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Writing A New Song

My mother nearly miscarried me and doctors thought I was born deaf. But by the grace of God, I am alive and healthy. I was born in Singapore, lived in Bangkok, Thailand for a few years and migrated to Perth, Western Australia at the age of eight. I have also spent a few months living in Manhattan, New York City as well as Calgary, Canada. I was raised in a Christian home and was brought to church and Sunday school as a child growing up. It was always fun singing and listening to Bible stories. However, my impression of Jesus was that He was just a tall man with a beard in a white robe. It was not until my final year of high school that I had my first encounter with Jesus, in the middle of crying out to Him to help me break out of the condemnation and guilt I was feeling.

From that day on, I knew God had not given up on me and never will. The Word of God became alive and active in my life giving me a fresh hunger for God every time I read it. Ever since that encounter, my life has never been the same. Every page of God’s word I read brought fresh revelations and I could not help but keep reading and allowing the Word to renew my mind. I knew I had a purpose living on this earth. I have always loved music and writing songs and had performed at various fundraising concerts and musicals all throughout my school years. However, I always thought it would be impossible to ever live out the dream of producing and writing songs that would inspire and encourage people across the world. My biggest desire was to write songs that would glorify God and spread His love and good news.

I have always loved helping people in need and I knew that this was just one way of sharing God’s love. In 2011, I went on a mission trip to an orphanage in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which changed my perspective on several issues. Something stirred within me, and my heart yearned to show these children that there is still hope and that nothing is impossible with God. All it takes is belief and faith. I continued serving in various ministries back in Perth, which included singing at a beautiful nursing home nestled on the Indian Ocean coastline. Honestly, it wasn’t always easy to sing weekly to an audience who were half asleep most of the time, but I knew it was one way where God could use me to minister to these precious aged people. I’ve also visited Ronald McDonald House Perth a few times. Seeing the children’s faces light up with joy when I sang to them was very rewarding.

I was enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Western Australia. Despite studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship at university, I never really enjoyed the course, but nevertheless, by the grace of God I pulled through and graduated in 2012. Upon graduation, I then went on to complete an external General Music Studies Specialist Certificate with Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. I am also currently studying Vocal Health and undertaking my Distinguished Voice Professional Certificate through New York Singing Teachers’ Association.

It was during my final year at the university when the loss of a loved one stirred me to write a song; my first independent single entitled ‘Unshakeable’. I remember being so blessed with the support of the Christian local radio station in Perth when I first released that single.

Shortly after releasing that single, I went through an operation on my back, from which I took 9 months to fully recover. Through those nine months I had many dark nights. I was physically and emotionally weak and it was in those moments where I began to write more and more songs. I thank God for His healing power. From that point on, I was offered an opportunity to partner with Integrity Music Australasia as one of their artistes, which has been such an honour and privilege.

I was very blessed to have recorded and produced my debut album ‘Made It Through’, alongside Grammy-nominated and Dove Award winning producer Rusty Varenkamp. Many of the musicians that played on the album were people that I have grown up listening to and who have played on some of my favorite records. After recording and production in Franklin, I flew over to Manhattan, New York City to do the album photo shoot.

I have faced many obstacles on my journey so far. Firstly, many people had doubted my choice in pursuing music. Some did not think I had the ability to write and produce a full-length album. But in my heart, I knew this was my passion and my calling. There was even a snow storm in Nashville at the time I was there, which made it seem impossible for me to fly into New York City. However, praise God, He calmed the storm, and I could complete the photo shoot! As the word of God says: “if God is for me then who can be against me?” That has really helped me persist on this journey, knowing that I do have God on my side and everything will be ok.

I must say that one of the biggest obstacles on this journey was entering into the music scene as a virtual “unknown”. Another obstacle has been the costs of embarking on this journey, not only financially, but also emotionally, spiritually and physically. Despite the challenges, and trying to count the costs, I just could not ignore the call of God upon my life. I knew I needed to take this step of faith. I believe that when you are faithful with what God has given to you, He can do more than you can imagine.

Fast forward a few years on and as I sit and reflect here, I cannot help but be grateful for my journey so far. I have had the opportunity of guest worship leading and launching my album at the “Just For Her Conference” in Perth, Western Australia, with guest speakers Pastor Darlene Zschech and Pastor Maree Dejong, as well as Revive Asia with Ps Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker & Randy Clark. It was amazing to sit under their teaching and to serve at the same conferences with mighty men and women of God. I am also partnering with Compassion Australia as one of their artiste ambassadors. I am excited to join them in helping children and joining in their vision of “seeing children release from poverty in Jesus’ name!”

God continues to blow me away with His goodness. Every breath that I take, I exhale out with thankfulness. My latest project was the Vocal Summit that happened in November this year across two cities. My friends from Israel & New Breed as well as Planetshakers partnered with me in conducting a One Day Vocal Summit in Bangkok

as well as Singapore. It was amazing!

I’m still on this journey and I know there are many lessons yet to be learnt and experiences yet to be enjoyed. But I do want to encourage you that if you just dare to step out in faith and have the courage to live out God’s calling upon your life, He will do exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever dream or hope.

Born in Singapore and raised and educated in Australia and Canada, Aarksara’s dream is to touch her nation and the nations of this world with her songs that transcend cultural differences and barriers and focus on God. With internationally acclaimed music producers, Made it Through combines evocative worship tunes with resonant ballads and buoyant praise songs to provide a wholesome and edifying worship experience.

She has also been featured on various radio stations and magazine publications.

Aarksara graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of Western Australia as well as a Specialist Certificate in General Music Studies from Berklee College of Music, Boston.

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