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Father, daughter make gospel team

By LARRY GIERER

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.com

Video: Phenix City teen shares her faith and talent through music

Katlin Hill of Phenix City is building a music career based on her faith, talent, and the support of her father Bishop Felix Hill, the pastor of Greater Grace Ministries.
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Katlin Hill of Phenix City is building a music career based on her faith, talent, and the support of her father Bishop Felix Hill, the pastor of Greater Grace Ministries.

Katlin Hill said it was her decision to focus on gospel music.

“Pop is just not my calling,” the 15-year-old singer said.

The daughter of Bishop Felix Hill Sr. said she will leave preaching to others.

“My ministry is on the keyboard,” said Katlin, who serves as music minister at her father’s church, Greater Grace Ministries in Phenix City.

Hill said he and his daughter both love all kinds of music, but as a dad he is pleased she made the choice she did.

Though, she has a slightly new focus.

It was her video performance of the song “Hello” from pop artist Adele that first got her major attention. That is because she played the keyboard backwards and sang the song in Spanish. Katlin said it was her father’s idea.

“I thought it was insanely crazy,” she said.

Not so much so when the video was uploaded on Facebook and viewed more than 6.9 million times.

“I went from 70 fans to 7 million overnight,” she said.

She even received a telephone call from the “Steve Harvey Show” and did an interview with the “RightThisMinute” television show, which focuses on viral videos. She said playing the keyboard backwards makes her stand out.

“I am not in a bowl with everyone else,” she said.

Her father is an accomplished singer who has been performing for about 20 years and has recorded CDs he said have sold well locally.

“I just like singing, and people pushed me to record,” he said.

Katlin began singing in church at age 6 but began performing music out of the church about four years later as a street musician.

“We would just pick a corner in downtown Columbus,” her father said. “I wanted to see how other singers accepted her. I wanted her exposed to other attitudes. The response was great.”

Some of that came in the form of generous cash tips.

“I brought my keyboard and played,” Katlin said. “I met some interesting people.”

She performed at The Loft when she was only 12. Katlin, who calls Alicia Keys her biggest influence and favorite singer, has made CDs, including one with her father with whom she often performs.

“We enjoy singing together,” she said.

“My baby Katlin, she is the one they really want to hear,” a smiling Hill remarked.

Both write songs.

“I can write anywhere, anytime. It can be sitting at McDonald’s,” she said.

The Hills are known as “Team Katlin” and the father said attendance has been great at shows.

One of five children, Katlin attended Central High School but is now homeschooled, which she loves. Her mother, Yvonne Hill, is overseer at Greater Grace Ministries.

Katlin said it is rewarding knowing her music is an inspiration to people.

“I love music. It is my life. It is what I am meant to do. If I were not to do this I would not be content,” she said. “I love that, when I sing, I am making somebody happy.”

Hill said Katlin has many bookings through the end of the year. They have shows set in Plano, Texas, and the Jacksonville, Fla., area. They will also perform overseas in Uganda, where he is acquainted with some pastors. People can find out more about Katlin and get CDs at www.teamkatlinpromotions.org.

Asked to describe her singing voice, she said she could not.

“No one knows how to describe my voice, but it is unique,” she said. “It is just Katlin.”

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