Off the heels of international travel to Johannesburg, South Africa to lend her support as a background vocalist to CeCe Winans, Los Angeles based worship artist Nia Allen will embark on her own solo radio, press and church promotional tour in support of her current radio single "Holy Spirit."
Nia Allen has positioned herself as a cross cultural worship artist ministering in various Gospel and Contemporary Christian (CCM) settings. She also travels with author and Bible teacher Beth Moore as one of the worship leaders and worship team members with her Living Proof women's conference, alongside worship leader Travis Cottrell.
Q: Thank you so much Nia for your time. Let's start with your own journey, how did the Lord lead you to become a worship leader?
Leading worship was something I was sort of "pushed" into. While living in Ohio, my mother lost her voice one Sunday, and in between the two services she asked me to lead worship in her place. With a hoarse voice, she said, "Nia I need you to lead worship second service" I shook my head and said, "I don't know how to lead worship? That's not what I do?" Again, in a hoarse voice she said, "Nia I really need you to lead worship for me next service." With tears in my eyes, I said, "Ok." I immediately went to her office, and cried until the second service started. I cried and I prayed, "Lord, I need your help, I don't know how to do this?" As service was starting, I walked back downstairs, and the music began to play, and I honestly just went for it. I was familiar with the song, but I never had to lead the congregation. I never will forget the song, it was "Lord You Are Good" by Israel Houghton & New Breed. As I began to sing the song and lead the congregation, I experienced God using me in a different way, and I actually enjoyed it! So, becoming a worship leader was something I was "pushed" into, and throughout the years God has continued to speak to my heart concerning my role and responsibility as a worship leader.
Q: Being a worship leader, you often see people in the congregation who refuse to sing and participate, how can you encourage the congregation to worship with you?
I never want to force anyone to participate, however I like to invite them to participate in the worship experience. Sometimes I will say, "Can we just lift our hands to the Lord" and then explain why I am asking them to do so. I find that when I extend the invitation and then provide an explanation it often helps with participation. And when entering into worship, I may say something like, "We just invite you to stand and clap your hands, as we reflect on who God is and we rejoice in that truth." And then go on to speak the truths and promises of God as it relates to the particular song. I find that presenting it as an invitation, verses force or making them feel guilty for not participating, often encourages the congregation to join in and actively participate in the worship experience.
Q: You have had a great relationship with Cece Winans. How did you get to meet her? In what ways have she been a mentor to you?
Yes. CeCe has been a great mentor and huge inspiration in my life! I actually met CeCe when I was living in Nashville, and we attended the same church. I was singing and leading worship at the church from time to time, and our paths kept crossing. I eventually started leading worship for her youth conferences, and then she took me on the road with her serving as a background singer. I was able to learn a lot while traveling on the road, what to do, what not to do. And CeCe has always made herself available if I ever have any questions concerning life, music, or ministry. She's literally just a phone call or text message away, and I'm grateful for the relationship.
Q: I believe you are currently travelling the globe leading worship with the "Women of Faith" Conference. Tell us more about the conference and your role in it.
The conference actually ended in February 2016, I was one of the worship leaders for Women of Faith's Farewell Tour. I had the opportunity to travel with Women of Faith from 2007-2009, and then they invited me back to be apart of the Farewell Tour last year. The tour included authors and speakers such as Sheila Walsh, Jen Hatmaker, and Sarah Jakes-Roberts, and artists like Sandi Patty, and Building 429. The conference traveled to over twenty cities and arenas throughout the country providing hope and encouragement through song, personal testimony, stories and laughter, and worship.
Q: Besides leading worship, you have released your new song "Holy Spirit." Tell us more about this song and what it means to you.
Yes. My latest single "Holy Spirit" was written by Bryan and Katie Torwalt (of Jesus Culture). I was singing the song in my local church and while traveling on the road, and I loved the message and what I experienced every time I heard the song or got a chance to sing it, and I thought "I would love to record a version of this song" so that's what I did. I recorded it in Los Angeles, CA at the LA Dream Center studio, and my good friend Jon DeCuir produced it. For me, the song "Holy Spirit" serves as an invitation, inviting the Holy Spirit to come in and dwell wherever we are. To me, that is the beauty of the song and what makes it powerful, because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, liberty, healing, joy, love and peace. Everything we need is in the presence of the Lord.
Q: Are you currently working on your next EP or album? Is there a theme or title to it now? Any date yet set for its release?
Yes. So, I recorded "Holy Spirit" knowing that a live worship album would follow, and we are in the pre-production stages right now! I am planning to record a couple live versions of songs that I have previously recorded on my first two projects (A New Thing & Here Am I), and then add a few new songs. Right now, we are writing and preparing the songs, while also raising funds for the project. I will be funding the project independently and financial assistance is needed to cover the recording, production, and post-production costs. If persons are interested in partnering with us or learning more about the campaign they can visit www.gofundme.com/niaallenlive , and hear the heart behind the project! If all goes according to plan and monies are raised, we will be able to record the project at the top of this coming year!!
Q: Is there anyone in Christian music you would love to work with? And if so who and why?
Yes. There are so many artists and producers that I admire and would love to work with. As far as producers, Aaron Lindsey is probably one of my favorites and I would love to work with him one day. He has been consistent when it comes to worship, and producing songs that the world will sing and are singing right now! Jonathan McReynolds is another favorite. His voice and gift is incredible, and I would love to work with him one day!
Q: For our readers who would like to know more about you or your music, where can they go?
The best way to stay connected, and learn more about the music and ministry is through my website www.niaallenmusic.com, or social media. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat, and all pages are @NiaAllenMusic . And my music can be found in all digital outlets (Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc). Thanks so much for your support, and I would love to stay connected with you all!!