South Carolina-native Tasha Layton launched her music career in Los Angeles, quickly becoming an in-demand session singer. She appeared on Season 9 of American Idol and spent four years as a back-up vocalist for pop superstar Katy Perry. Layton’s voice has also been heard in productions for Disneyland and Cirque du Soleil, as well Nickelodeon television, and she has served as an instructor at the National Praise and Worship Institute at Nashville’s Trevecca Nazarene University. Her critically acclaimed BEC Recordings debut EP, Love Running Wild, released last year. And now, “Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok),” her vulnerable new single, is available for download and streaming. An affirmation of God’s presence and providence in a chaotic world, the timely track was co-produced by GRAMMY winner Bryan Fowler and Hawk Nelson’s Micah Kuiper, and was written by Layton, multi-GRAMMY winner Keith Everette Smith, Fowler and Kuiper. Recently, Layton talked with us about the story behind this song, her hope for the track and the impact it is having on listeners.
Congratulations on the recent release of “Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)”! Can you share a little of the reaction to the single so far?
Thank you! I’ve received many comments like, “We really needed this right now,” or “This is so timely in our world!”
One woman wrote to me and said she is normally a very happy and positive person but because of the pandemic, she and her husband have found themselves quite the opposite… scared. They are now unemployed with four children. She told me she heard the song on the radio and froze as she was listening. She’s had the song on repeat and has been in tears as she has allowed God to take away the fear she is feeling right now. She says it was like she wrote the words herself. Stories like this are certainly motivating for me to continue down the path I’m on, as I see God using the songs to draw people to Him.
Were there any life events for you personally that impacted the songwriting process?
When we wrote the song, I think all of us writers were accessing what I call “dark nights of the soul” in our lives. Personally, I was drawing from some experiences I had when I was searching in my faith and felt desperate for a change—especially in the verse that says, “I’ve blamed myself and if I’m honest maybe have blamed you too.” For a long time, I thought the outcomes in my life were solely determined by how good of a person I was or because God “had it out to get me” if I messed up. I’ve since recognized the error in my theology and realized how far from the truth that is.
Which step of the process did you find the hardest to complete as you worked through creating “Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)?
Honestly, this song was an easy process, but I will say I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sing my final vocal because I was so pregnant! We ended up using my scratch vocal from the day we wrote it because we liked the emotion captured.
What is one key message you hope listeners take away from the track?
I hope when people hear this song, they are able to access the most honest thoughts and emotions they’re feeling right now and truly hand them over to God. I hope they sense God assuring them that no matter what they are facing, it’s going to be OK.
Were there any key moments that stood out to you when creating this single that you’ll always remember or associate with this particular music and season of life?
Since I wrote this song when I was pregnant with our second child, I will always remember what a vulnerable and tender place I was in emotionally…or you could chalk it up to hormones! Either way, God was speaking to me in a special way during that period.
How has your faith journey impacted your music and vice versa?
I’m unsure whether or not my spiritual journey impacts my music sonically that much, but it certainly motivates my message. I want to create music and sing songs that directly connect people to God and help them work through their issues of faith. I want to create something that will speak to a person who is searching as well as someone who feels firm in their faith.
How would you describe your sound and lyrics to new listeners?
I think my sound is a combination of my influences and tastes. It’s a mixture of pop and sounds familiar to modern worship music. Lyrically, I’d say my songs are honest, uplifting and prophetic in nature.
Can you share anything with us about current projects you are working on or future releases?
I’m always working on something! The songs I’ve been working on will be part of a larger project and I’m excited to continue writing songs for the Church as well.
With all the recent changes brought on because of the COVID-19 pandemic, what or who has helped you adapt to this ‘new normal’?
In some ways, normal looks similar to life right before the pandemic. Since I have a newborn and a toddler, I was spending as much time as I could at home with them. Then when everything happened, my maternity leave rolled right into quarantine!
Right now, we are with family out in the country so that is really helping. We can be outside to get fresh air and stay active during this time. Spiritually, I’ve been reading Psalm 20 quite a bit to combat any anxiety that tries to take root in my heart.