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KC Soundcheck: Khrystal.

Alishia Maxwell
Khrystal Johnson began self-releasing singles in 2017 under the name Khrystal. and has become known in the Kansas City music scene for her nostalgic melodies and thoughtful lyrics.

The multi-talented musician and artist from Kansas City, Kansas, chats about her creative process, going back to school and showing up as her full authentic self.

Khrystal Johnson grew up in a household imbued with creativity.

"My mom's side is very musical. So her brothers had a band. My dad was in theater and did a lot of musicals and things, and so I think their natural inclination towards art has always been there," the 32-year-old artist from Kansas City, Kansas, told KCUR's Up To Date.

Johnson began self-releasing singles in 2017 under the name Khrystal.

Writing the 2019 single "Her Eyes," which references Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God," is how Johnson processed the loss of several close people in her life at the time.

"And, you know, often I find that when I listen back to my music, I'm like, speaking to my future self," she said.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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