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Jonny Diaz’s album Sweetness And Sorrow almost never happened. For that matter, any new music from Diaz almost never happened.
A few years ago, Diaz wrote an album called Everything Is Changing because everything was, well, changing. It’s not something he’s said to many people before, but at the time Diaz thought it would be his last album.
He was touring around 100 days a year, starting a business with his wife, had just become a father…And beyond the busy schedule, the music industry had become more draining of life than giving. The focus was on making a product to sell, rather than to fulfill a passion. Songwriting sessions were formulaic instead of inspiration-led. Diaz was feeling the industry more than the music.
Then something happened that changed everything all over again: Jonny’s song “Breathe”– a last-minute toss as a radio single– resonated quickly with listeners and became a hit. Suddenly it was time to reevaluate his music career all over again.
“Of course God had to use a song about finding peace to humble me to actually do so,” Diaz laughs. “I was burned out, exhausted, but with “Breathe” He showed me ‘You can do this and stay grounded in the other important parts of your life. You have a calling to do this, and there is a way you can use this gift and live that out, while maintaining peace.’”
Diaz charted a new path going forward. He became more intentional with his performances and with the music-making process itself. The result was a brand new album he could truly, pardon the pun, breathe into.
“Making this project was relaxed and fun. And in having fun, it resulted in some of the most creative work. None of those songwriting pressures– Will it be a hit radio song? Does it have mass appeal?– were even asked. We just focused on the question of What’s God stirring in our hearts and how can we explore that truth and have fun with it?”