( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Nia Allen Combines Her Faith with Her Music to Create an Inspiring New EP, Every Nation
ENSPIRE Contributor: Keegan Kerns
Nia Allen gives us her latest single ‘Wait’ off her recently released six-track EP ‘Every Nation’ has recently hit #1 on the Billboard Gospel National Airplay chart. In addition, it has attracted attention in other sections of the music industry, reaching the top 50 on the Billboard’s Urban AC Chart. It’s a powerful piece, with Allen’s emotional vocals absorbing the listener while still feeling soothing. We can understand the beauty of the composition by looking at Nia Allen’s history with music, having graduated from the Berklee College of Music and touring with several artists like CeCe Winans and Nicole C. Mullen. The lyrics are equally interesting, encouraging us to keep the faith as we wait for and receive God’s guidance.
While the song’s lyrics speak to a certain situation and emotions specific to Nia Allen herself, their construction is universal, making it into a song we can all empathize and identify with. To live our lives, we all need a certain level of patience and understanding as we wait to find the important aspects of our lives. Allen’s song captures this patience and connection with God in a powerful yet still easily accessible way, which is no easy feat.
We spoke to Nia Allen about “Wait,” her musical process, as well as her faith.
What made you want to take your current career path and combine your faith with your musical talent? Was that something that always felt natural to you?
My Grandfather was a Pastor, and I grew up in a very musical family, so I think it was something that came naturally. It was never forced upon me, but rather love and passion that grew over time. When I graduated from Berklee College of Music, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to sing and pursue music full time. I’m just grateful that there is a space within the music industry where I can be true to myself, share my faith, and inspire people through the gift of song.
What inspired you to write Wait, and what do you hope to convey with it?
I was walking down the street when I wrote the lyrics to my song “Wait.” It was many years ago. I was in the midst of trying to make a decision, and the lyrics began to come “Lord, I’m gonna wait until I hear from you…I’ll wait for you to see me through.” It was pretty much my prayer at the time and still is. I ran home and recorded the lyrics and melody on my phone and showed it to my dad, and he added music to it. I’ve been singing this song for a very long time. It’s a song I’ve certainly had to live out.
When people hear the song, my hope and prayer are that they’re encouraged to wait patiently on the Lord’s timing and His way. And when they don’t know what to do, they would take a moment to quiet themselves, seek the face of the Father, and ask for wisdom and instruction.
You’ve mentioned that this song was written by you and your father, Milton Ruffin. What is it like working with your father on a piece like this?
Working with my dad on this song was a wonderful experience. He’s an accomplished musician, so as soon as I sang the melody, he immediately played the chords to make the song what it is today. It was a natural and easy process. I’m grateful for our relationship and grateful that we were able to create such a special song together.
What’s your process in writing and creating songs like Wait?
Honestly, most of the songs I write are usually birthed out of experience. I rarely sit down and just say, “today, I’m gonna write a song.” I have to be inspired, or usually, I’m minding my own business, and God will download lyrics and a melody, and I have to rush to write them down or record them on my phone. That’s been my journey and process all of these years.
You’ve collaborated or worked with other influential artists such as CeCe Winans, Nicole C. Mullen, David and Nicole Binion, and many others. How did working with them influence your own musical style going forward?
You learn a lot while serving behind some of the greatest artists and worship leaders. I think what I learned the most was the importance of maintaining your prayer and spiritual life (offstage) when no one else is around. Being the same person on and off the stage. Making sure my public ministry matched my private life and interaction with others. It’s not a call to perfection, but as Christian leaders, singers, and ministers, I do believe that we are called to be Christ’s ambassadors, His representatives here on earth. We’re responsible for pointing people towards Jesus with our music and our lives. I can honestly say that I’ve learned that from the people I’ve had the honor of working with and serving. I watched how they lived their lives, and that’s what was most influential. Not perfect, but always pointing people towards Christ. They were very intentional about daily living a life seeking to please God. It’s my prayer that my life and ministry would speak in that same manner.
You also do a lot of work outside of your music, having recently received your Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University while also serving as a full-time worship leader. How do you balance that with your musical pursuits and how do they complement each other?
It honestly all works together. Last semester, I served as an Adjunct Professor at Azusa Pacific University during the week, and then I was able to lead worship and travel on the weekends as needed. For every season, God gives me the grace that is needed where it’s not stressful, but it all works together, and I’m able to do multiple things at the same time. I’m old school. I still have a planner, and I write things down. So, I keep a calendar and plan accordingly.
What do you hope listeners take away from Wait and your other work?
I understand the power of music. So, my prayer is that the music that God gives will help to bring healing and hope to people’s hearts and lives. It has to be so much bigger than “listen to me sing, and listen to my new song.” I pray that each song has a purpose and helps lift the spirits of those who are hurting and broken. I pray that my songs will speak to the inner parts of every listener and bring encouragement to their spirit.
Overall, Nia Allen’s song ‘Wait’ along with her six-track EP, Every Nation, do an excellent job providing calm spiritual guidance while also exhibiting the talent of a wonderful artist. Allen is able to incorporate her faith into her music in a way that shows the power and sincerity of her beliefs, and it makes the messages and themes of those songs that much stronger. Wait is an excellent example of this strength and, combined with other great achievements such as Allen’s position as a full-time worship leader, shows how Nia Allen is a role model for other musical artists and community figures.
To hear Nia Allen’s song “Wait”, check it out on YouTube.