Myesha Chaney has burst onto the gospel music scene with a fresh new sound and a simple but radical goal: to take Jesus into the world by any means necessary. It’s the concept and the title of her debut CD project, Take Him to the World, which will be available in stores and online outlets on July 3, 2012.
Myesha is taking Jesus to the world through music that captivates and changes the lives of people in and outside of the church. She brings to her music a unique artistic vision shaped by both her creative energy and her roles as a pastor’s wife, minister, worship leader, radio personality and columnist. Her musical influences have included Whitney Houston, Brandy, Shirley Caesar and Yolanda Adams—and it shows. The lyrics of her songs focus on praise and worship of a loving and powerful God while she effortlessly fuses urban worship with rock and soul.
The songs in Take Him to the World have a universal appeal that defy categorization, and that is
Myesha’s cutting-edge vision for her style of gospel. She wants her music to reflect the liberty
and freedom she feels in Jesus and she wants her listeners to understand that they can be who
they are and be used by Him. She puts her imprint on the music, not just by her compelling and
energetic performances of the songs, but also as a writer. Myesha wrote or co-wrote four of the
songs on the CD, which was produced by Gerald Haddon. Haddon also produced and co-wrote
many of the songs on the CD project; other songs were written and produced by Brigg Sterns.
Myesha’s husband, Wayne A. Chaney, Jr., and Holly Carter serve as executive producers of the
“I Came to Lift Him,” the first single from the CD, was written by Myesha with Gerald and
Tammi Haddon, as a declaration to the gospel music industry about who she is and what she is
here to do. The R&B style song with its hard-driving beat is aimed at an urban audience. “This is
the Day” is a light and fun praise song with a pop sound, driven by the guitar. The title is the
same as an old-time favorite hymn, but the song definitely has a new-school vibe.
“Ready” is Myesha’s favorite song on the album because it has a very special meaning for her, in
terms of her ability to complete this project. When she decided she wanted to record music, she
didn’t have the relationships and contacts she needed and didn’t know where to start. Her
husband was away, working on a book, when the chorus to the song came to him. She worked
with Briggs Sterns to complete the song. “This song allowed me to regain my faith when I got
weary in the process,” she says. “‘Ready’ is my anthem. It is reflective of where I am in life and is
a constant reminder that I am ready.”
“Let’s Go Crazy” has a fist pumping, heart throbbing beat that listeners will go crazy over. It is
reflective of David who danced before the Lord with all of his might until he danced out of his
clothes. “That is a crazy praise,” says Myesha. “Your Love” is a worship song with a pop sound
that encompasses adoration for God while maintaining Myesha’s artistic energy. “Heart Cry” is a
passionate song written by Myesha to encourage those who have made mistakes and want to
change. “It is my new school version of Donnie McClurkin’s ‘We Fall Down,’” she says.
With an infectious pop tune, “Take Him to the World,” the CD’s title track, best conveys the
message of the CD project—that Jesus is not bound by our religious traditions. He needs to be
shared and expressed to the world. “We Worship You” is a quiet yet powerful declaration of the
presence of God. “Victory,” which was also penned by Myesha, is a new-school pop song
inspired by a passage in the Old Testament of the Bible. Its message is that just as the Walls of
Jericho fell when God’s people marched around it while shouting, the walls in our lives can fall
and we too can have the victory. “Before I Go to Sleep” is what Myesha calls her “Christian
lullaby.” The song reflects on the dreams we have about everything we want to do and have in
life, but reminds us that as believers, in the end, those dreams, those things will fade away and
Jesus will be all that matters.
The music on the CD is a departure from the more traditional, yet equally energetic, gospel
music that she leads as the worship leader and praise team director at Antioch Church of Long
Beach, California, where her husband serves as senior pastor. Myesha, who is a licensed and
ordained minister, shares the ministry with her husband, Wayne Chaney, both at the church and
in their travels throughout the city and around the country. Under their leadership, the
congregation has grown to 2,500 people. He is the second pastor of the church, which was
founded 50 years ago by his grandparents.
Before working on her CD project, Myesha ministered in song both in church and at community
events. She was a featured performer at the 2009 California Women’s Conference, hosted by
Maria Shriver, where she captured the hearts of the 25,000 women who attended the
conference. She has also taken her music ministry to Israel and New Zealand.
Myesha is in charge of “all things women” at Antioch, including leading the women’s ministry
and teaching a women-only Bible study. Like most things Myesha does, her work with women
extends beyond the church walls. One of her projects that she finds most gratifying is “Hiding
Behind the Lipstick.” She created and developed this experience to encourage women to take off
the masks they show to the world and awaken who they really are. “We tell them to come out of
hiding, put all the junk away,” she says. “The sessions create an opportunity to share, and they
really open up about their lives. It’s powerful. You cry for people you don’t know.”
Myesha is a woman who eschews tradition in worship music, ministry and her role as a pastor’s
wife. She also co-hosts a non-traditional weekly radio talk show with her husband on Stevie
Wonder’s KJLH 102.3 FM in Los Angeles. “Real Life with Pastor Wayne and Myesha Chaney,”
which airs every Sunday evening, is an interactive talk show featuring call-ins and special instudio
guests. During the show, they address common issues–such as fathers not paying child
support, the loss of a child and blended families–from a Christian perspective. The relaxed but
insightful and informative program has a devoted audience that has continued to grow in the
three years that they have been on the air.
Myesha plans to officially celebrate the release of her CD on July 8, 2012, at the Long Beach
Gospel Fest, an annual event that she and her husband lead. The first Gospel Fest took place
four years ago when her husband was approached by city officials about organizing a gospel
concert in downtown Long Beach. He agreed, and with two weeks to plan it, they pulled off a
successful event that brought 10,000 people to that stretch of downtown. By last year, the
number of artists who performed had greatly increased and the crowd had grown to 25,000.
Myesha grew-up in Long Beach with a brother and two sisters. Her family was poor and her
father was in prison when she was a young child, but she credits her mother with being
resourceful and creative in raising them so that she and her siblings never felt deprived. Myesha
loved music and began singing when she was in kindergarten. She wanted to be a singer, but was
not encouraged to pursue that dream. When she graduated from high school, she went to
nursing school and became a registered nurse. But the dream of being a singer would not die.
“My family was happy when I became a nurse,” she says. They were job people, not dream
people.” She knew that nursing was not her calling, and eventually left the profession to pursue
her passion for ministry and music.
Myesha attended Antioch as a child, which is where she met her husband. They married in 2004
and are now sharing a ministry and raising three children: Wayne who is 6, Reign who is 5, and
Cadence who is six months old.
“I am constantly inspired by the fact that I have the ability to enrich the lives of people through
my obedience to God,” she says. “I want to continue to develop my music to reach and
encourage a new generation of believers.”