This Is My Story With Tasha Layton

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2024 by Lindsay Williams

There was a time when Tasha Layton was a chameleon. Whatever girl you wanted her to be is the girl she would become.

“I used to pretend to be whatever I needed to be so that people wouldn’t think less of me,” the singer/songwriter confesses. “I spent years trying to accommodate some phony façade, and I lost track of who I really was.”

Layton was always destined to be a singer. In fact, her mother can’t recall a time when she wasn’t singing. School choir, church choir, the youth worship team — if music was involved, Layton was present.

That all changed, however, when the gifted songstress was in high school and a church leader started spreading untruths about the then 16-year-old that marked her life forever.

“Scripture says that the enemy is the father of lies,” Layton offers, “and I didn’t know that I had taken a message and that the enemy had used that message year after year to keep me bound.”

Hurt and confused, Layton eventually walked away from music altogether. Entering college, she switched her major from music to religion and set out on her own spiritual quest to find something — anything — that would give her answers, or maybe just a glimmer of self-worth.

The South Carolina native fearlessly struck out around the globe, immersing herself in an array of world religions, ranging from Buddhism and Mysticism to every from of belief in between.

“I was searching for wholeness, just searching for anything that could give me peace that passed my own understanding,” Layton asserts. “In all of those other religions, the thing that was missing was power. There was no power to transform my life… There was no power in these other gods.”

Back at college, Layton hit rock bottom. Catatonically depressed, she could barely get out of bed. That’s when she decided life wasn’t worth living.

She closed the door to her dorm room, placed the barrel of a loaded gun to her temple, and pulled the trigger.

But it didn’t go off.

“I thought, ‘God, maybe I’m still supposed to be here. Maybe You have a plan for my life,’” Layton shares of the moment she was spared from taking her own life.

Forcing herself to go back to church, a year later she had an encounter with God at the end of a service that brought supernatural healing and strength back to her mind, heart and spirit.

“That day was an altar moment in my life,” she recalls, “and it set me on a trajectory of wanting to serve, remembering my calling.”

With a renewed sense of purpose, Layton moved to California, where she attended seminary. In addition, she started leading worship again after years of silencing her singing voice. While she was serving as a worship pastor at a local church, she sensed that God was leading her to use her musical gifts outside the four walls of the church and began praying for new opportunities.

Out of the blue, she received a phone call from Katy Perry’s management team asking if she would be interested in possibly filling a spot as a background singer on Perry’s next tour. She had 20 minutes to learn the pop superstar’s songs on her way to the audition.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening,” she reflects. “I went from full-time ministry out of seminary at a church to singing with Katy Perry at Madison Square Garden in a matter of three days.”

Performing as a background vocalist for Perry took the “How Far” singer around the globe once again. This time, instead of a student of various religions, Layton was a celebrated guest on the world’s most prestigious stages.

After four years on the road with Perry, the “Never” singer left her position to take a sabbatical. On the outside, her life looked successful, sparkly and perfect. But on the inside, she admits, “I was crumbling.”

The pain of her past was haunting her once again, so she sought intensive counseling at a retreat center in Colorado.

“I learned, to some extent, how much [God] loves me; and when you know how much God loves you, it changes everything,” she shares. “You stop comparing yourself to other people, because you know how special God made you. When we spin our wheels trying to be someone else, it’s usually because we haven’t let God tell us who we really are.”

This newfound freedom in Christ gave Layton the courage to begin writing and recording her own music. She eventually landed a Christian record deal, which led to touring opportunities with TobyMac, Danny Gokey and Big Daddy Weave, among others. Additionally, the mother of two has since garnered nominations for both the GMA Dove Awards and the K-LOVE Fan Awards and has earned multiple No. 1 hits at Christian radio.

“My songs are my life story,” she says. “They are my testimonies, and God has used very personal things in my life to become pretty universal for the listener.”

It’s that story that continues to resonate with fans far and wide and one she shares in her raw memoir/devotional, Look What You’ve Done: The Lies We Believe & the Truth That Sets Us Free, named after her inaugural chart-topping single.

“I pray that when people hear my story…that they can see the hand of God in all of the places — the mountaintops, the valleys, the crooked places — and that that, in turn, would cause them to see God’s hand in their own story,” Layton says. “God will use whatever we’re willing to give Him, and with Him at the wheel, we are sure to have an incredible ride.”

MusicTasha LaytonThis Is My StoryBehind the Music

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