New artist @Tasha Layton traveled the world as a backup singer for mainstream pop sensation Katy Perry and recorded songs used at Disneyland, in Cirque du Soleil shows, and on Nickelodeon—all before kickstarting a solo career in Christian music.
Her latest song, “Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok),” serves as the title cut of her newest EP. She co-wrote the song with husband Keith Everette Smith, a GRAMMY® Award-winning producer and member of TobyMac’s Diverse City Band.
KLOVE.com caught up with the mother of two for 21 questions, chatting about touring, full-circle moments, and her favorite travel destinations.
1. Best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom told me growing up, “Tasha, be who you are supposed to be, and you will do exactly what you were supposed to do.” The focus was on having integrity and looking like Jesus, not necessarily achieving externals. I’m very thankful for that advice and have offered it to many people since then.
2. Song you wish you’d written?
“How Great Is Our God”—what an anthem! It’s been sung all over the world in so many languages to lead people in worship. What an honor that would be to have written it.
3. Favorite thing about being a mom?
My babies! (And leftover mac & cheese when they don’t eat all their food.) It’s such an extravagant love you have for your children.
5. Favorite go-to snack?
My homemade guacamole!
6. Country or city you’d most like to explore?
I’ve been to over 50 countries and almost every state in the U.S., but have never been to Alaska!
7. Favorite lyrics you’ve ever written?
"Lift up my head, look me in the eyes and tell me I am Yours” (from “Safe Here”).
These are literally scriptural and a beautiful picture of how I view God speaking to me when I am downcast.
8. Something new you’d like to try that you haven’t done before?
I’m an avid diver, but have never been to the Great Barrier Reef!
9. Most-binged TV show?
10. Book you’re currently reading?
I’m reading more than a handful at the moment, but a few of them are It Didn’t Start With You about inherited trauma, How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen (Lord, help me with my three-year-old!), and I’m re-reading Subversive Spirituality by Eugene Peterson.
11. Thing you love most about Nashville?
I live near downtown Franklin, about 30 minutes south of Nashville, and our Main Street is super cute. We have all sorts of festivals and activities going on throughout the year, and it’s wonderful to get to experience those as a family.
12. Favorite place you’ve ever traveled?
I have a top three: Iceland, Bali, South Africa.
13. Favorite song (written by someone else) to lead in worship?
This changes from time to time, but I’d say currently I love “Defender” by Rita Springer.
14. Best thing about your childhood?
My time outside. I grew up on a lot of land out in the country and developed a love for nature early on. I love to camp, hike, and be outdoors—so long as there aren’t many mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are a game-changer. I will gladly stay indoors if they are anywhere near me!
15. Favorite memory from touring with Katy Perry?
I have too many to chose from... A few that stand out though would be performing on “SNL,” our time off vacationing wherever we were in the world, and all of our time together on the bus.
16. Why Christian music?
Actually, I never would have guessed I would be involved in CCM as I am now. I went to seminary to be a pastor... Now I can see how God wove together seemingly different paths in my life to culminate in what I do now. I get to live every day doing what I prayed to be able to do when I was a teenager—help draw people closer to God.
17. What you wanted to be when you grew up?
A figure skater or gymnast—what a lot of girls in the ’80s wanted to be!
18. Dream collaboration?
Jon Foreman (lead singer and guitarist for @Switchfoot).
19. Last song you listened to?
The Christmas song we just wrote! I’m not sure we’ve landed on a title yet though.
20. Favorite thing about road life (when you’re touring)?
I sleep VERY well in a bunk.
21. Three words that describe you?
Courageous, positive, joyful.