Shanta Fuentes is a Christian pop artist and songwriter from New York City. Her parents were both in show business. And, greatly due to their influence, she started singing and songwriting. Shanta grew up surrounded by both the performing arts and faith. But, she ran from the latter when she was 16 years old.
Shanta later realized that a career in pop music was not fulfilling–only God could do that. She turned to Him. And, in 2017, she released her first Christian music single, “In a New Way."
Since 2017, Shanta has dropped half a dozen singles and one EP. She dropped her latest single, “Help is From You,” in January 2021. I spoke with Shanta about her new single, her music career, and more.
Tell us about your latest single, “Help Is From You.”
“Help Is From You” is a feel-good song that reminds us that, no matter what circumstances we face in life, God is with us and He'll help us through it.
I think the song's message is timely and much needed. The song started as a ballad I composed on my keyboard. All the uncertainty and fear stemming from the pandemic inspired me to dwell on the promises of the Word of God. I wanted to inspire and uplift myself, as well as others.
I remember singing a worship song as a kid in the church called “My Help.” I thought help comes from the Lord. I also thought of Psalm 121: “I will lift my eyes to the hills from which cometh my help.” It was like the Lord wanted to remind me to keep my eyes on Him because He'll help me through whatever I'm facing.
What are some takeaways you want to leave with those who listen to your music and watch your videos?
I want listeners to be encouraged and uplifted by my music and videos. I want listeners to know about the love and saving graces of God. I want them to see that it's not about religion, it’s about the relationship.
God will take your individual and unique giftings and qualities to reach someone. God can take brokenness and hopelessness and bring healing and restoration. I don’t consider myself to be a traditional gospel or Christian music artist in terms of my songwriting and singing style. But, I don’t believe that I'm supposed to fit in a box. I want the audience to know that.
2020 was a long year for all of us. What are you taking from this past year into 2021?
There are some experiences and lessons from 2020 that I want to take into 2021. For example, I don't want to operate in the spirit of fear or underestimate what God is doing just because I don’t understand it. I've learned that things are not always as they seem. I've also learned that I cannot be discouraged by those who may have disappointed me or do not support me.
I'm an independent artist, an unemployed mother of three, who's released an EP and a number of singles during a pandemic. And, now, a music video for my single, “Help Is From You.” I've been able to do all of this because of His grace and favor in my life. God's real and He's awesome.
I’m also more appreciative of life and health. I'm learning to implement better eating and health-based habits.
What is currently pushing you to continue to write and record inspirational music?
I believe that the Lord wants me to use the gifts he has given me to bring Him glory and be a witness to others. I have prayed and asked the Lord about this several times and He has always shown me that I should not give up.
I'm a role model to my children especially. I want my children to know that they should always follow their hearts, follow Christ and lead by example. I'm motivated every day, as a believer and a mom, to trust God and keep pushing forward In Jesus’s name.
I see a world of hurting people that need Jesus. Maybe the traditional church setting doesn’t appeal to or reach everyone. But, if I use my God-given gifts to share and connect with others, the Holy Spirit plants the seed.
I've heard said that your ministry is connected to someone’s healing and or breakthrough. I take that to heart and believe it. That motivates me to keep writing and recording inspirational music.
What’s next for you?
I'll continue to release music and follow wherever God leads me. I haven’t allowed myself to overthink life in terms of accomplishments. It’s great to have a plan and strategy. I do that when it’s time to put out new music. But, in terms of the overall big picture, it’s whatever God wants to have taken place. I’m fine with that. I just want to follow God’s lead. enjoying the journey's stages and processes as much as I can.
I'm already super grateful just to have an opportunity to have my music heard and reach people. I don’t know exactly what to expect or what His plan is, but I know His plans for me are good.
How can we be praying for you?
Please pray that I continue to journey on in resilience and wisdom. The enemy will try and has tried to bring discouragement and opposition. But, I’m standing on God’s promises.
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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