Anne Emmanuel Ibrahim is an award-winning gospel musician known in the entertainment industry as Anny. She speaks with TAYO GESINDE on her journey in the gospel music and how she has been coping with competition. Excerpts:
I am Uhrobo by tribe from Jesse town in Delta State. I am the fourth of six children. I was born in Delta State but grew up in Kano State. I had all my primary, secondary and tertiary education in Kano State.
Journey into music
Music is my passion. As a child, I joined the children’s church choir, where I developed my talent by the help of God. I later moved to the adult choir. It was from there that I started music professionally in 2009.
Coping with competition
I am really not here to impress anyone. I celebrate everybody and appreciate their God-given talents but I never failed to get better every day with my craft and also focus on why I am doing music; which is to show forth God’s love and mercy for humanity. My music also focuses on the one and only God, who is always worthy of praise.
My role model is not any specific person; it is whoever I am able to learn how to live and do things better from. I love sincere people.
Inspiration for music
My inspiration comes from God a lot of the time and also my mood. I draw inspiration from things happening around me as well.
Most defining moment of my career so far
That was when I got clarity in what and who God has made me to be and not what people thought I was or should be. It was when I started appreciating my own music without attempting to really please anybody but God. It was that moment when all I wanted to sing about was the true story of how good God is.
Assessment of the industry
The industry has improved tremendously. There are more professionals and less mediocre.
Pains and gains of celebrity
I am not one of those who get carried away by the fact that one is seen on TV, although it feels good when people recognise you and it makes your life a bit easier. Over all, I am coping well.
On people singing gospel music for financial gains alone
Well that is relative and for personal reasons. Everything boils down to the reasons they are doing ‘gospel’ music in the first place. I cannot really judge. But I will also leave anyone doing that to their conscience.
Philosophy of life
My philosophy of life is to always tell yourself the truth. Never be deceived. Also, be happy no matter what; the choice is yours. Stay focused and stay with God.
Combining the home front with my career
I priortise my time. I am not everywhere at the same time. I put first things first. My family knows all my activities. I also have domestic help to balance up.
Other things I do aside music
I am an entrepreneur. I run a fashion house for both adults and children. It is called Purple Wardrobe. I am also a stylist.
I have a couple of awards like; Best Gospel Musician put together by the women in Art and Entertainment in the United Kingdom. I also got the Cristal Award for Best Collaboration and two other awards. I have many nominations, including the Best Gospel Art for the Nigerian Music Awards which is not a Gospel award.
Handling advances from male admirers
That is not an issue. I mind the level of my involvement with the opposite sex. I also don’t give anyone the room to make advances. I know when to draw the line.
Definition of style
Wear what you are most comfortable in. Don’t try too hard to kill. Keep it as simple and easy as possible. Smell and look good without breaking the bank.
I read in my bedroom or when I am on a trip whether locally or internationally.
Secret of good looks
Should I say God? Sincerely, it is God but I also do look after myself well. I do the needful when necessary.
Favourite holiday spot
United Kingdom. It is very quiet and always good for fresh thoughts.
What I will like to change about myself
Nothing. In all honesty, Nothing!
Advice to young people
Know yourself, believe in yourself, be positive about who you are. Accept yourself. Then and only then will you feel so confident about your life and the decision. Never stay away from God, no matter what happens.