News>Through Airmen's Eyes: Airman inspires through music
Staff Sgt. Christopher Watts inspects part of a pilot's G-suit at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 1, 2012. Watts is an aircrew flight equipment technician with the 325th Operations Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Rachelle Elsea)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Watts performs his music during a recent concert in Florida. Watts is an aircrew flight equipment technician with the 325th Operations Support Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (Courtesy photo)
by Staff Sgt. Rachelle Elsea
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/17/2012 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)
Born and raised in Newton, Miss., a real life "small town," he had watched many of his family members join the military and knew he would soon follow.
"My dad served four years in the Army, my brother was in the Air Force and separated, and my sister also joined the Air Force and is still in," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Watts, 325th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician. "I also really didn't have the money to pay for school, and I liked the idea of traveling."
So in 2002, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. But now, a decade later, he is not only serving his country proudly, he is also serving his God proudly.
"It all started when I was in high school," said Watts. "I was 16 and in the tenth grade and I saw a few of my friends performing songs. At the time, I was already into music with playing drums, piano and keyboard, so I thought it might be pretty cool to write a song and see how it sounded."
Watts and his friends formed a group and continued creating songs.
"When we graduated, we went our separate ways," Watts said. "Being raised in the church my whole life, it became really deep in me. Then when I left home, I strayed away from it. But, different circumstances in my life and realizing what God was calling me to do brought me back."
In the beginning, he said, his music wasn't grounded in faith, but once he rededicated his life to God and got back into Christianity, the faith in which he was raised his musical genre of choice became Christian rap.
Watts said he heard the calling to get back into music when he arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base in 2006. However, it didn't really hit him until 2009 that it was time to make something of it, so he built a home studio where he writes all his own music. He has also released his first album.
Along with the Air Force and his music career, Watts also has a growing family.
"I met my wife, Alicia, who is from the local area, at my church," he said. "We have three girls who are eight, two and one. My oldest sings really well, so every time I go to an event, if it's not too far away, I have her go with me. She sings a couple of songs with me."
His wife also actively supports him.
"She does pretty much everything outside of the recording and producing," Watts said. "She handles the promotion and marketing. She does quite a bit; it has been such a blessing."
So, how does he juggle all his responsibilities?
"As soon as I get off work and take off the uniform, I am working on my music and spending time with my kids," the sergeant said. "As far as me separating from the military, I just pray to God and seek his direction because, although the music is something I want to do, I don't want to put my family in jeopardy. It is all about His timing; I know He will one day provide the opportunity, but until then I will be in the Air Force."
He said although his deepest passion is the music, he also enjoys his job in aircrew flight equipment.
"In aircrew flight equipment, we are responsible for inspecting the pilot's helmets, masks, G-suits and parachutes," Watts said. "The basis of our job is taking care of the aircrew. I love the camaraderie with my coworkers and being in a flight. I also enjoy the interaction with the pilots and being able to see what they do on a day-to-day basis."
It is all about balance, he said.
He just recently took his show to Orlando, Fla., Tallahassee, Fla., and right here at the Panama City Boys and Girls Club, all of which were free of charge.
"Every time I am called for an event, they ask how much will it cost and we tell them we will come for free," said Watts. "I just want to encourage and motivate people to find the purpose that God has for them. If they can see me in the Air Force and still walking in my gift and purpose, then they can, too. ... But in the end, my ultimate goal is to bring them to God."
He also wants to provide people in his age group with good, clean, positive music.
Watts said he has big plans for the future.
"I will be starting work on my second album soon," he said. "Right now I am just in the preliminary stage, looking for other productions from other producers. I am also working on getting a band together because it brings so much more energy to the shows."
Watts hopes to be an inspiration for other Airmen also pursuing goals outside of work.
"God gave us all a gift ... pursue your passion and don't give up on your dreams, because it can be a reality if you put forth the work," he said.