Grammy Award-nominated artist, Ayiesha Woods is a familiar name in the Christian Music neighborhood. She’s the amazing voice behind the 2006 hit song, Happy. With three full albums, a holiday project, Christmas Like This, an early 2017 EP release, The Runaway Project, and her latest single, Stop, Woods has continued to shine in the Christian Music Industry. Taking some time with TBAP, Ayiesha got personal, allowing the world to have a peek into her life. Take a look!
Miranda ~ Hello Ayiesha! Glad to have you visit TBAP today.
Ayiesha: Hello, Thanks for having me!
Miranda ~ What led to you having a personal relationship with Jesus? Is there a particular redemption story?
Ayiesha: Many years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a very charismatic, lively ministry after having been raised early on in a conventional, religious setting. I walked in and saw people worshiping The Lord—singing and dancing in the aisles. Some were crying; some were knelt at pews. Flags were waving, banners were on display, the orchestra was playing upbeat contemporary worship, and it was something I had never seen before. The people seemed to actually KNOW God. They looked like they had a relationship with Him! I saw it and wanted it! I saw relationship and not religion, and I gave my life to Jesus that night.
Miranda ~ You were discovered by Toby Mac and then offered a record deal with Gotee Records, which launched your professional singing career. Could you describe the events that led to you meeting Toby Mac and being offered that record deal?
Ayiesha: Interestingly enough, I was in school for music business and merchandising at the time, and had released an independent record called What You Do To Me; in class one evening, we were studying Artists’ Production and Hospitality Riders—who’s rider did I end up with? None other than Toby’s. That same week, he called me. Apparently he had gotten hold of my Indy project while out of the country in Jamaica.
Miranda ~ When you wrote the song, You Make Me Happy, had a particular event inspired the moment that led you to the decision to make it into a song?
Ayiesha: Happy is the product of a collaborative effort. Jamie Moore, David Mullen and myself were in writing sessions after I signed with Gotee, and it’s one of several songs that came about in the collaborative process.
Miranda ~ What inspired the song, Jesus Lovin’ People? Who would you say you’ve been called to sing/minister to generally—the broken-hearted, lost, prejudiced etc.?
Ayiesha: My song, Jesus Lovin’ People, was primarily inspired be my wonderful family. I and my husband have 3 boys and every day I’m reminded of the fact that we’re called to Love God, Love People. Serve God, Serve People. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
Miranda ~ You released an album in 2017 after a long hiatus. Why such a hiatus and, why did you title the album The Runaway Project? Are you presently working on a new project?
Ayiesha: The Runway Project was released as a reminder to all that God is not finished with me in terms of music and ministry; as a matter of fact, as the song says, “I’m About To Take Off!” We’re just getting started in this new phase of what God has called us to do.
Miranda ~ Who would you say have greatly influenced your unique style of music? Also, who are the people who’ve influenced you in life, generally?
Ayiesha: Musically speaking, Fred Hammond and Commissioned…definitely staples for me! As for influences in a general aspect, my parents, without a doubt, and, my in-laws!! Love them to life and I appreciate them more than they know!
Miranda ~ You are now a wife and mother. Could you tell us your love story? And, in what particular way can you say that being a wife and mother has changed your perception of life? Also, how do you successfully juggle family with ministry/career?
Ayiesha: Consequently, I met my husband at a music workshop back in Orlando, FL in 2001. Neither of us was going to attend, but thank God we, in spite of our inhibitions, DID! We may have missed out on this beautiful work of art God was (and is) creating! Long story short, my family moved to TX about a month after meeting Joseph, and we simply kept in touch. We maintained a solid friendship over the years, but I wasn’t ready to entertain the thought of life partnership until he gave me an ultimatum of sorts. We went our separate ways for about 2 weeks when I decided I didn’t want to do life without him. I simply couldn’t see it. So after 9yrs of one of the most constant things in my life, we moved beyond the ‘Friend Zone,’ got engaged in July of 2010, and married in November of the same year. We have 3 beautiful boys, and, yes, my perception of life has changed. My general prospective has changed. I thank God for parents that set a stellar example for us (me and my siblings) and were intentional about stressing the importance of FAMILY. Now that I have a family of my own, those same values are of the utmost importance as well. Family First. As for juggling ministry and music…whew! I utilize any help that is offered! I solicit prayers! And I call on the Holy Spirit for His counsel!!!
Miranda ~ Did your perception about the industry change when you became a part of it? How so?
Ayiesha: To be very honest, I was GREEN when I became part of the industry. I had no point of reference or previous experience. I will loosely say this “I DID think that everyone that sang Christian music were Christians!”
Miranda ~ Considering your unique story in entering the industry, what advice would you offer a person with the desire to go into professional singing?
Ayiesha: The best advice I suppose I could offer an ‘up and comer’ is to first be sure that you have a solid, personal relationship with Jesus Chris and secondly, KNOW what He has called you to do.
THIS IS THAT (THE FUN QUESTIONS!)
Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Tea
Dresses or Pants? Pants
Boots or Heels? Boots
Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner
Books or Movies? With 3 kids, these days…movies!
Juice or Smoothie? Smoothie
Chocolate or Vanilla? CHOCOLATE
Scarf or Gloves? Scarf
Thank you, Ayiesha, for stopping by today! Thank You for having me!!
About Ayiesha Woods
Singer, songwriter, musician and now wife and mother, Ayiesha Woods, is a multi-talented Artist who has certainly made her mark in Christian music industry and ministry. Ayiesha was born in Long Island, NY and spent her early childhood on the British island of Bermuda, where she attributes her roots for diversity and her eclectic musical pallet.
Ayiesha began writing songs at an early age and in her late teens realized that it was the direction in which the Lord was calling her. She recorded an independent record that was later discovered by record label executive, Toby Mac. Ayiesha signed with Gotee records in 2004 and released her debut project entitled Introducing Ayiesha Woods (2006), which went on to receive a Grammy Nomination, Dove nominations, and Marlin Awards.
Her sophomore project on Gotee Records entitled Love Like This was followed by a timeless holiday project Christmas Like This, which was also nominated for a Dove award. Her third album, It’s Time, was followed by an early 2017 EP, The Runway Project.
In collaboration with industry giants, Ian Eskelin, Barry Weeks, and Tony Wood, Ayiesha is excited to introduce the world to her newest single, Stop. The new single will build upon her early successes in Christian music while infusing a new high energy vibe.
Ayiesha and her husband, Joseph, have 3 boys: Joseph II, Benjamin & Asher (Culled from Official Website).