Fast-rising gospel music minister, Mrs Ibironke Elizabeth Akintade, is one of the few gospel artistes who are committed to recovering the glory of the gospel music industry. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, she sheds more light on why there is need for a great revival and how she intends to set a new standard through her new project.
How long have you been singing?
It has been long, since I was a child; precisely since age 9, but I took up gospel music professionally about 20 years back and I thank God for how far He has brought us. We are still aspiring to do more for God because this is my passion and calling.
How has the experience been as a gospel music singer?
I have had a different experience, quite different from the experiences of other gospel music singers. Spiritual music is more than entertainment. It is unfortunate that people regard gospel music singers as entertainers these days. In fact, some churches no longer engage gospel music ministers for spiritual ministrations, but to entertain the congregation. But as for me, I don’t want to be regarded as an entertainer; I’m an astute gospel minister. This is why I call my ministry, Ancient Praise. It is not a child’s play at all; I don’t joke with the things of God, and I don’t honour a jamboree invitation. If you want salvation, healing, deliverance, encouragement through songs, those are the kind of ministrations I do. I think we ought to return to how spiritual songs used to be back in the days.
Are you saying most gospel music singers these days are mere entertainers?
There are still some who sing spiritual songs, but to be candid, entertainment has taken the over the gospel music industry today. Personally, I am not ready to join such a clique of people. I want my songs to preach salvation and impact lives; this is why we are called music ministers. Why are we called gospel music ministers? God has a purpose for the songs we reel out to people and the purpose must be divinely achieved.
How many songs do you have to your credit?
I have written about 40 songs and released one album, which has seven songs in it including, Kanakana Owo Dafidi, and Miracle Worker, among others.
How do you get your inspiration?
I draw inspiration in different ways. It comes while reading the Bible, during prayers or directly from God. I compose songs to interpret God’s messages either through His words or revelations.
Who is your role model?
My role model is Don Moen. I am always inspired when I listen to his songs. Also, I cherish Mama Bola Are, Mama Ijaopo. Virtually all their works are ancient spirit-filled music, which is still relevant till today.
How prepared are you for the challenges ahead as you step into the mainstream?
I rely on the grace and power of God. At a stage, when I have not even done anything, the revelations come that I ought to have started, but whenever I see the happenings in the industry, I always feel dejected. I told someone that I would have preferred to sing in the church than to venture into full-time music. But God queried me that when exactly would His message be delivered to the world through me? So, since then, I have never hesitated to do His will.
What would you like to correct in the industry if you are given the opportunity?
I am surprised at the deeds of some music ministers at gospel concerts these days. I pray God help us! It is time we restored sanity and genuine Holy Spirit into the gospel fold. We should retrace our steps and imbibe the mode of ancient praise and worship to God. We should not evolve like the world. We have to stand in the way of Christ.
Do you feel threatened by other female gospel musicians?
With God, all things are possible. God is my strength and power; He lives in me.
Do you have any project you are working on presently?
I am planning to launch my first album entitled, “The Mighty Hand of God”. It is a collection of spiritual songs. It is a 3-in-1 event that will also feature music ministers that I share same vision with. The event, which is slated for November 27, at Genesis Event Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State, also coincides with my birthday celebrations though I will add another year on November 22.
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