To say that Courtnie Ramirez has a bubbly personality would be an understatement. From the first moment we connect on the phone, her joyful heart fills our conversation, and an interview quickly becomes like two friends hanging out.
Her song “Perfectly Loved” had just hit the number one spot on Billboard’s Christian Hot AC/CHR, and she was soon to release her next single “Who We Are.” The alum from NBC’s “The Voice” is quickly climbing the charts, and she intends to share her gift while praising Jesus as her career takes off.
Kimberly Carr: So Courtney, you have had a number one hit recently. That’s exciting! Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Courtnie Ramirez: Yes! I hit number one, which I still can’t believe I’m even saying that!…Oh my goodness. I flipped. I literally have a video of my reaction and guess what I did? I got so excited that I jumped into a pool! I’m so honored and I just can’t believe that my – and this is my first single, like ever. This is just a huge blessing – for sure.
Carr: You’ve had a lot happen in the years since you appeared on “The Voice.” What have you been up to?
Ramirez: That kind of gave me some momentum. So then after that I was like, ‘Mom, dad, I want to get signed. I want to do music forever.’ I came to Nashville and I met with Gotee Records. I got to talking with the team and I met TobyMac and I just felt right at home. I signed in 2018 so I’ve just been writing my little heart out, trying to find my single, and then God was like, ‘Okay, here’s your first single – ”Perfectly Loved.’” So then I just released it and it went great!
Carr: I also saw that you also have a version of “Perfectly Loved” with Wande.
Ramirez: Yes. That was actually, oh my goodness. I still can’t believe that Wande decided to be on it. She is just such an amazing person and such a great artist. But my team said ‘Hey, what if we were to get Wande to get on it? On the remix?’ I was like, ‘I’m so down. If you can make it happen, go ahead.’ It was super cool doing the music video with Wande.
Carr: How do you see the next few months going now that we’re all in quarantine and there’s no touring or in-person appearances?
Ramirez: I feel like us as artists, we are really having to adapt to social media, which like I feel like we also have to be careful because it can be super tiring, you know? Honestly, I’m just trying to adapt. I mean, I’m so sad that I can’t like go and seek people and do shows and stuff and but I know that we’ll get there again. First of all, I’m just so excited for people to hear my new single.
Carr: You brought up social media. I was looking on your channels, and one thing I noticed was your family is incredibly important to you. And you just got married – congratulations! So is your family very musical? How have they helped shape your career path up to this point?
Ramirez: Oh my goodness. Yes. So my parents – like no one is musically inclined! My mom – she can hold a note or two. But one thing that my parents have been for sure is a foundation for my dreams. They have always been so supportive of me. If I had a dream, like acting, they were like, ‘Okay, let’s do acting.’ I feel like they have shaped me, especially my mom. She’s a very passionate woman.
I can honestly say that she is my biggest fan, her and my husband, they’re like competing for biggest fan. My mom has been a huge part of who I’ve become musically. She just always has told me, ‘Be who you are and really feel what you are singing and what you’re saying.’
My husband and I live over here in the Carolinas. We moved here because he is a worship leader at Elevation Church, so he is very musically talented. Oh my goodness – he’s just so talented. So he is very supportive of my music. He’s for sure been helping me figure out my sound and who I am as an artist.
Carr: So maybe some collaborations in the future?
Ramirez: Yes, yes, for sure. There will be collaboration.
Carr: The landscape of what’s called contemporary Christian music has changed drastically in the past few years in such an enriching and fantastic way. It seems like it’s becoming wider, becoming more accepting to different musical styles and personalities and lyrics. I wonder, when you’re writing, do you consider that you’re adding to this new landscape?
Ramirez: For sure. All of the co-writes that I go into, I always tell them I don’t want to sound cookie cutter. I want to write music, like how I would say it to someone. And I don’t want to be afraid of putting real situations into a song, like in “Who We Are.” The first line is, ‘There’s some things that I don’t like to talk about. There’s some things that I’d rather keep underground.’ It’s a very vulnerable song and it’s very real. But I also feel like the Lord has put in me, as a songwriter, to have that language, to not be afraid to be real with people, especially through music.
Carr: At what point did you know that your life would head in this direction?
Ramirez: I think I wrote my first song when I was 13. I know I was so young! It really amazed me how I was like, ‘I can write a song with my feelings and actually say something and maybe people listen,’ you know? So I feel like that passion really started developing when I was 13. And then when I got older, that passion just grew out of [going] through stuff that I feel like people are going through too, like insecurities and shame and maybe even image problems. I feel like I have a message to say and I know I’m not alone in this.
Carr: You are so connected to the people who listen to your music on social media. That’s that seems like something that’s very important to you.
Ramirez: Oh, absolutely. It is one thing that my mom has just taught me so much. That girl’s got so much wisdom that she has given me! She told me and encouraged me to reach out to people and hear their stories and hear what they go through and write a song about it. Write songs for them so they can have the anthem to when they’re too weak and feel tired and just ready to give up. Give them a song that will encourage them. So yes, I feel very passionate about really hearing what people need and what they need for their hearts for sure.
Check out Courtnie’s latest single “Who We Are” below!