Gospel artistes’ lifestyle must reflect core Christian values —Precious
Precious Nneka Eminue, popularly called Precious, is one of the gospel music ministers making waves in the industry. The singer-songwriter-cum-entrepreneur, in this interview by SEYI SOKOYA speaks on her career and her mission.
What have you been doing lately?
I have been promoting two of my singles entitled: “Thank You” and “Stretch Forth”. Thank You is centred on the importance of thanking God with a grateful heart, while “Stretch Forth” is about building peoples’ faith in Christ. I have visited to several radio stations to promote these works. In between the efforts of my music promotion I have also granted several invitations for ministrations in churches in Nigeria and abroad. Despite all these, I am currently working on some new songs.
Many have claimed that they discover passion for gospel music through divine intervention or circumstances. Is yours different?
Mine is quite relative, because I practically started singing at age seven in the children’s choir in Church of God Mission (CGMI). I remember being so excited when it was time to sing. I was always enthusiastic about singing for God. I grew up loving it more and more and now I’m grown, God has revealed my purpose to me. So I’m more aware of my calling and I’m greatly passionate about it.
At what point did you pick it up professionally?
I recorded and released my first single in October 2017. I organised a listening party/worship service in my church, Glorious Light Assembly (GLA) and ever since then God has been manifesting Himself in my career.
What is your assessment of the gospel music industry?
On the international scene, there is great development, especially structure-wise, having access to more advanced equipment for music recording, promotions, among other things.
I won’t say I’m contented, because there is still more room for improvement, especially on the local scene. We need more structure, but I must say that there have been great improvements compared to how things were some decades ago. Now, we have more annual gospel events that promote gospel music and seasoned gospel artistes, including, The Experience, Night of Worship, Fearless e.t.c and we see more collaborations between local and international artistes.
Why gospel and not secular music?
My decision is borne out of love for Christ and a burning passion to lead people to worship God. It is a great privilege and I find overwhelming fulfilment doing the will of God.
Do you also think there is nothing wrong in doing collaboration with secular artistes?
In my own opinion I feel it is better for gospel artistes to do collaborations with other gospel artistes, because it is more effective for ministry and kingdom purposes.
Many have raised concern that lots of gospel ministers infuse secular music and slang into gospel songs, even during ministrations in the church. What is your take on this?
Gospel artistes need to be more careful and selective as to what we choose to infuse in our music so as not to confuse people.
Don’t you feel threatened among the popular gospel ministers?
No, I don’t feel threatened. I have high regard and respect for them and feel blessed to have others that have gone before me. These are ‘soldiers’ that have been fighting the good fight of faith with hard work and perseverance, as well as leading people to worship God.
Who are your role models?
Jesus is my role Model. I would say I really respect gospel artistes, both internationally and locally. To mention a few, Pastor Nathaniel Bassey, Chioma Jesus, Tim Godfrey, Ada, Mercy Chinwo, The Gratitudes, Cobhams Asuquo, among others. Internationally: Tasha Cobbs, Travis Green, Corey Asbury, Kirk Franklin, among others.
How many albums or songs do you have to your credit?
I have an EP of eight songs and I’m currently promoting two out of them; “Thank you” and “Stretch Forth”.
What has been your greatest challenge in the industry?
It has been a great learning experience for me. I will say the major challenge is getting my works out there, because it is one thing to have good songs and it is another thing for people to get to hear them apart from friends and family. This push involves a lot and it is quite capital intensive as well. Regardless of all these I’m quite positive and optimistic taking it one step at a time.
There are insinuations that gospel ministers hardly preach the gospel message through their songs and, even if they do, their lives don’t depict a true Christian life. How will you react to this and how can one identify a true gospel minister?
I have heard this a couple of times, that’s why I’m of the opinion that as a gospel minister, we are ambassadors of God and the message of the cross and all what Christ stands for should be our core message and should be seen in our lifestyle as well, so as not to confuse or mislead people. Personally, I pick my songs from the scriptures and filled with the word of God. Hebrew 4 : 12 says: “The word of God is living and active, sharper than two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit…” Also, Roman 10 :17 says: “Faith comes from hearing through the word of God.” So, if we really want to make impact for Christ, it’s through the word of God. So, basically, we are singing the word of God and on identifying a gospel minister, my response to that is that ‘by their fruits you shall know them’.
Did you have the premonition that you will become a music minister while in school?
I would say I had a glimpse of it because, while I was in Benson Idahosa University, I was a member of the choir and a member of the praise team. As a chorister, we would write and compose our songs and organise life recordings. I remember our tireless rehearsals and everyone pulling their weight and working together to make it a success. It was a splendiferous experience for me. Being active in these groups shaped me and gave me a glimpse of who I wanted to be. So, I must say I’m thankful for that.
Don’t you have regrets dumping your academic certificate for music?
I wouldn’t use the word dumping though; I have a B. A. in English and I’m also a certified TV presenter. What I studied is still relevant to me as a gospel artiste as it also helps me when I’m writing songs and in my communication as well. I’m also an entrepreneur; an artist (painter) and run an online art gallery called, Precious Arts Gallery. So, the knowledge I have is still useful to me when it comes to communication as that is something we do every day.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself ministering and touching lives around the world both locally and internationally. I see myself doing great collaborations with anointed gospel ministers. I also want to reach out to more people through my outreach, EEF foundation by God’s grace. It will also be my priority to create more awareness as an ambassador of Security Crusaders Association of Nigeria (SACAN).
You must have encountered series of temptations in your career. Which were the most challenging one and how did you handle or overcome it?
I wouldn’t necessarily call them temptations, but I’ve had encounters with some people advising me to reduce the use of the name of Jesus, so that it would have better air plays. But, I’m sorry; I don’t think I can take to such advice. I’m a gospel minister and Jesus is my message.
Any words for your fans.
I appreciate them all for their supports and love, as well as taking out time to give me feedbacks and testimonies, especially through my social media platforms. By God’s grace, I will continue to do my best to release more inspiring works that will continually bless souls.