Try to put Columbus singer-songwriter Paisha's style into a cubicle and it'll soon become evident that her musical range can staff an entire office.

Yes, "soul" is one of the first words that comes to Paisha's mind when asking her to define her genre on a recent podcast episode of In The Record Store, but it's not the only one.

Gospel. Blues. Funk. Folk?

Whatever the category, Paisha's performances are always packed with passion. Her journey in sharing her stories with such power started from the moment she noticed a similar demanding force in a church choir.

"I remember being little, my feet swinging from the pew, and this girl was leading a solo in the choir and I was like, 'I want that job. That's the job I want,' " said Paisha, whose full name is Paisha Thomas.

While it's not uncommon for a voice like Paisha's to be inspired by time spent growing up in a church, her kindred have played just as substantial a role, if not bigger. Coming from a long line of familial singers, Paisha also turned to her upbringing for musical stimulation.

So perhaps even more pivotal than being in church at 4 years old and feeling the sort of inspiration that doesn't strike musicians until their teens is how her home life shaped her aspirations.

"My mother always cleaned the house on Saturday mornings with Pledge and Sparkle ... (and) with her floor-model album vinyl player with every single thing I could possibly think of," Paisha said.

From the vast collection of the Eagles' Don Henley to the commanding power of Anita Baker's voice and all the way down to the Motown feel of the Jackson 5, Paisha's palette of musical knowledge was padded in her upbringing.

This is indirectly referenced in Paisha's cover of Michael Jackson's epic "Thriller," as her voice both floats on top of and cuts right through the backing band behind her with each subsequent crescendo.

While on the topic of family, Paisha dove deep into her relatives' oppressive past in Piqua, a moving story buried in muddled history.

As the account goes, Virginia plantation owner John Randolph, upon his death, wrote in one of his wills that the 400 slaves he owned would be freed upon his death, some ancestors of Paisha. Many of those former slaves settled in western Ohio.

The anecdote is just another example of how Paisha's family has emboldened her with the strength to tell stories through her music that can help with healing and moving forward.

"I've taken that as my purpose in life that they didn't get what they deserved," Paisha said.

Zak Kolesar is executive editor for In The Record Store. ThisWeek publishes a weekly feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.