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Music that shines

Victoria Vinet speaks to Akaysha Kay about her music

Akaysha Kay

Figure Image
Akaysha Kay | photo: Emma Combes Expressions Media

Akaysha Kay is a British music producer, songwriter and artist.

Akaysha was raised in West London, born to an Assyrian mother and Irish father who divorced when she was five years of age.

While searching for some of the New Age teachers on YouTube, she came across Christian preaching for the first time ever and she knew that what she was hearing was the truth. This was her introduction to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. After watching a number of these videos, she came to her knees and gave her life to the Lord; there in her living room she invited the Holy Spirit into her heart. Suddenly, a thirst to know God and to walk with him began to grow within her and she began to listen to and read his Word.

en spoke with Akaysha Kay about her journey with Christ, music and her vision for a future within the popular music industry.

en: What does being the salt and light of the world mean to you?
AK: It means flavour. When you add salt to food it adds flavour. It’s seasoning. It’s tasty. Life with Jesus isn’t plain, it’s flavourful! Being the light – the reason I want to put this out into the world is because I believe it’s my calling. I don’t want to appeal solely to believers; I believe it’s my calling to attract the lost, to let the light in this music shine in the darkness.

en: What is your music about?
AK: I’ve been carrying around two of these songs for nearly a decade, Cuckoo Clock and Love Will Lead the Way, they’ve been with me for a long time and they’ve grown with me too. All the songs are inspired by biblical verses. Through You comes from Philippians 4.13, Daddy comes from Psalm 1.3.

When I listen to popular music or watch the videos, I can’t help but feel a bit saddened – it’s all about sex in one way or another. I value Christian worship music; it’s food for my soul, but I want to bring light into the dark places of our human experience. The message behind a lot of popular music is so disconnected from how we were meant to live. When I look at Jesus, he only revealed himself blatantly to some people, like the woman at the well. Others, who were in the world and from all kinds of backgrounds, he drew to himself through parables. My songs strive to do the same thing.

en: Tell us a little about the process of constructing the EP.
AK: I didn’t have a plan, I had vision; I had faith that God would give me all that I needed. I put out an ad for musicians; it was open to everyone. I asked God to bring me whoever he saw fit. I wanted to demonstrate a Christ-like mindset and show love to whoever he brought me, through Christ-centred encouragement of their God-given talents.

They were all moved by the music, either by the lyrics or the instrumentation, even by the vibe in the room – God’s been with me all the way. I believe the Holy Spirit has guided all of this; God even lined up Sing Gospel UK to do the harmonies for all four tracks, it was powerful.

en: What’s your approach in music and to your audience?
AK: I’m a believer. Christ has changed my life. If you were to have asked me ten years ago to develop my songs, I’d have totally rejected the idea. But God has shown me who I am. Before all of this I was a sought-after belly dancer, and he called me – he told me clearly, ‘leave it all behind and follow me, I’ll show you who you are.’ So I gave up a life of wandering and self-centredness.

It’s like what he told the fishermen. I did-n’t have a plan, I didn’t know what I was going to do but I spent time with him through prayer and in the Word; I was praying for everyone I came into contact with. I witnessed the power of prayer and I trusted him. I kept my eyes on Christ. Philippians 4.13 was a daily recital for me, that’s why I’ve chosen to title the EP 4:13. And it gives people a chance to become curious; it opens up a dialogue. I don’t want to appeal solely to believers; I believe it’s my calling to attract the lost. We’re bombarded with options in the world and destructive images made to look positive. I want to give people a chance to know the way. I learned this through watching a lot of apologetic speakers, evangelists who leave room for questions (1 Peter 3.15). In Through You the chorus is Philippians 4.13; listeners may not know that, but because they don’t know they’ll ask ‘Through who?’.

en: Why have you decided to pursue all of this through music?
AK: It’s not about me, it’s about the Holy Spirit moving people through the music. I’m always ready when interacting with people to move out of the way and allow for the Holy Spirit to guide the conversation.

I was listening to a Ravi Zacharias International Ministries talk by Michael Ramsden, and he was speaking about compassion. When you’re compassionate, you feel passionately about a person or a situation and you do something about it – if not, you’re just moralising. Like I said, I feel saddened by the world of popular music, the way women are portrayed and the way our identity is solely based on sexuality. It saddens me because I’ve been there and I know that it’s not what it seems. What I’ve discovered as a Christian is that my identity in Christ is not one thing, we’re more than that, you’re your spirit, your heart; you become dynamic! The truth will set you free. (John 8.31-32) Only after coming to Christ and having allowed the Holy Spirit to change my life incrementally, spending time getting to know the Father and his Word, have I truly understood that my identity isn’t mono, it’s dynamic.

en: What are your thoughts on entertainment and the media?
AK: It is a cultural norm to see young women and men in the media used to propagate twisted images of what it means to be human. In popular music these images are romanticised, leading generations to become increasingly distanced from concepts like the sanctity of our bodies and our identity in our creator. The general perception of identity is frivolous; it’s a plaything. Before I came to belief I knew nothing about God, about the Christian faith, and I knew no one who did. I strongly believe that as believers we ought to reach out to the world, to be and support others in being the light of Christ.

To find out more go to www.akayshakay.com