On May 15, 2015, just before midnight, everything changed for Jonny Diaz. When he and his wife, Libby, welcomed their daughter, Charlie Grace, into the world, the singer/songwriter officially added "Dad" to his long list of accomplishments. In many ways, it was the beginning of a new chapter for Diaz and a period of change that's proved far more exhausting and more rewarding than he could have ever imagined. In fact, the birth of his first child came in a long succession of events leading up to the release of his latest EP, aptly titled Everything Is Changing (Centricity Music).
"We didn't even have the baby yet, and I just felt so overwhelmed with everything life was throwing at me," Diaz admits. The Florida-native found himself staring down impending fatherhood in the midst of an intense 40-city tour. All the while, back at home, he was helping his wife launch a fitness studio and quickly approaching a deadline to turn in a new record.
"In some ways when I had to co-write, it was stressful, because I was like, ‘Man, I have to commit this entire day to writing a song, and I don't even know if I'm going to use the song,'" Diaz recalls, looking back at the process.
When he would sit down for co-writes, more times than not,
he simply began telling his fellow writers about his life's current events—the
songs naturally flowing out of the day-to-day, almost in real time. Thus, the
tracks that rose above the cutting room floor for the six-song set ring true to
the season of life where Diaz finds himself. However, fans shouldn't expect a
lullaby album. All of the songs except one were finished before Charlie Grace
was even born—each cut standing as a testament to Diaz's firm belief in
At times, Diaz has also attempted to balance two full-time jobs as he acts as general manager of Fit Factory Nashville, the local 6,000 square-foot gym he owns and operates alongside Libby, who acts as head trainer. The new business venture has become an unconventional source of community and support for the couple and its more than 200 members.
"There's something about getting through a tough work-out or even kind of suffering through something that just brings people together," Diaz says. "We've seen God create a cool community through what we've done. It's been such a neat way for us to meet, minister and invest in so many young adults in our area."
Like any hard-working husband and father, he may be wearing a multitude of hats and life may not always be perfect, but he's learning to find and appreciate the beauty in the messiness. Everything is changing, but it's really Diaz who's being changed in the process; and he's more than OK with letting God shine through his imperfections.
"In my effort to be genuine, one of the things God has called me to do is to not stand on stage and try and look like I have it all together," he says, "but instead, stand on stage and admit where I need saving, because I can make my Savior look big by admitting all the things He's saved me from. I can stand up there and say, ‘Here's where my life has completely fallen apart, but here's how God has pieced me back together.'"
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