Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, musician, Ayiesha Woods, is generating excitement for her fans with the release of her new single, "Family," and the accompanying music video. This is a timely pop tune that celebrates family-whether it's the family of humanity or your own family. Woods co-wrote and produced the song with her husband, Joseph Hillery and Andy Anderson. Besides delivering a Christian message of love, peace and harmony, Woods brings the celebration of community with upbeat music that is so needed in this troubling time we live in.
Woods has always delivered encouraging messages through her music and ministry, with such hit singles as "Happy," "Big Enough" and "Beauty." Her ministry has also focused on women and teen girl conferences that teach them who they are in Christ, with appearances that included Thomas Nelson's Women of Faith events, as well as their spin off for girls' Revolve Tour. This ministry is also important for Ayiesha's family, as their motto is Love God, Love People. Serve God, Serve People.Woods will be releasing her new album, Full Circle, in the fall, which features the current single
Q: Ayiesha, thanks for doing this interview with us. How are you coping in the midst of this pandemic?
Thanks for this. As a matter of fact, I've been coping pretty well in the midst of this pandemic. Just keeping in mind all along that ultimately, God has a plan and I belong to Him so it's working for our good.
Q: It's been 10 years since you left Gotee Records, what are some of the joys and challenging of being an independent artist?
Being an independent artist certainly has its pros and cons, as does just about any given scenario. A definite pro is creative freedom. Having the liberty to produce and release music you believe God has given you without inhibitions or possible label restraints. A definite con is the lack of resources, if you will. Being on a reputable label certainly gave my career a huge jumpstart and provided a platform that I don't believe I would have attained otherwise.
Q: We are very excited that you have a new single out. What's the story behind "Family"?
So glad you're excited about the new song. as are we! :-) 'Family' was actually written back in 2017 after Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and parts of Florida. We sustained damage in Central Florida and were without power at home for almost a week. Families were on 'stay at home' orders, or a sort of, due to the debris in the streets, etc. It was during that week that I wrote the song. Then, just before our state 'shut down' (stay at home orders), we revisited the song and decided to include it on the EP. It couldn't be more fitting for this time!
Q: Your husband was a co-writer on "Family," do you guys write together often? How involved is he in your new album?
Yes, my husband co-wrote 'Family.' We write together quite often. Sometimes he'll start something and I'll jump in and tell him what I hear. Other times it's the other way around. He is very much involved with this project and every other independent effort we've made over the years.
Q: You also have a new record coming out -- besides your husband, who else did you work with on this new album?
On my new EP, Full Circle, we worked with Donyea Goodman, an extremely gifted musician and producer. Andy Anderson is another incredibly talented producer and writer that we've known for almost 20 years and worked with on several projects. Chris Bullard, guitarist extraordinaire, Stacy Coake, an amazing bassist and also, multitalented guitarist, Thomas Becker. Those three gentlemen aforementioned were actually part of my band for many years! So, it was a joy to be able to work with them again. Robert Bradley, a dear family friend and pastor who actually wrote one of the songs. Lastly, we've been blessed to have an old friend and mentor featured on this project whose name I'll share a little closer to the project release.
Q: Why did you call the record "Full Circle"?
The EP is called Full Circle because in so many ways it resembles my very first independent project that was released back in 2002. My husband, who was a friend then, was very instrumental in the production and recording of the project, as he is now. We recorded Full Circle in Central Florida and Andy Anderson was the producer for the project. It was a great pleasure to be working with Andy again, and in Central Florida again! Also, I'm an independent artist, as I was then. We really believe each song on this project is a very clear representation of who I am as an artist, and as a testament to God's faithfulness and His divine plan over a span of almost 20 years.
Q: What are some of the issues addressed in this new album? Why are these issues important to you?
We have addressed several topics on this new EP. It's a journey of sorts, really. Speaking to those who have experienced a life change because of surrendering to the Father, and having made up their minds to NEVER GO BACK to the old life. To setting G.O.A.L.S., with God Over All of Life's Successes and prioritizing this walk. We delve into and celebrate the universal topics of LOVE and FAMILY, by ultimately expressing gratitude and a willingness to oblige in any way we can in this life with songs from the project, 'Indebted' and 'If You Say.' These issues are important to me because they are my testimony. I am so full knowing that I've had a chance to share my testimony and my story with others and that they're encouraged or helped by it.
Q:How do you hope your new songs will impact the lives of your listeners?
I hope that this project will impact the lives of the listeners in such a way that they'll reflect and remember what is truly important in this life. I hope that they will have a renewed appreciation for the artistry, and most of all, that they will experience JESUS in some way as they take this journey with us-and it brings them FULL CIRCLE.