I've Made Up My Mind
It can be hard living for Christ while you’re young. Shanta Atkins, through her ministry, outreach, and music has shown us that you can live for Christ while you’re young and have a good time while doing it. The youngest sister of the Gospel Duo group Mary Mary is making a name for herself in the industry. Originally, she didn’t think she’d be singing and recording songs, her heart was to do mission work. But God had other plans. The Divah Filez had the opportunity to interview Shanta about her ministry and new music. We started talking about her ministry first, where we learned she had a heart for the youth. She ministers in her local church doing praise and worship and does mission work, traveling to different countries to help in any way she can. She is also a mental and emotional health advocate which lead to the discussion about one of her songs titled “God See’s You”.
The music video starts with her in the car speaking to those who may feel like they didn’t get what they expected God to give them. She tells them don’t get up, don’t lose hope and don’t remain defeated. The song then starts, “You’re like an internal bleeder. Can’t see your pain but it can silently kill you. So deeply wounded but don’t say a thing. Too afraid of what the people may say or think. So you sit there and suffer in silence… God see’s you and God hear’s you…”. I asked why it was important for her to release this song, focusing on suicide and depression. She said the song just happened and she was led by God. “It talks about the reality of what people go through. There’s not too many songs that really deal with it”, she says. She felt God gave her that song so she could give a voice to those dealing with those issues, who may feel like they’re not being heard or forgotten about. The video is beautiful as it show children holding signs with the issues they are dealing with. Issues most of have experienced or witnessed others go through. I was curious to know her perspective of being young and trying to live Godly. She said that it can be hard being young in Christ. She mentioned how to she went away for undergraduate and she was surrounded by people who didn’t have the same beliefs as she did. “It was hard because when everyone around you may not have the same beliefs as you do and you’re not really firm in your faith or even if you are firm in your faith, but you go through things, you can be drawn away.” She said you have to know you “why”, meaning why you’ve chosen to live this life and always keep that in mind. It’s important, “to know the God you serve and know his love”, she says.
That led us to her new single titled “Made Up My Mind”, which explains choosing to live for God no matter what. Even through the ups and down, you still must listen to and for God’s voice for guidance. The song “Speaks to the inward battles we go through struggling to hear God’s voice at times and not knowing what he’s saying. Sometimes we may know that he’s speaking but we don’t know what he’s saying.” Speaking to her own struggles of hearing God’s voice, she would ask God to give her a sign or confirmation to make sure she was doing what he wanted. Especially with her music and ministry. Originally not wanting to record songs, God took her down that path and as she says “it just happened”, God continues to pour songs into her. But, she is always confirming her path and what she should do next. I asked her if she wrote her own music and where she get the inspiration from. She said that God gives her short melodies or lyrics, which then turn into songs. She then works with producers to find the right sounds and they help her to put everything together. The same went for her previous single “Bow Down”, which talks about the power we have to put Satan, fear, and hate under our feet. They all must bow down in Jesus name. She called them “hindrances”, saying these are things in our lives we need to overcome and get past in order to move forward.
As we began to wrap up, I was curious to know if being related to someone in the industry makes it easier or harder for her. She said both. “It makes harder because people have someone right next to you to constantly compare you too.” She said that people want you to “out do” other people (siblings/family members), and if you don’t, then you’re not as successful as them. Even though your idea of success maybe different than just winning awards. It makes it easier because she has some leverage and more influence because of her sisters. I asked her where she saw herself in five years and she said taking more of a lead on her mission work. Through her organization Melodies for Missions, she wants to be able to take teams on foreign missions and facilitate and organize the teams. She wants to continue sharing her music around the world and serving those in need. It was so nice chatting with Shanta and getting to hear her vision for her music and her ministry. She has a heart for people and you could feel that while talking to her. Make sure you download and stream her new song “Made Up My Mind” and follow her at @itsshantaatkins on all social media platforms! Watch the full interview below!