While diehard fans caught wind of her 2014 release, It's Time, many will be rediscovering Ayiesha Woods (or discovering her for the first time) with her new EP, The Runway Project. Though many aspects of her life have changed since you heard her last, what hasn't changed is her desire to point people to Jesus through positive, proclaiming music.
She explained what she's been doing since we last heard from her, and what has her taking a massive leap of faith back into Christian music.
The last time the majority of the Christian music world heard from you, it was while you were signed to Gotee Records. But you've been busy making lots of music since then. Get us up to speed on your music-making since then!
Gladly! In the Fall of 2014, we independently releasedIt's Time--my first full-length album since my very last recording "Christmas Like This" with Gotee Records in 2009. My brand-new adventure, The Runway Project, is a follow-up of sorts to It's Time.
Tell us about your world outside of music. Family life? Secret identity (other job)? Pets? Things you like to do in your spare time?
To be very honest, I don't think I have a life outside of music! It's the fabric of our lives, really. My husband and I are a team. We've been married for almost 7 years. We have three great boys--a preschooler, a toddler and an infant. We live in Central Florida and hold annual passes to "the mouse place"! So, we frequent the theme parks! We LOVE Disney! My husband and I both also serve in ministry at our church, Victory Temple of God, when I'm not on the road. I like to think that we lead relatively simple lives. We love God. We love People. We love to serve!
Your biggest song on Spotify is still "Big Enough" feat. TobyMac from your Gotee days (one of my personal favorites). What did those days mean to you, and how did they set you on the trajectory you're on now?
My Gotee days were some of the best times of my life as a single woman in her twenties. I was blessed to do what I love: make music and share it with the masses. Being on Gotee provided a platform that I don't think I would've attained had I stayed independent. God used Gotee to give my ministry extra long arms and legs, if you will! I learned a great deal while there, specifically as it pertains to the industry and business aspects. I truly am eternally grateful for Gotee Records. Proud to be a Gotee alumnus!
Now you've released The Runway Project. Are you getting into modeling now? For real, though, talk about the title of this record, and how you landed on it.
Ha! I'm glad you asked! "The Runway Project" has been mistakenly called "The Run Away Project!" I'll take the "catwalk" identity before "run away" any day. But in all seriousness, the word "runway" is defined as a leveled strip of smooth ground along which aircraft take off and land.
I believe this project is a relaunching of sorts--a relaunching of my ministry, my career in Christian music. It's a leap of faith in the direction of destiny, leaving all fear and inhibitions behind me. Taking off, not looking back. Moving forward and trusting God every step of the way.
"Hope Again" is the standout track on the record, in my opinion, and the first single. From what situations or experiences did you write this song?
"Hope Again" was inspired by the scripture: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12).
Too often, as we go throughout life and things happen differently than we expected or planned, we lose hope of the things God showed us or gave to us. We sometimes forget about His promises. "Hope Again" is a reminder to those who have lost their "oomph"--a reminder that God is a restorer and He is ever faithful! He makes His word good. If and when we let Him, He'll give us hope to hope again, love to love again. We'll be on our feet again because our faith is rising and hope is alive again.
How do you approach songwriting at this stage in your career?
I like to think that I've grown and matured some in my songwriting. There was a time after having been saturated with industry dos and don'ts of songwriting that I found myself trying to stay within those particular confines. Now however, I write whenever and however the Father gives it to me. I approach songwriting with the importance of having His approval in mind, and His only.
What is your calling as best you can tell? What are some things God has spoken to you regarding your music?
My calling at best that I can tell is to do as Jesus simply stated: love people, reconcile them to Him and make disciples. If I can do that through the ministry He placed in me, I've done well.
Are you touring? Doing one-offs? What does the live show look like these days?
We are currently doing one-offs and working on a touring opportunity in the fall. Live shows are typically a five-piece band: drums, guitars, bass, BGVs and me on keys! It's a lot of fun!
How have you changed and developed as a faith-proclaiming artist since you got started in this industry?
My life is quite different now from when I got started in this industry. I am now a wife, a mother, a leader. I believe the level of responsibility has increased as it pertains to what is expected of me--both from a natural standpoint and spiritually. I have more knowledge now. About a lot of things! Life, love, God... And when it's all said and done, to whom much is given, much is required. I have a clearer understanding and a greater appreciation knowing that I'm called to this, now.
What gets you excited these days? What's God up to in your life?
What gets me excited these days? I am a mommy of three littles! Great report cards get me excited! A ssix-month-old learning to wave bye-bye! When I get to spend some alone time with my hubby! That get's me excited! God is continuously up to something in our lives. I'm just enjoying the journey; it's exciting!
How can be we be praying for you, Ayiesha?
I'd love it if you would pray that the Lord guides our decision making and that we remain in His will for our lives! Thank you so much for your prayers! We so appreciate it!
Marcus Hathcock is the Executive Editor of NewReleaseToday.com, a husband to Savannah, father of three and a worship leader living in Boise. He has released an EP, Songs For Tomorrow, and occasionally blogs at mheternal.com.
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