At only 21 years old, Koryn Hawthorne is already illuminating the Gospel scene. The Abbeville, Louisiana-bred songstress came into prominence while appearing on season eight of NBC’s The Voice, and, three years later, it’s safe to say that she hasn’t been quieted since.
A finalist of the renowned singing competition and an all-time fan favourite, Hawthorne’s riveting vocal ability and powerhouse range has seemingly kept her at the forefront of the Gospel industry, at the top of her game, and on a winning streak. She has stopped at nothing to let her voice be heard, passionately and compellingly delivering the word of God… time and time again.
Subsequent to finishing fourth place on The Voice, Hawthorne snagged a deal with RCA Inspiration, releasing her self-titled debut EP, Koryn Hawthorne, in August of 2017. The 4-track project featured her acclaimed single, Won’t He Do It, which was exclusively recorded for volume two of OWN’s Greenleaf series’ official soundtrack. Instantly becoming a breakout hit, Won’t He Do It then rose to #1 on Billboard’s chart for Gospel Digital Tracks and gained a top spot at #4 on their Hot Gospel Songs chart and #7 for Gospel Airplay.
Warriors, which was also from the Koryn Hawthorne EP, made quite a bit of noise as well, quickly being deemed an “empowerment anthem” as it was later highlighted during a campaign for the National Women’s Soccer League Playoffs.
Without a doubt, Hawthorne’s enrapturing talent and distinctive sound are not up for debate, nor could it ever be denied. She therapeutically uses her art to carry God’s message, engaging audiences of all age groups, all while uplifting, encouraging, and restoring the hope that many may have lost.
In the words of her song, Won’t He Do It, her only goal is to continuing showing the world that God will do it, but only if you’d let him. For Hawthorne, she surely did, and you can certainly see where it has gotten her.
Check out a recent sit-down with Miss Koryn Hawthorne and Perle Magazine below!
Parlé Mag: As we know, you were a finalist on season eight of The Voice. However, since then, your career has really gone to new heights. So, in what way would you say being on the show has helped shape you into the artist that you are today?
Koryn Hawthorne: It was a great opportunity. It taught me so much, from interviews to song choices. It taught me how to be myself. Even America voted me in from me just being myself. They accepted me for who I was and my truth. So, it prepared me for this—interviews, singing, and all of that. But, most importantly, it taught me how to be myself.
Parlé Mag: Following your stint on The Voice, you were then signed to RCA Inspiration and, from there, things pretty much just started taking off for you. So, was it scary at first? Did you ever feel like too much was happening too fast? If so, how did you adjust to everything that came with this newfound success?
Koryn Hawthorne: I feel like it’s just now beginning. [laughs] I don’t think that it’s happening too fast. I mean, when you work for something your whole life, of course, it’s going to be weird, whenever it actually happens. Just like now, I’m still trying to take it all in. But, I’m definitely not going to take this moment for granted; I’m super grateful. It pushes me to work hard, because, just like that, things could go left. You know?
Parlé Mag: Right.
Koryn Hawthorne: I’ve been working for this my whole life. So, I just feel super validated that all of the hard work that not only me, but my mom, put into this is really paying off. Even with the label, so far, all of the hard work that they’ve done; they took a chance on me. We actually got something to work with. It’s all just God, honestly. It’s all God. I give everything back to Him. This is all His doing; it’s not even about me. So, I’m taking the work as He gives it.
Parlé Mag: Your music offers a very unique and contemporary sound. How have you managed to consistently stay true to yourself and your artistry while also not being afraid to sort of push the envelope, musically?
Koryn Hawthorne: Well, I’ve always been a super versatile person. I love all kinds of music. Even now, I still listen to everything! I think that’s just the most important thing for me. I feel like, just because I’m a Gospel artist, I don’t have to sound like typical Gospel would sound. You know?
Parlé Mag: Agreed.
Koryn Hawthorne: So, I’m always trying to remember, ‘Hey, you do still like other types of music.’ Even when I’m creating music, [I like] being able to put all of those things in there… just to make it more relatable to me. Knowing that always helps. I always try to remember who I am.
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to understand about Koryn Hawthorne, as a person and as an artist?
Koryn Hawthorne: That it’s not about me, honestly. It’s about God. I chose to do this for a reason, and it’s because I love to inspire people, I love Jesus, and I want to give people that. A long time ago, I gave it up and said, ‘It is not about me; it’s about Him and what He has for me.” So, I think I just want people to realize that—I’m not even being cliché—Jesus is doing it! I’m not doing it. He’s using me! And He can do that for you, too.
Parlé Mag: At this point in your life right now, how would you describe your journey?
Koryn Hawthorne: It was hard! Of course, I’ve been singing ever since I was two years old. So, it’s been super tough. I got told “no” a lot. Some failures, some mistakes. But, ultimately, I think it’s just grace and mercy and God guiding my steps. Like, purpose, that’s what has driven my life.
Parlé Mag: What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a performer?
Koryn Hawthorne: As a performer, I would say, you have to work hard. Take everything as a learning experience. Trust the process. Work hard! If you love music—this is for every kind of music—allow everything to influence you. I would say, even if you’re not trying to be in the music industry, whatever gift that God has given you, I encourage you to please trust God with it! Give it back to Him.
Source: Parle Magazine