Five Questions With Katie Ditschun

Canadian contemporary jazz-pop singer-songwriter Katie Ditschun offers a moment of calm and cause for pause this holiday season with the release of her new single, “Be Still”.

“For me, this is a winter song to sing during Christmastime,” Ditschun says, “but the lyrics don’t mention a specific holiday, so it’s really for anyone who enjoys the warm glow of light on a winter’s night.

“My hope is that people will listen to it, maybe all cozied up by the fire, and feel the calm and peacefulness I wanted to bring them. I consider ‘Be Still’ to be a kind of ‘Silent Night.’

“In January of 2020, I found myself inspired to write this song,” she reflects. “Christmas 2019 had been a quiet, peaceful holiday for me, so the lyrics are simply about taking the time during the holiday season to slow down and fully appreciate the beauty, joy, and peace that we can see, feel, and share.

“At this time, leading into Christmas 2020, our society is struggling. It’s my hope we will soon remember how love brings us hope and joy.”

Check out the lyric video for “Be Still” below, and find out more about Katie via our holiday-themed Five Questions With segment.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi! I’m Katie Ditschun, an indie jazz-pop singer-songwriter from Alexandria, Ontario. I’m a musician-mom-wife-teacher who loves purple and polka dots. Despite COVID-related inconveniences, I’ve had an amazing year! I released two singles from my debut album Spare Skirt and now my new song for wintertime —“Be Still”— has made it onto CBC’s holiday programming!

What made you release a holiday track?

At the beginning of this year, I was inspired to write a holiday song that was calm and peaceful, for everybody who takes time during the quiet Canadian winter to reflect and re-centre themselves. I had the opportunity to debut it live when I recorded the video for “Here We Are” and it was received warmly with that goosebumps kind of silence from the audience that tells you they’re really listening. Like all of us, by summertime, I was really finding the news from around the world overwhelming and became more resolved than ever to release this song for 2020. It is my hope that “Be Still” will help remind people that despite the negativity bombarding us every day, there are still so many things that are beautiful, wonderful, and peaceful —especially during the holidays— and we can’t let ourselves forget that.

What can you tell us about the making of the video for it?

Layers of simplicity was my goal with “Be Still.” So when it came time to create the lyric video I wanted it to be calm, peaceful, and simple. It needed to highlight the light during the holidays. I used the same tree in the video that is featured in the song’s artwork — there aren’t many Christmas trees with purple lights! I think it’s fun.

What is your all-time favourite holiday song?

How do I choose just one?! I love Christmas music and don’t tire of it. “The Christmas Song” is probably my favourite though. It has a beautiful melody, supported by fantastic chords, and an old-timey lyric expressing the warmth and magic of the holidays.

What is one holiday tradition that you enjoy?

I like the preparation for the holidays, the anticipation… Decorating the tree just the three of us (hubby, son, and me) is special for me. It’s something we all do together, listening and singing along to holiday music, adding some Christmas cheer to our home.

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