Faith in God has guided Arista Pemberton throughout her life and as she pursues a professional singing career, she’s taking the Lord with her, ever confident that He is with her.
“I know that I have a calling on my life to sing gospel music and this is what God has me here to do, so I know it is going to work out for me sooner or later,” says the 35-year-old vocalist and composer.
A native of Los Angeles, Pemberton started singing and dancing as a young child. Rhythm and blues was her favorite genre as a teen, but that changed when she turned 16.
“I went to the studio to record a R&B song and even though the song was really good, my partner said he could not work with me anymore because he said I was meant to be a gospel singer,” she said.
Taking his advice, she began singing and composing gospel music. However, she began to fail academically in high school and other interests drew her attention. Fortunately, her music teacher steered her back and ultimately helped her get accepted at Cal State L.A. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and dance, and later earned a Master’s degree in human resources.
“My music teacher, Susan Cain, is one of my mentors. When I was a bit wild in high school, she cared. She loved her job, taught me to sing opera and even helped me to enroll in college,” recalled Pemberton. “Despite my low GPA scores, I was able to get in school because of my voice.”
After college, Pemberton sang on “American Idol” and later landed a speaking part in the movie “Lackawanna Blues.” She also joined West Angeles Church of God in Christ and became an active member of all of their choirs while pursuing other vocal opportunities.
Life appeared to be on an upswing, but then her mother, who was one of her biggest supporter, fell ill and Pemberton’s energies centered on assisting her parent.
“My mother would always go to the shows and auditions with me, even when she was sick. I took care of my mother when she was alive and now I take care of my grandma who has problems walking,” said Pemberton, who is also an eight-year cancer survivor.
Her mother passed away in August 2019 and while Pemberton greatly misses her physical presence, she carries the spirit of her mom with her, empowered by her faith in God, wherever she goes. She also communes constantly with the Holy Spirit when she composes songs such as “Be Nice” and “Have No Worries.”
“I write all of my music. I consider it an expression of life and how I feel. I wrote all of the lyrics to the songs on my CD and I also wrote the harmony and the background,” Pemberton said.
As she journeys on achieve her career goals, Pemberton believes she will eventually succeed as long as she remembers to follow her favorite scripture, Proverbs 3:3-5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.”
To others who are striving to accomplish goals in life, Pemberton advised, “I recommend that you keep God first because without Him you can do nothing. I am a living testimony about that.
“He tells me what to do and he is like a coach. He guides me, protects me and He will do the same for you. The year is 2020 and you do not have time to waste!”
Contact Pemberton on Instagram at @aristapemberton, on Twitter @arisapp or visit aristapemberton.com.