Kira Fontana is a worship singer-songwriter from California, releasing her debut worship album in February 2021. She’s been in music her whole life, starting as a classical pianist and songwriter in early childhood. She ended up going to conservatories on the east coast to study orchestral composition in college. She also scored films in Los Angeles.
After a radical conversion to Christianity in late 2017, God completely changed the course of her music, calling her to worship Him. In an exclusive interview with NewReleaseToday, she says, “It feels like after a lifetime in music, I’ve finally found the thing I was born to do.” I chatted with Kira to get the 411 about her 2020 challenges, worshipping in-person, and her upcoming debut worship album, Refuge.
Tell us about your latest single, “Refuge.”
'Refuge’ is a spiritual warfare anthem about finding refuge in God—no matter what is going on around us. Inspired by Psalm 91, the song was written during one of the darkest times in my life after a radical conversion to Christianity.
I hadn't been inspired to write music or sing in many years. I remember praying one night in desperation, "God, why did you even make me?" That same night, I woke up from a dream at three in the morning with a new song flashing through my head.
Immediately, I went to the piano and recorded the chorus to "Refuge.” That song was God's answer to my prayer and the beginning of my new life as a worshipper. He has given me so many new worship songs since then. "Refuge" holds a very special place in my heart.
Your story includes a period of darkness that God redeemed through music. How important was music in your journey to healing?
Music was absolutely instrumental in my journey to healing. Throughout that period of darkness when I was musically uninspired and felt no clear sense of purpose in my life, I kept praying that God would show me how to use the gifts He’s given me for His kingdom.
I felt sure I was supposed to be in music, but had been unable to find the right for my own music. I was heartbroken over the direction I saw the music industry taking. God answered in an amazing way, calling me out of Los Angeles and the music industry where I had worked for over a decade.
God brought me two hours north to San Diego and gave me a vision for Kingdom Sound, my Christian music production company and boutique label. He inspired me to start worship nights in my home. He completely redeemed my time of creative dryness by gifting me with new worship songs. It became so clear to me that God wanted me to worship Him through music. And, He's given me a completely new life doing just that.
What would you say to anyone reading this that may be stuck in their own shadows or darkness created by their environment?
I would say that turning to God in the midst of our pain is the most powerful thing we can do. God absolutely hears our prayers, and He answers them with greater things than we could ever ask, hope, or imagine. He is so faithful and so good. He is our refuge from the darkness in this world, and through Him, we have victory over any circumstance or environment. He will lead us out and show us the way when we seek Him first.
How do you see the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020 impacting the church and faith communities in 2021?
The biggest challenge I’ve felt is in the limitations of gathering as a church. We need each other, and the encouragement we find through fellowship, worship, and study as a body. I pray the challenges we’re facing cause us to rise up and live out our faith in powerful new ways, outside the buildings we’ve worshiped in for so many years.
The world needs the light of Christ more than ever. And, I believe God is leading us to be the church to a hurting world in new and exciting ways. I see a deep hunger in my friends and community among people who are not yet believers. I believe we’re being called to step out of our comfort zones and boldly and openly share the hope we have in Jesus like never before.
You’ve worked in film for many years. How is this season different from scoring and writing for films?
Scoring film is an exciting experience. I love seeing it all come to life—each aspect of the story, visuals, and sound interacts in an amazing way. But, there is nothing like pure worship to me. I'm immensely grateful to be in this current season, where I can use all of my creative time and energy to focus on God and seek His kingdom. Worshipping God is my greatest joy.
What’s next for you?
I’m releasing my debut worship album, Refuge in early 2021. I'm also working on several new songs that will be recorded later in the year. I look forward to gathering for in-person worship nights again soon as well.
How can we be praying for you?
Thank you. I would love prayer that God uses these songs in a mighty way for His kingdom. If this music can play a part in inspiring others to seek God and draw closer to Him, even those who may not know Him yet, that would be my greatest desire. We're currently building a team at Kingdom Sound to release more music soon. Please pray for God’s hand over all of it. And, most of all, that He's glorified in all that we do.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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