Katy Nichole‘s launch single “In Jesus Name (God of Possible)” tops Billboard‘s streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Christian Songs chart (dated March 26). It rises from the runner-up spot in its seventh week, becoming her first No. 1.
On Christian Airplay, the song lifts 11-7, marking her first top 10. In the tracking week ending March 20, it drew 6.1 million impressions according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data. It also gained by 3% to 1.9 million U.S. streams in the tracking week. It sold 3,200 downloads (up 10%), and rules Christian Digital Sales for a sixth week. “Name” marks the first rookie single to top Hot Christian Songs since Anne Wilson’s “My Jesus” started a four-week reign last August.
Nichole co-penned “Name” with Ethan Hulse, David Spencer and Jeff Pardo, the latter of whom also produced it solo. Nichole, who signed with Centricity Music in June 2021, initially created buzz by posting videos on social media. She currently boasts almost 400,000 TikTok followers. Originally from Mesa, Ariz., the 21-year old is currently on tour with Big Daddy Weave.
From Centricity’s Franklin, Tenn., offices, Nichole chatted with Billboard from topics ranging from her recovery following a long battle with scoliosis to her chart success.
Congratulations on your first Hot Christian Songs No. 1 with your first release. You were about to become a medical assistant not that long before you started talks with your label, right?
That’s exactly right. I went to a Lauren Daigle concert in 2019, and at that time I was working on my certification to become a medical assistant. Really, I had zero intention to have a career in music — I was ready to use it as a hobby and for my own happiness. Honestly, shortly after this concert I felt kind of unworthy, but at the same time I also had a prayer. Music was still a desire of my heart.
You were resolved and ready to work in the medical field, and then you’re contacted by Centricity?
Yeah, it felt so quick too — but it was a lot longer when you look at the scheme of things. I was actually playing gigs since my mid-teens. They contacted me to come to their indie artist retreat but with things being shut down because of COVID, I was invited to their offices to write by [senior vp of A&R] John Mays.
That’s where they paired you up with seasoned songwriters?
Yep, it was an amazing experience, and I got five co-writes that week.
And your first single was actually birthed in your prayer journal?
When I first wrote it, it was a different song. It was titled “God of Possible,” and I posted a little clip, which was the bridge of the song, to TikTok. When that started to get traction, the label told me that I should go back in and re-record it as a full song.
When did you go in to record the finished version that became your first single?
So, we finished writing it in August 2021, we recorded it in December and released it in January.
That’s fast, right? I’m thinking that, following that timeline, the magic happened on the first take.
It was real fast. [Laughs.] Honestly, I believe we used the demo vocal.
Did you listen to the radio as a kid?
I did. I actually listened to a lot of country music when I was younger and still love it. The first Christian artist that I fell in love with was Francesca Battistelli.
You’ve been visiting radio stations virtually. How important is it that you have a good relationship with programmers? Also, tell me about the first time you heard your song on the radio.
I think the radio component is huge, especially for Christian music. The first time I heard myself it was on [the] K-Love [network] and it was wild. I still can’t believe it whenever I hear myself.
After battling scoliosis since you were so young, how are you doing now?
When they did the second surgery and took the metal rods out of my back and I woke up, it was like all of my depression lifted. At that point I felt like I had a real purpose in my life.
Are you working on new music?
We have the next single recorded. I can’t tell you what it is yet, but I am really excited about it.
What about an album?
It’s part of the plan, but first I’ll be releasing an EP later on this year.
Would you collaborate with an artist from another genre and, if so, who?
Yes, I would love to if that opportunity comes up and … who would I pick? That’s an easy one, hands down: Carly Pearce. I just love her, what a talent.