Zoetic are a Christian jazz pop fusion duo who have just released their new single 'Worth It'. Louder Than The Music spoke with one half of the group, multi-instrumentalist Kierstyn St. John, to find out about their unique blend of music, why they want to change the Christian music world, and their thoughts on music in general.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got involved in making music?
We are a Christian jazz pop fusion duo. It's just me (Kierstyn St. John) on keyboards and Emma Voron on vocals. I also do all of our songwriting and production. Both of us have been heavily involved in music from a young age. I majored in music composition at Arizona State, and Emma sang in numerous choirs and productions. I became disheartened by the lack of musical creativity I was hearing on Christian radio so I decided to start Zoetic out of that. Emma resonated with my mission and joined Zoetic last year.
Tell us about your new single 'Worth It' and what the inspiration behind it was?
Emma quit her job a few months ago which was a huge leap of faith for her. I actually was overwhelmed with work and I needed help to push Zoetic forward, so I took my own leap of faith and hired her part time. "Worth It" speaks to both of our experiences of obeying Jesus and His call on your life, no matter the risk, instability, or cost.
Do you have any plans to release further music in the near future?
Absolutely. We try to release a single every 3-4 months and would like to come out with an album late next year if the Lord wills.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
With "Worth It" specifically, Jesus talks over and over again in the New Testament about the cost of following Him. The disciples gave up everything, including many of their lives, to put Jesus and His mission first. His mission is always worth it, but when it becomes your mission too, prepare to make sacrifices. With our music in general, I want Christians to think more deeply about their faith and why they believe it. As we ask tough questions, often our faith grows deeper and we are able to be better witnesses for Christ. And I want to give non-Christians questions of their own. Often people don't question their unbelief as much as they question their belief, but if they did, I truly think people would find Jesus at the end of their seeking.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Christian jazz pop fusion...which I don't think actually exists but it's the closest thing to what we are. We have a super wide range of influences. I grew up listening to CCM artists such as Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, and DC Talk. In college I got a lot more into the progressive metal side of things with bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and Plini. Recently, I've been obsessed with jazz fusion and funk. Snarky Puppy, Haitus Kaiyote, Louis Cole, Owane, and Tigran Hamasyan are a few of my current favorites. Emma loves movie soundtracks and pop, so between the two of us, we pretty much span the whole range.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Michael League and Misha Mansoor would top that list. Both have unbelievable ears for melody, harmony, rhythm, and texture.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
That's a loaded question. I'm constantly torn between my own perceptions of success and how God defines success. We would like to help to change the current Christian music industry. Not because we want or need credit for changing it, but simply because it needs to be changed. Most of mainstream Christian music is dominated by shallow lyrics and simple music. And while there is a time and place for that, we serve an infinitely creative God and that needs to be reflected in the music we make. So pursuing that goal and inspiring other artists to do the same is what success looks like for us. If one person somehow came to Christ through our music, that would also most definitely be considered success.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Narrowing down to just one is cruel. Animals as Leaders' self-titled album changed my life when I heard it. There's nothing else like that album, and there never will be.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
"Thing of Gold" by Snarky Puppy. The synth solo in that song is transcendent.
What does the next year hold for you?
More singles leading up to an album release. Several church shows are booked (and we would love to book more)! Continuing to expand our following on instagram and tiktok. But ultimately remaining open to the will of the Lord.