Lakeisha Cochrane is a breath of fresh air. At just 24 she has a heart for God, and is immensely wise beyond her years. After defeating depression, she is reaching out to others through her music, spreading the message of God and connecting with the lost.
So Divine: Tell us about Lakeisha.
Lakeisha: Lakeisha is a Christian/Inspirational artist who is very passionate about impacting lives with a positive message. My music is geared towards people who already know Christ, and people that don’t know Christ. In my writing I try to relate to everybody and reach everybody. That’s what I’m about and what I stand for.
So Divine: You’re fairly young –
Lakeisha: Yes, I’m 24.
So Divine: A lot of people your age are so busy doing other things and not necessarily interested in doing gospel music. What made you want to record a gospel album at this time in your life?
Lakeisha: Well, mainly because that’s what I find to be more purposeful. I love music, and I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. But the music that impacts me and that really serves a purpose and uplifts me, that’s the kind of music that I wanted to be involved with. That’s the kind of music I really want to share with people; because I feel like there’s no point in devoting my passion to just beats and stuff that makes people’s heads bop. I want them to walk away from listening to my music and really getting something out of it.
So Divine: Did you always go to church?
Lakeisha: No, actually I didn’t. I was a military brat. I was born in Oklahoma, then we moved to Florida, and then we moved to Hawaii, and we lived on the base of Jersey. The bulk of my childhood was pretty much traveling. We started going to Church, and the first two years for me wasn’t a life changing experience, but as I grew older I really started understanding God and understanding this Christian walk a little more. That’s how Christian music began to be more and more important to me.
So Divine: What made you want to know more about who God was?
Lakeisha: I wanted to get to know more because I saw the surface of what people said about God, and how after getting to Christ they had been changed and I just became more curious about it. People said that he changed their lives and I wanted to feel that kind of change. So I said alright Lord, it’s just me and you now; reveal yourself to me because I need to hear you, I need to understand you, I need to see you, I need to know that you’re with me. And he proved himself time after time after time again.
So Divine: What musical genre would you say your album falls into?
Lakeisha: That’s interesting because I really don’t know (laughs). It’s really a mixture. There’s contempt, there’s pop, a little rock, an acoustic sound. I like to be versatile, and I don’t want my sound or my lyrics to limit anybody.
So Divine: Who are some of the artists that you listen to?
Lakeisha: I like Israel & new Breed, I like Mary Mary, Deitrick Haddon, but my favorite is Jeremy Camp.
So Divine: A lot of people in the music industry have lives that are now made public because of what they do. You’re a singer, and as your ministry continues to grow, you’re going to be in the forefront. Do you consider yourself a role model?
Lakeisha: I would say to anyone who is thinking of me as a role model, before deciding to follow me, I would highly recommend to follow the God that I’m following. People following me or looking up to me should only be to a certain extent; because I’m still human and I still make mistakes. I still need Jesus as much as anybody else. So my response to that is follow Christ.
So Divine: I respect that answer.
Lakeisha: When you set the expectation limit, it takes that pressure off of you to start living behind a mask and putting on this façade that you really aren’t. You lighten the load off of yourself when you keep it real.
So Divine: Do you feel like it’s important to be transparent too?
Lakeisha: Absolutely. I feel like transparency is one of the most effective ways to reach the world. And focusing on Christ in the midst of our issues is the message that we should be sending. One thing about the world is that they know when it’s real. Being real is the best way to reach people. That’s how Christ was.
So Divine: You hit the nail on the head when you said keep it real because we’re under a microscope with them. They can spot a fake in a heartbeat! They’re always watching.
Lakeisha: There’s a song on my album called “Free From Me.” Sometime we become our own bondage because we start dealing with things on our own with our mind and our emotions and we don’t tell anybody and we act like its not there and try not to deal with it. But at the end of the day there is always that desire to want to be free. That’s why I will sing in some place that some Christian artists won’t. And nothing against them, but I know that God has given me a gift to reach people in those areas. I’ve been to secular events and sang Christian music because I feel like that where its purpose is fulfilled. That’s where we should be spreading the message. There’s no point in going around to church after church after church, and singing to Christian after Christian, after Christian.
So Divine: It’s kind of like preaching to the choir. They already know the Word. But there are people who don’t know, and who are searching.
Lakkeisha: Exactly. That is where the focus should be. I find that people who are not saved, deep down inside they really do have a yearning for God. A lot of times church folk feel like the world doesn’t want to have anything to do with God and they are just livin’ it up. But in my experience I find it to be quite the contrary. I really believe that people in the world are seeking God but in some situations, they haven’t seen God in those that say the have God. The body of Christ is not fulfilling its purpose completely when it comes to dealing with people in the world. They’re [busy] spending a lot of time focusing on tradition, focusing on religion, focusing on denominations, focusing on things that don’t matter and that Jesus is not gonna mention when we get to the gate.
So Divine: What are your views on dating as a young Christian woman?
Lakeisha: I think that dating is a good thing. But more importantly I want to speak to all the women out there who are single and waiting for ya boy (laughs). It’s definitely important to know yourself and love yourself first. A lot of times women identify themselves simply by who they’re with. It’s so important for a woman to know who she is. There are so many women who are not enjoying their single life because they’re focused on being married. And then some of them end up getting married and they realize, oh my gosh, I should’ve used my single time to prepare for this. Marriage is a lot more than a white dress and flowers and a ceremony, and sex. It’s a lot more than that. You have to be ok knowing that you’re going to wake up some mornings and no one is going to be laying next to you saying “Good morning sweetheart.” You have to be okay with knowing that sometimes late at night you’re going to wish somebody was there to hug you and hold you. But it’s so important to wait on God and focus on loving yourself. I’m very human; I have feelings just like everybody else. But we have to focus on what God wants us to do in our singleness. Ruth found her husband while she was workin’.
So Divine: I hear you. Ooo, that’s a good one!
Lakeisha: He found her rather. It’s important that God is priority and that he’s first. You can’t put your boo before God. God will not be your side piece. And that man has to love God first and foremost too. He can’t be faithful to a woman if he can’t be faithful to God.
So Divine: Girl you are preachin’! It’s so refreshing to hear you talk like that because a lot of girls your age, even woman who are older than you and been there done that, their whole focus is off. So you have it right. Your mindset…, you got t.
Lakeisha: All these things have come from experiences that I’ve had, and now I’m able to say these things and really understand it and really mean it. I’ve been in relationships where we began to focus so much on each other. But in that situation I learned that even your relationships need to be running off of God. Usually anything that God does, his reason is for him to get some kind of glory out of it. So if you start taking his glory and giving it to the other person, God will say ‘wait a minute, let me just pump the breaks in this real quick’ (laughs).
So Divine: You are so seasoned right now! People don’t think about these things, but it definitely needs to be said and definitely needs to be heard. At one point in life you were battling with depression. Tell us a little about that.
Lakeisha: I dealt with depression in my life and it was very bad. I was losing my hair, waking up crying, going to bed crying, because I felt like everything in my life had gone wrong all at the same time. I was so focused on everything that wasn’t right to the point where I lost myself in it. I used to always be a happy smiley kind of person (laughs), and I found myself in this place of depression. I thank God for keeping me first of all, while I was in that phase of depression, and giving me strength to wake up every morning. There’s a song on my album called “Joy Will Come.” That’s where that song came from. Every song on that album has some kind of experience attached to it. Usually the things we go through in life is for God to show us himself in another kind of way or for him to prepare us for areas in ministry. I come in contact with so many people who are struggling with depression and when you’ve actually been there, it gives you more substance when it comes to encouraging. It’s funny because people are like ‘I really like that song!
So Divine: And you’re like “Girl you have no idea!” (Laughs)
Lakeisha: Yeah! (Hearty Laugh)
So Divine: Well we know that depression is a spirit, and there are so many people out there who feel like the world is working against them. As someone who’s been through that, and who is now on the other side, what encouragement do you have for those dealing with depression?
Lakeisha: I would say that you have to focus your mind on Christ. The more you’re focused on what it is that you’re dealing with, the more you find yourself lost in it. God is the only way through something like that.
So Divine: Awesome testimony. So you’ve recorded an album, but you’re also pursuing a college degree. How do you stay grounded in the atmosphere of a college campus where there’s so much going on?
Lakeisha: I think it’s so important for Christians on college campuses to support each other. I like those kinds of events because it lets you know who’s saved (laughs). It’s like ‘Oh! So and so goes to church! Ok!’(hearty laugh). It’s like I can have a friend or someone who understands this God that I’m serving. Naturally you have to be wise about the friendships that you start. So we can pray for each other and hold each other up.
So Divine: What can we expect from you in the future?
Lakeisha: I really want to get into writing for other artists. As far as the album, I’m still promoting it, and I’m supposed to be doing a college tour in Spring 2011, so I’m looking forward to that.
To purchase Lakeisha’s album, click here.