The Girl Ordained To Sing

UK Gospel’s Areatha Anderson Williams is renowned for her soul-stirring vocals and powerful stage presence. The London-born singer’s passion for music and faith was nurtured from a young age, shaping her into the powerful artist she is today. Areatha’s notable collaborations include ministering alongside Joe Mettle, Dunsin Oyekan, Nathaniel Bassey, Phil Thompson and Sinach, among others. 2022 saw Areatha duet with Grammy-nominated Travis Greene in front of 35,000 people at the Big Church Festival. With three singles under her belt, the singer has her sights set on a live album recording in the future.  She spoke to Akosua DF about music, her experience ministering with some of gospel’s biggest stars, and her hopes for the future.

AKOSUA DF (ADF): For our readers who aren’t familiar with your journey, tell us a bit about how you got into music.

AREATHA ANDERSON WILLIAMS (AAW): It was God-ordained. God used His servants to speak a word over me. At my dedication, there was a word that went forth saying that God would use my voice to be a blessing to His kingdom and to the world. So, I’ll say that’s what started everything, but my mum got me involved in a lot of musical activities, like choirs, keyboard lessons, and drama classes, so that got me into singing. Ministry-wise, things really kicked off when I joined Victory Bible Church International under the leadership of Bishop Clement Asihene. He saw the gift in me and nurtured it. I started travelling with him for ministry; people started to invite me to minister; and the rest, as they say, is history.

ADF: A little birdie told me that your dad named you after the legendary Aretha Franklin. What are his thoughts on your artistry?

AAW: Yes, so my dad named me after Aretha Franklin. He loves music and sincerely believes he can sing [chuckles]. He was always very intentional in ensuring that there was music around me. He is one of my greatest cheerleaders and critics. He always has something technical to say about my ministrations, but I love it because he is interested in how God is using me. Interestingly he does try to teach me how to sing and improve my stagecraft [laughs]…

ADF: You veered into world of afrobeats at some point. Did you plan to establish yourself as an afrobeat artist? Do you regret giving it up?

AAW: Once upon a time I was a budding afrobeat singer…. yes, I ventured into the world of secular music. Let’s just say that was many moons ago [laughs]! You know what, I have absolutely no regrets at all leaving that world. I won’t lie, it was fun meeting different people; getting into the studio; making money, etc., but there was no true meaning to it all. There was no real satisfaction in doing it because I always knew that I was called by God. I knew that there was an assignment for my life. Even though the music I was doing wasn’t vulgar, I can’t truthfully say I was pleased with what I was doing. I did, however, learn a lot about the industry, so that was a plus, but I love what I do now and would never go back to secular music.

ADF: We are super blessed to have you doing kingdom work so I’m glad to hear you don’t plan to return to afrobeats. You’ve worked with some of the gospel industry’s most renowned artists. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned during your season of serving?

AAW: I’ve been super blessed to work with some of gospel’s biggest names and noticed that serving has been a great stepping stone for me. It’s one of the secrets of my growth. I try to always ask them questions and have gleaned so much from them. They have years of ministry under their belts, so it’s great to tap into their wisdom and anointing. If you were to ask what the highlight of all these years of serving has been, I’d probably say working with Minister Dunsin Oyekan. He takes time out to pour into his background singers: he’ll talk with us, pray with us, etc. I believe every artist should serve in some capacity to ensure that they are always learning and developing.

ADF: What’s your most memorable ministration to date?

AAW: Oooh, that’s a good question! It’s a ministration for an event that wasn’t heavily publicised, so I doubt many people will know of it. There was an event by Divine Soldiers, hosted by Minister Roland Regan. I went to minister in Ireland and God moved through me in a mighty way. Healing and deliverance took place during the meeting, it was surreal. Another memorable ministration would be leading about 20,000 people in worship at the Manchester Arena during Apostle Joshua Selman’s 2023 Koinonia UK Conference. God has been faithful to His word concerning my life and I am truly grateful to be used by Him.

ADF: After a four-year hiatus you are back with your third single, ‘Jesus’. Tell us the story behind the song.

AAW: Gosh, it has been a long time since I released music, but I am back. ‘Jesus’ was birthed during a very difficult season of my life. I was going through a lot but couldn’t really unburden myself onto anyone. The song was my response to the Lord. I decided not to complain or question God but rather affirm myself based on His Word. I had to remind myself who Jesus was to me – ‘… the Rock on which I stand’. Like David, I had to encourage myself in the Lord and rise above my circumstances. I believe that the song will be blessing to everyone who hears it.

ADF: Can we expect a full-length project from you anytime soon?

AAW: Well, that is my aim, however I won’t give any exact dates yet. All I’ll say for now is please keep me in your prayers as I would love to do a live album recording in the very near future.

ADF: We would love to have a live project from you, so yes, you can count on our prayers. If you could collaborate or go on tour with any artist, who would that be?

AAW: Jekalyn Carr… that’s a no brainer [chuckles]! I absolutely love her ministry and would love to record a song with her … maybe one sweet day. Another person I would love to work with would be Todd Dulaney. He is an incredible songwriter, and his vocal delivery is excellent. It would be awesome to tour with him. Oooh, and Maverick City Music… I think there’s a lot to learn from them. They’ve been touring nonstop since the pandemic, so it would be good to learn about tour life from them. They host writing camps and regularly collaborate with different artists, so working with them in any capacity would be a great learning experience.Jesus’ by Areatha Anderson Williams is available on all digital music platforms. Follow Areatha on social media: Instagram @areathaandersonmusic; X @areathaanderson and visit www.areathaanderson.com

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