According to Moriah Peters, nothing happens by chance and everything is carefully constructed according to God’s plan for our lives.
When Peters first auditioned for American Idol, after being persuaded by her mother, she was reluctant. And for good reason – she was turned down due to her “wholesome image”. Peters held a ‘no kissing before marriage’ policy, prompting Simon Cowell to send her away, telling her she needed to kiss a boy and experience life. While most people are not as devout as Peters, the question still arose: is this what pop culture defines as the formula for success?
Peters now uses her talent to express what she knows and understands as truth.
“Sometimes people reach out to me on Twitter,” she says.
“I can tell they don’t fully comprehend that I’m singing about heaven. But it’s not an ‘us versus them’ mentality. If they like the vibe of the song or the way
it makes them feel, then it will bring them closer to the message that’s being communicated through the lyrics, and that’s great.”
Expressing her feelings on the American Idol experience, Peters admits, “It is way harder receiving criticism from family and friends then it was from those judges.” The singer was nicknamed Froggy as a child, due to her insecurities about her deep voice, so she’s heard it all before.
Cowell’s criticism was a low blow and Peters could have admitted defeat, but coincidentally (or was it?), it was at her audition that she was noticed by Wendi Foy, who introduced her to Michael Blanton of Reunion Records, a Christian record label based in Tennessee. Peters signed a recording deal with the company and is currently touring the world promoting her debut album I Choose Jesus.
This was a radical change, because although Peters spent most of her childhood singing and playing the guitar – mostly in her home church – she was working towards higher education, as the daughter of a judge who wanted to study law. Peters feels, though, that she is unmistakably walking the right path.
“I am currently a marketing major at Grand Canyon University and one of my classes is law. I hate it,” she laughs.
At 21 years old, Peters is now married, kissed and a woman of faith, who describes herself as “imperfect.”
“I have embarrassed God and myself many times, yet He continues to love me and use me for His purposes,” she says.
“It’s not easy to choose Jesus when everything tells us to go the other way. But the reward is so much better – you find freedom.”
Growing up in Southern California, a place that she describes as “vastly liberal”, Peters had to endure a lot of judgement from her classmates, stating “It’s not popular to be a Christian in a secular school system.”
Yet, it was those experiences that taught her to stand tall and be bold about her faith. It is also what helps her keep her feet on the ground, when performing in front of large crowds.