Jonny Diaz's "More Beautiful You" is a hit song that encourages women in a culture that prizes physical beauty. He recently released another song, "Thank God I Got Her," inspired by his wife, Libby, that Mandisa tweeted about: "I hope my future husband can sing bcuz I'd like to be serenaded w/ this @jonnydiaz song at our wedding. Amen ladies?" Leilani Haywood, editor of SpiritLed Woman eMagazine, visited with Johnny via email about his new project, pickup lines and baseball.
Leilani Haywood: Hey Jonny, I see that you played baseball in college. Who is your favorite baseball team?
Jonny Diaz: That's right, I played college ball at Florida State University, so obviously, they're my favorite college team. For Major League Baseball, my brother spent most of his time as an Atlanta Brave, so I have to be a good brother and root for the Braves!
Leilani: Do you miss the smell of the grass, throwing a baseball and swinging a bat?
Jonny: I miss the competitiveness. Growing up the youngest of four boys, I was always trying to compete. I've been able to replace baseball with physical activities like CrossFit and golf, but nothing makes up for the competitiveness of playing at that level.
Leilani: If you were offered a pro contract, would you go for it?
Jonny: I don't think so. However, maybe that answer is easy to give simply because I know it wouldn't happen.
Leilani: What inspired you to write the song "Thank God I Got Her"?
Jonny: My wife, Libby. I have learned so much in our six years of marriage. However, the No. 1 thing I've learned is that I'll never fully understand her ... and that's OK!
Leilani: Why do you think that song is resonating with women?
Jonny: I think most women are pretty willing to admit that they don't always make sense. This song acknowledges their quirks without trying to change them. Most women hear the song and say, "That's me!"
Leilani: Tell us the backstory on how you came up with the song.
Jonny: When I first thought of the idea for the song, I thought I'd try to pitch it to a country artist. It has that story type of feel. As I wrote the song with Mia Fieldes, I started thinking that maybe my fans would resonate with it as well. I still have hopes that one day a country artist will choose to cut it, but for now I'm happy to share it with my audiences.
Leilani: What does your wife think of the song, and how are men reacting to the song in your concerts?
Jonny: My wife loves the song! She agrees that one day it needs to be a country hit. Men have been really enthusiastic about the song also. When I play it onstage, it's funny to look out and see men nudging their wives because a lyric rings true. Women think I wrote the song for them, but men think I wrote the song for them. It's a fun balance.
Leilani: What's the funniest pickup line you've ever heard or said?
Jonny: "How much does a Polar Bear weigh? Enough to break the ice! Hi, I'm Jonny."
Leilani: Mother's Day is around the corner. Do you have a Mother's Day tradition for your mom?
Jonny: When I was younger and lived at home, my brothers and I used to make her breakfast in bed. With four boys running the kitchen those mornings, I'm afraid we would make more of a mess than anything.
Leilani: You've come out with a new project, Let It Fly. What's the message behind the project?
Jonny: The message is that you and I are completely inadequate ... and that's PERFECT. I've learned that God has a habit of using inadequate but willing people, just like David and Goliath. On his own, David was completely ill-equipped for the task. But he took what God gave him and "let it fly." That's what I'm doing with these songs!
Click here for exclusive download of Thank God I Got Her!
Leilani Haywood is editor of SpiritLed Woman and a frequent contributor to Charisma. She is a Kansas City, Mo.-based award-winning writer and columnist. She has been published in the Kansas City Star, Metro Voice and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @leilanihaywood.
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