When acoustic singer-songwriter Jillian Edwards talks music with Grammy Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman, she calls him Papa Steve.
Of course Edwards, who in 2012 married Chapman's son, drummer Will Franklin Chapman, holds her own with the Christian superstar in-laws.
Just a girl and her guitar, Edwards wrote her first song at age 16, released a debut album at 20 and saw her third release, Daydream, hit No. 1 on iTunes' singer-songwriter chart in 2014.
Edwards, who appears this month on the Evening of Joy and Worship Christmas tour featuring Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day and Brandon Heath, calls her musical family a blessing.
I spoke to her about love, life and putting it all to song for Jesus Christ.
What role does the singer-songwriter play in today's music scene?
To me, a singer-songwriter's job is to cultivate beauty, to use words and music to tell a story that moves you. Beauty is the mark of God. There can be beauty in creating art.
What challenges do you face as Christian in the business?
Really it is the general challenge of any Christian person, to glorify God in everything I do. I say I'm a follower of Christ and I want to live that way. I pray every day that what I do is meaningful. I write a lot of love songs. That comes naturally to me, so I am not considered in the Christian artist genre, but I am a Christian and I am an artist. If I write a love song, I pray God uses it in some way to minister to people.
What advice would you give to girls pursuing music who feel pressured to change their style?
You sound best doing the type of music you feel led to do. God puts specific gifts in each of us. If you feel it in your heart, it is a sign it is what you were made to do.
How did you meet your husband?
I moved to Nashville after college, and we were introduced through mutual friends. We were in the same place at the same time and it was just right. He is an amazing musician.
How did the Christmas tour come about?
I received a really kind offer from Papa Steve. We had talked about how fun it would be to do a Christmas tour. It's been going really well. It's great being on tour with my husband. He is the drummer on the tour. I get to sing some of my own Christmas songs. I do some backup vocals for the other artists and Papa Steve. It all comes together.
Why Christmas music?
I love it. I just released a Christmas album, My Christmases. I love how the songs take me back to being a kid. The songs are wrapped up in all these great memories and traditions. My favorite is Have Your Self a Merry Little Christmas.