Spotlight on Sauna Parker of the CAYACC Project

| January 15, 2014


Whatz up, babies?

I hope, all is well with you and yours and that, your New Year will be filled with immeasurable beauty, joy, happiness and some form of peace of mind. As we continue to travel, on our journey of love, to get to know one another better. On that note, it pleases me to bring to you this week’s spotlight at this particular time because you’re going to learn something beautiful and

Sauna Kelsaw-Parker

Sauna Kelsaw-Parker, executive producer and songwriter for the CAYACC Project. (Photo: Courtesy CAYACC)

special about a Gospel CD that’s coming to you from Come As You Are Community Church (CAYACC). So at this particular time, all I’d like for you to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy. Or, stand and jump and shout if you want to! You can do that because Frost Illustrated is gonna take you there and this is what they have to say.

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Sauna J. Kelsaw-Parker, I’m the executive producer and a songwriter for the CAYACC Project and I’m also the owner of Ms. Understood Music Studio LLC. GOD gave me the vision for this musical project one day as I sat in service, listening to Pastor Payton’s messages about living out your dreams. As I listened, I knew that I wanted to do something special for this church because I think that he’s a phenomenal pastor and I wanted to do my part in helping his messages grow by reaching more people. Then it happened, something just popped into my mind saying, why don’t you use the gifts that I’ve given you? It was at that moment that I felt GOD was telling me what I need to do so I got started. 

“Next, I invited Pastor Payton and the First Lady to my home and I showed them something’s I’ve done and we talked about what I felt GOD wanted me to do for the church. I also informed him that I’m going through his ministry to help his messages grow and why? There was no question about it and he said yes! So now I had the flag to go ahead and we had open try outs for anybody that attended our church. A year and a half later, the CAYACC project was born and our CD became available Sept. 11, 2013 and we’ve heard some phenomenal responses. Sometime next month in February, everything


ABOVE: (left to right): Bresha Adams, April “Soulest” Cotton, Pecola Trice and Labrina Starks. Not shown pictured: Vanessa Givands. (Photos: Courtesy CAYACC)

should be done, as far as, our marketing which will include our website. And, our hard work and dedication has already paid off because from Oct. 17 through Oct. 19, 2014, we’re going to perform in Brazil, GOD is good!

“We have numerous people that are a part of the CAYACC Project. Even some, that don’t live here in Fort Wayne, Ind., but they’re available if and when we need them, to name one, the vocalist Fatima Washington. But, are actual active members consist of Labrina Starks—vocals/writer, Karman Wilson—vocalist, Bresha Adams—vocalist, April Cotton aka Soulest—vocalist, Ron Stevenson aka Vaiah—vocalist, Kontrell Tyler—guest soloist, Jason Williams—rapper, Jermaine Cornwell rapper and Elder Biandra Bruen—background vocalist. 

 “As far as my background in music, I’ve had a fascination with writing songs since the age of eight and as I grew up, even though I didn’t talk about it out loud or in public. I always had a notebook behind the scenes and I would try to mimic the outline of stories and I kept doing it to perfect it. I encourage anybody to follow their hearts and dreams but do it for the right reasons and let GOD lead you. The reason that many never heard about me before this CD is because, it was never about me. It’s all about GOD. Putting together a project such as this wasn’t as easy as you may think because it’s not about just going into a studio and making some beautiful music and just singing word for word. I had to get a lawyer and pay for this lawyer. But, since I did all of the recording myself, dedicating over 1,500 hours, I saved myself a lot of money and I never charged the church or anybody a dime. Everything that had to be paid, I paid for it out of my own pocket and it cost me thousands of dollars. So there’s more to it if you want to do it professionally because you must always cross your t’s and dot your i’s and don’t give up.”

“Hello, Frost readers. My name is Vanessa Givands and I’m the co-executive producer with the CAYACC Project. Our goal is to be able to travel all around the world with this vision that GOD gave Sauna. All the songs on the CD are original and were written and produced by Sauna. I also wrote and help co-produce the CD along with LaBrina Starks, three women did all of this. Basically, we want to use our gifts to write music that will minister to people all around the world. I starting playing music at the age of seven and I play drums, piano, bass and I also sing. So I do anything that has to do with the music within this project but when we’re playing live, I basically focus on the keyboards because we have a lot of musicians that we work with. 

“When I first moved here to Fort Wayne in January 2002, GOD brought me and Sauna together and we just clicked. She’s like my musical soul link and when we get together and write songs, it’s just incredible how GOD uses us. I’d also like to encourage our young people by saying, Sauna and I both started off with the gifts that GOD has given us at a young age and worked at it and worked at it some more. So don’t give up on the gifts that GOD has given you and if you have a talent to play music stick with it, practice and utilize that gift to glorify GOD and to the older people it‘s never too late.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Labrina Starks and I’m also a vocalist and writer on this project and I’m proud of it because it was all done by women, so girl power for that! We all love the project and I’m happy that Sauna followed her vision and I’m very excited. As far as, my music background, I’m part of the Starks family and we’ve always done a lot of singing. So music is just in me and has been since I was about eight years old. My advice to encourage people is, seek GOD first and make sure you’re around people that want you to succeed, as much as, they do. Because they’ll push you to do better and you can learn and grow from them. But, make sure that they’re people of GOD that are positive then everything else, will happen after that.”

Anthony Payton

Pastor Anthony Payton of Come As You Are Community Church. (Photo: Courtesy CAYACC)

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. I’m Pastor Anthony Payton and I’m the Pastor of Come As You Are Community Church. The CAYACC Project all started just like Sauna Parker said it did, while I was preaching and teaching a series of messages concerning, Living Out Your Dreams. Sauna, who is a member of the church, was in the audience on that particular Sunday and she was inspired to give her gift to the church and minister music. I think the CD is awesome in turns of the biblical expression of it and she did a wonderful and professional job. The songs are great, in terms of the messages and each song is very appropriate for today. 

“I want to say to everybody, each one of us has been given a dream and usually dreams, over the process of time, has a way of subsiding. So it’s up to us to cultivate those dreams and bring them to reality by diligently working day in and day out, to accomplish that dream. I pray, that each and everyone lives out his or her dreams in 2014.”

Now in closing I say, great job Sauna and everyone else that plays a part in the CAYACC Project! I’m so proud of all of you. To Pastor Anthony Payton, I’m very proud of you too, for delivering the message that was bestowed upon your heart that day from GOD, so that Sauna would feel those words, that particular day. For her time had come to blossom, in the name of love, in GOD’s name. Also, to Mrs. Marcella Kelsaw, you know there was no way that I was gonna leave you out and this is what your baby Sauna said about you. When I got older and my mom realized what I was doing, she was and has been my biggest number one supporter. Thank you mom and I love you. Aww… just feel the beauty through the page baby. Feel it and enjoy it because it’s real from GOD, through me to all of you, in the name of love. So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye, bye babies.

P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to I’d love to hear from ya.

Category: Entertainment, Local, Spiritual Matters

About the Author ()

Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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