She wasn't diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia until 2001, but just four years prior Kristine W actually wrote a hit song that captured her battle with that rare form of cancer:
"I'm glad to be alive and in the land of the living," go the lyrics, "Oh, I can't believe that I survived."
While undergoing treatment, the artist befriended many fellow cancer patients who later succumbed to the disease. Her unexpected survival -- her leukemia is in remission -- inspired Kristine on every track of her third dance-pop album, last year's Fly Again.
Isn't it strange that long before Fly Again, "Land of the Living" and many of her other songs foreshadowed her current health predicament?
"Isn't that crazy how that worked out?" she responds.
Kristine "W" Weitz is among the finest lyricists working in dance pop, her lyrics often stressing personal fortitude and faith, not just love and lust. She's also a deft songwriter, crafting moody yet uptempo music that reinforces the complexity of her pained yet ultimately life-affirming lyrics.
"I've always felt that was my mission," she says. "Especially the more that I meet my fans and the more I hear about things that have happened in their lives. I feel compelled to try to be a mirror for them so they can reflect on what they're going through."
Kristine first broke onto the music scene in 1996 with the dance-pop gem "Feel What You Want." It was while promoting 2001's Stronger that she started to feel unusually weak and tired and realized something was wrong. She tries hard not to overexert herself these days, but she's also more driven than ever to write meaningful music to inspire listeners.
By phone from Las Vegas, where she makes her home, Kristine recounts a letter "that really touched her" from one man who was so moved by the song "I'll Be Your Light" that he ended up buying a plane ticket to Switzerland for a friend of his with a rare type of cancer. While there, his friend could undergo experimental treatment for his so-far incurable cancer. As he put it in his letter to Kristine W: "I'm going to be his light."
"That's just so amazing," she says. "I live for that."