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INTERVIEW:: Churches Can Do Better To Support Gospel Artistes – Ebube

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He is one of the young gospel musicians in demand now. Psalm Ebube is the artiste behind one of Nigeria’s top indigenous praise songs Kabio osi and Ebube. He came into limelight in 2011 after the release of his first single, Ebube also in 2011. Since then the singer and trained engineer’s musical career has been on the rise. Psalm got international recognition after winning the best international Album of the year 2012 at GMA Gospel Music Awards in Italy and also Artiste of the year West Africa, Africa Gospel Music Awards AGMA, UK in the same year. Now Psalm whose real name is Samuel Akinyemi, spoke to SAMUEL ABULUDE on his new work and experience over the years

What has Psalm Ebube being up to?
I just came back from Abuja where I had some ministrations at University of Abuja and a church. I was also a guests at two radio stations in Abuja and had a great time connecting with them and my fans. Now I am shooting the video of my song, Gbo pe Mi and I am featuring some top Yoruba actors and actresses like Odunlade Adekola, Olumide Bakare, Baba Ijesha, Ijebu Lara Olubo and Kabirat of Saworoide. It’s a comedy stuff kind of and they are adding spice to the video.

How exactly did your stage name Psalm Ebube evolve?
Psalm alone was my stage name at the beginning, then my song Ebube became a hit and so people put the two together and began referring to me as Psalm Ebube, I adopted the name. It’s cool and really creative. I love the name and my fans love it too. I feel blessed. It is weird though because people think I’m Igbo but they are shocked when they get to know I am Yoruba. My tribe doesn’t matter, God has broken the ethnic barriers through the blood of Jesus and it is our responsibility as artistes in the creative industry to promote unity and peace. Over the years, I have come to realise that there is more to that name than people really know. You know God has a way of changing your story through the names you answer.

How successful was your debut album?
The album opened a new chapter in my life. Since I dropped it, it has been God’s blessings all the way. Kabio Osi is a testimony! When I was working on my first album I particularly asked God for a song which His people can praise Him with and the answer was Kabio Osi. I had no idea it would open a new chapter in my life, but it’s a testimony and a privilege to contribute a song that people would forever use to praise God. I have received calls from different parts of the world where the song has gone and people love it.  After shooting Kabiosi video, I decided to step my game up a bit. The success of Kabiosi propelled me to raise my game and that comes with an extra cost. It was shot by Akin Alabi and I featured Saka, Lolo of Wazobia Fm, the Oshadipe twins and Kenny Kore. My last album released last year 2013 is an urban sombrero album titled GREATNESS.  Gb’ope Mi a track in the album is doing pretty well. In the last few years, I have learnt one or two lessons about how to make good music.

As a young man how do you handle female admirers who want more than being platonic?
Perhaps, if I had gone into music of my own free will, I’d be worried about derailing or regressing, but God called me to do this. As long as I stay connected to The Holy Spirit, then I won’t derail. God is my source, he is my secret so I must remain faithful. You continue to reign as far as God is involved. I have a promise in the Bible which I’m holding on to, which says: Faithful is He that called you, faithful is He that would do it.’ The Bible also says that the glory of the latter would be better than the former and that means that the best is yet to come for Psalm Ebube.  Already I’m excited about my next album. The songs I have recorded so far have been impressive. My producer MickkyMee has also been of great help. Talking about women, I think that Africa as a continent can even get better if we begin to see potentials in our women. Our women are really important because they play very important roles right from the home. My female fans are my sisters and my mothers.

What were you doing before music?
After searching for work for a while, writing jingles for some advertising campaigns and modelling, I went abroad for more training in my mechanical engineering field and on return, got a job with a company and went into gospel music. I travelled to India for a professional course in maintenance and repairs precisely at Khoslar Manufacturing & Repairs Pyt and this got me a good job with a multinational company. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke.

How did your parents receive your career choice?
My career was ordained by God and my parents knew about it. They have been very supportive in all my pursuits and I am grateful to God for such a loving father and mother I have. For Psalm Ebube, when I decided to do music, it was a decision based on a divine call and that’s stronger than ambition alone. It hasn’t been smooth all the way though but God has seen me through so far. I was in a choir as early as when I was seven, I went through the school systems up to the university and when I was on campus, I knew I was going to do music professionally, yet I didn’t abandon education. I graduated as a Mechanical Engineer and after graduation; I pursued both education and music. Education is very important and my parents were glad I didn’t abandon one for the other.

What’s your assessment of the gospel music industry?
The industry is expanding in leaps and bounds and you can see what musicians are doing today. I am glad to be part of this generation of musicians doing great songs for the people. We still have a long way to go though but we will get there if we don’t give up.

Are you marrying any time soon?
Yes, I am getting married this year by God’s grace. I always believe in God’s time and his time is sure and safe. So I work with his plan. I believe his plan for me concerning marriage is this year and I’m engaged to a beautiful lady already. So if God says yes, why not? (Smiles).

Do gospel artists get enough support from the church?
Some churches support the vision of music ministers by promoting their works monetarily and in prayers but some do nothing in helping them to get a foothold in the music ministry. What we hear are the encomiums poured on them without commensurate monetary assistance. Well, to some extent yes. We get supports from the church, but I think they can do better.

Source: Leadership

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