By: Shenelle Wallace
Songstress Lakeia Shaneen understands what it means to be faithful to God, and after conversing with her, it’s evident that her devotion to Him is out of her love for Him. From losing her father, to losing her close friend, Lakeia Shaneen was able to breakthrough it all and remain steadfast in spite of.
So Divine: Welcome back! I heard you just returned from Germany! How was it?
Lakeia Shaneen: It was a great experience. I was touring with The Glory Gospel singers. We toured 56 cities in Germany. We were in the capital, the south, the west, north; name it, we were there. I grew so much spiritually. It was more than just a trip it was ministry. I had to minister every night. It was hard work, being with different people in a different atmosphere, but God is awesome.
So Divine: It’s been said that in other countries the people have more of a hunger for God. Is there a difference? Did you see that while you were over there?
Lakeia Shaneen: Yes I did! The people yearend for something they knew that we had. They were yearning for God. People came from all over. There were snowstorms and the people would still come out. After we finished singing a song, they didn’t understand why they would cry. We had to learn their language and tried to translate to them the message of God and of Christ. We let them know, what you felt while we were singing that’s the Holy Spirit. It’s not us. The smiles on their faces said ‘ ‘you brought joy to us’. They asked “Are you coming back next year?” There’s a huge difference.
So Divine: How old were you when you got saved?
Lakeia Shaneen: I got saved when I was 15. A friend of mine was killed. We grew up together. She got caught up in something and was killed by a gang. It was a hot mess, and was all over the news. It was crazy. I was sitting in a Friday night service and [thinking] I didn’t want to go out like that. It’s not like I was living any way, I just didn’t give my life to Christ and that was the bottom line. I went to the altar that night.
So Divine: Awesome. You know, at 15 years old, being an adolescent a lot of young people get into different things. Was it hard for you to stay on the “straight and narrow?”
Lakeia Shaneen: No. I just decided to totally give me to God. It’s actually a choice that you make. If you desire the things of God then you seek after the things of God. If you desire the things of the world, that’s what you seek after. I do get that some people say it’s hard. But why is it hard? You have to think about what is it that I want? I decided that there is nonsense going on out here in the world, and I just don’t want to be a part of it. I knew there was a better way, and something that God had for me, and I want it. It’s not even about what God had for me, it’s because I love Him so much. God had shown me his love in so many ways. I’m not perfect at all, but I definitely felt it was easy growing up. But I don’t condemn the young children. I try to tell them the truth, but listen to what they have to say.
So Divine: You started singing when you were 5 which is amazing because that’s a young age. When you’re that young, sometimes you’re not aware that ‘this is bigger than me.’ When did singing become serious for you?
Lakeia Shaneen: I always thought being a Christian [meant] I had to be perfect. I went away to college, and one day I felt like I made the biggest mistake ever. It’s probably nothing to anyone, but because I took my salvation so seriously, to me it was the biggest mistake. So one day, I sat on the train and wrote my first song “Hear My Voice.” That’s when it became real to me. It was my story, and what God had brought me from. He was a part of that story. So at age 19 I started to write, and God played a major role, because I needed Him so much. That’s when I realized I wanted minister. I really don’t like to call myself an artist. I’m a minister.
So Divine: I love that! Is the album out right now?
Lakeia Shaneen: I have a single out right now and I’m recording two more singles. My album is going to be entitled “Experience the Breakthrough.” You have victory and God breakthroughs your problems, your pain, and your sorrow. The songs that are actually on the album reflect that.
So Divine: Do you ever feel like some things are too personal to talk about, and that you’ll never go there?
Lakeia Shaneen: I am very talkative (laughs). In order to get your point across to the audience, you have to be personal. I feel like that’s being real. That’s being who you really are. I can’t put up a façade. There maybe someone who needs to hear what you have to say. You can ask me anything, and I’m going to tell you the story from beginning to end.
So Divine: I was looking at some of your pictures and you have a very nice fashion sense. Do you ever feel pressured to fit into a certain mold?
Lakeia Shaneen: Oh thank you! I try (laughs). I like relaxed and free with a little bit of glamour. [Musically] I’m different. The things that I do, I can’t fit in the mold. I just don’t think that’s me.
So Divine: As a singer, you have a platform. The church is misunderstood in so many ways on so many levels. What would you say to those individuals who point the finger back at the church?
Lakeia Shaneen: What those who point their finger at the church have to understand is that the church is not perfect. That’s the reason why Jesus came. He came to save. Don’t count on the church to live for you. Go to the word yourself. If you’re seeking righteousness, you’ll be filled. Know what Jesus said. That’s who you follow. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian just like standing in the garage doesn’t make you a car. The church makes mistakes and we have to go to the throne of grace just like everybody else. But don’t be discouraged, seek God for yourself and search the scriptures for yourself.
So Divine: You’ve been through some things, and in hard times a lot of people turn their back on God. But you made the choice like you said, to stick with God anyway. How do you stay so strong?
Lakeia Shaneen: In 2009 my dad was killed the day before my birthday. When my father was killed, I didn’t speak to God. I didn’t curse him to his face, and it’s not like I didn’t want to talk to him. I just didn’t know what to say. The other day I cried my eyes out. You know, it just hit me. But right now, [knowing] who God had been to me, I could never turn my back on him. God is just too awesome for me not to serve Him. He kept me girl.
For more information on Lakeia Shaneen, visit here: http://www.reverbnation.com/lakeiashaneen