’ every night. And we were talking about how possibly there would be a collaboration on ‘God Is in the Story’ and we were going through some different people and then they brought up Mike Weaver. … And we were discussing it with him and he was like, ‘Absolutely.’ So, we talked about it and ended up going in and recording it. I was like this is not my story, it’s our story.”

When Nichole wrote the song, she was going through a really rough season of life. She was telling someone her story and finding it difficult to talk about some of the things that had happened in her life because they brought back a lot of negative memories. The person she was telling this to told her that the coolest thing about her story was that God was in it. Shortly after the conversation, she thought to herself, “I gotta write that down. God is in this story.” She started writing it the next day.

“God is in every part of our story, not just the best parts, but the hard parts too, and how God just completely shows up,” Nichole stated. “He is the greatest author of all time in writing these stories of our life.”

Similar to “In Jesus Name (God of Possible),” “God Is in the Story” spent three weeks at the top of Christian music charts. As the lyrics suggest, God will never give up on us. We should always have hope and be encouraged by our identity in Christ because regardless of our ups and downs, He’ll always be a part of our lives … our story.

God is in this story /
God is in the details /
Even in the broken parts /
He holds my heart, He never fails /
When I’m at my weakest /
I will trust in Jesus /
Always in the high and lows /
The One who goes before me /
God is in this story.

My Favorite

While all 11 songs on Nichole’s debut album are great in their own right, the one I find myself hitting repeat on is “Hold On” – the ninth track. The meaning and power behind the song’s lyrics as well as it’s catchy sound make it, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece of musical art that surprises me that it hasn’t found its way to more airwaves.

When Nichole was in one of the darkest moments of her life, she struggled to find hope. She was in intolerable pain after going through back surgery to straighten her spine due to scoliosis. Her depression turned to suicidal thoughts as she grabbed a bottle of pills fully intending to end her life. However, something miraculous happened.

She heard God speak to her: “Hold on, I’m not done yet.” Those words would go on to be the inspiration for the song “Hold On.” The song tells us that there’s so much more than what we see in the moment … that even though we are currently in a dark spot, God will eventually see us through all the pain and struggles.

Hold on just a little bit longer /
I know it’s gonna be okay /
These days are gonna make you stronger /
You’ll find purpose in the pain /
Hold on just a little bit longer /
Deep down there’s a well of faith /
Let hope arise as you’re lifting up my name /
And just hold on, hold on, hold on.

The other eight tracks on Jesus Changed My Life are the titular “Jesus Changed My Life,” “Things I Wish I Would’ve Said,” “Jesus Thank You,” “Living Proof,” “By the Grace of God,” “Please,” “Take It to the Cross,” and “Turn to Jesus.” While I didn’t mention any of these songs previously, they are all great tracks that capture Nichole’s passion and love for our Lord.

Final Words

I listen to a lot of contemporary Christian music, and I’m usually a little skeptical about new songs. It takes me time to warm up to new music … repetition and familiarity are key. Nichole’s songs are different. I was immediately drawn to her charming vocals and sincere honesty that resonates in her lyrics and performance.

I’m not one to claim an album as a favorite, but if I did, Jesus Changed My Life would rank right near the top. I can state with confidence that I will continue to listen to all 11 tracks on Nichole’s debut album long after I’m done writing this review. And you should too.