15 year-old gospel singer Spensha Baker is one of the focused young people today trying to live her life for God despite what others think of her. Her album, “Outloud,” is a testimony to the obstacles she faces as a young Christian woman and her fight to remain true to herself and to God.
Spensha was born in Hampton, Virginia and later moved to Texas. She was raised in a traditional Pentecostal Church and taught Christian values at a young age. Her minister parents, Marcy and Wayne Baker, made it a priority that their daughter love God and his word. Marcy realized that Spensha had a beautiful voice when she was 7 years old and overheard her sing along with a contemporary gospel CD that she had given her. She went to their pastor and asked if Spensha could sing some solos at church. The pastor agreed and Spensha has been singing ever since.
Spensha landed her first performance spot at age 12 on the Inspirational Network’s Christian Artist Talent Search. Her nine-week appearance on the talent search lead to a finalist spot on the CBS-TV show, Star Search. Although she did not win the competition, the chairman of Geffen Records was so impressed by Spensha’s voice and performance, they later called and offered her a record deal.
At the time she did not fully understand the opportunity she had been given nor the hard work and challenges she would ultimately run into. “I didn’t really have a reaction to it….Now that I’m in it; I know what it’s all about…It’s a lot of hard work.” Spensha feels that sometimes it’s difficult to be a Christian singer because she deals with so much pressure from people that try to influence her to sing a different type of music or change her image, but she refuses to conform to other people’s standards. “I couldn’t picture myself singing anything else…it’s important to stay true to who I am… Gospel is my heart.” Spensha believes her singing is more than a career, it is a ministry that she was blessed to use for God’s glory.
Even with her recent success and appearances at events like the Mercedes-Benz “Tribute to Stevie Wonder,” last year’s first annual Grammy’s “Salute to Gospel Music Concert,” and her performance as an opening act for Yolanda Adams’ concert in Texas, Spensha’s parents keep her humble. “My parents are proud of me, but they treat me like a 15 year- old should be treated.” Spensha’s mother goes on the road with her and has the job description of everything from stylist, mentor, and manager, while Spensha’s father stays home and “keeps the family anchored.” Spensha claims that when she comes home she has the responsibilities of an ordinary 15 year old girl. “I still have chores when I get home. I still have to do the homework. I still have to be on top of everything.” Surprisingly, when she is not traveling, Spensha attends a public high school in San Antonio, Texas. “….Education to me is just as equal as or more important than the career….sometimes we will turn down some things because of school,” says the young singer.
Although Spensha is enjoying the experience and journey of her singing career, she has plans to seek higher education. “I’d like to go to college…I’d like to study broadcast journalism, cosmetology, or law.”
Spensha’s album entitled “Outloud” has an inspirational message that encourages young people to not be ashamed of being a Christian. Through her record deal with Geffen, Spensha is learning from some of the biggest producers in the industry who have worked with major artists such as: Whitney Houston, Mary Mary, and Keisha Cole. With songs like “Hold on,” “Purpose,” and her debut single “Hallelujah,” the young singer showcases her powerful and passionate voice. The album’s title holds a personal significance and reflects the way she views her life. “…I have learned it is important for me to live my life openly and to not be afraid of who I am and what I stand for.”