GLOWREEYAH Braimah is a multifaceted personality and recording artiste. With a background in law and also as a social impact advocate, one of her firm beliefs is that people can rise above their challenges. This much, she is declaring in her new song titled, Stronger, a global sound meant to assure the world that despite the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic-the tension, anxiety and uncertainty of the times we are in–the people will emerge stronger.
She also took time out to explain why she featured her dad, Sir Moses Braimah, in a simple love song titled, Ufedo Ojo written and sung in her native Igala language, and which is off her album, The Core. Here are excerpts from the interview:
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you and what have you been doing to cope with it?
When a seed is planted and buried in the soil, it is forced to be in a conditioned environment that feels unfamiliar and different. In many ways, we all as seeds have had to yield to the inevitable change that is upon us. Rather than grope in the looming darkness, we must yield to our growth in the light to take advantage of the possibilities that are before us.
During the lockdown, my NGO, The Starbeam Foundation, was privileged to partner with a few organisations, volunteers and friendly donors which yielded in community awareness outreaches and food drives in what we tagged: ‘Here To Care Mis- sions’. We were able to reach approximately 3,500 people in various slums/settlements across Lagos State. It was a huge risk to take during the lockdown but I’m glad that we were able to make a difference that way. We also assist indigent children in communities through a few basic educational and counselling interventions.
What does it take to become a successful gospel artiste like you?
Success is relative. What one might call success, another might see as merely another rung on the ladder. We must keep aiming for greater things and more! However, I must admit that I have come this far primarily by the extravagant grace and favour of God. The endless inspiration and creative innovation flow from the depths of His tributaries towards me. Every person/network that has ever believed in or taken a chance on me, every other skill, modus operandi etc. has been a building block upon that foundation.
However, it takes specific skills and practices like having a thriving relationship with God, balancing time-management, creativity/innovation, cultivating the spirit of excellence, relationship management, paying critical attention to detail, consistency, grit, understanding and maximising the times and seasons amongst other things to also navigate it all.
Who are the artistes you look up to and why?
My profound respect goes to artistes who give their all and sacrifice for the greater good, because they ul- timately believe that they are making a huge difference and creating positive change in the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of the ones that they serve with their God-given craft. God bless them all!
Why did you feature your dad in a song?
The song is titled, Ufedo Ojo. My dad, Sir Moses Braimah, is my first and greatest music influence. While growing up, music was a fundamental part of my upbringing. Courtesy of my parents, there was always classical, jazz, indigenous or folk music wafting through the house from a stereo set. My dad had a very busy career. However, throughout his various appointments as Director General in a few federal government parastatals for a number of years, he always found time to sit with me in his study, while he played the piano at home in the evenings and also devotedly served as an organist in church on Sunday mornings.
When I wrote the song, Ufedo Ojo (The love of God) in my native Igala language, I couldn’t think of anyone possessing a rich tenor more befitting to do the duet with. The song speaks about us having the eternal love of our heavenly father’s heart. I’m truly humbled and honoured that my earthly father symbolised this.
Does your new album show how you have evolved as an artiste?
The Core album released in 2019 is definitely a journey in my evolution since I released The Expression and Miracle Worker in 2015. In between those years, several singles including Open Heavens, Exalted etc. were also released. However, my new single, Stronger has just been released this September 2020 on www.glowreeyah.com and other digital music stores worldwide. The illustrious Olaitan Dada produced it, and it features the wonderful voices of The House of Praise Choir.
The chorus in the song says: ‘We’re coming out of this Stronger/Stronger than we’ve ever been/We’re coming out of this Stronger!’ Regardless of our collective cir- cumstances, I’m spurring us all on and affirmatively charging through with a song of encouragement for us, for our community, for our families, for our nation and onwards to our world.
Have you had moments when you wanted to quit music?
Admittedly, I have had a very interesting career path. After law school, my experience spanned sectors in NGO management, brand communications, banking and telecommunications. I always carved out moments to do music on the side. However, I took a full plunge and dived into the creative consultancy and music space barely five years ago. Like every other outcome, there are definitely challenges and bumps on the road, and moments when one gets to ask the question: ‘why am I even on this path?’ The thing is, even if I wanted to quit music, music would never quit me. The songs, the ideas, the creative wells within me keep over-flowing every single day. I live for moments when I get messages and video clips from Nigeria and across the world of joyous children singing my songs; when I go to the market and hear traders in the market singing my songs during their midday devotions; when foot- ballers sing my songs before they play their matches believing for a win; when I get written testimonies of healings, restoration, hope renewed, and lives transformed. There is no greater joy and fulfillment! Nothing else can trump this kind of impact!
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
I drink from the wisdom-gourds of my 82-year-old father, whom I fondly call #SirChiefDrDaddy. His wit, sharp mind, vast exposure and uncanny intelligence allow him to pull out many perspectives about life and living. The most significant and practical one for me so far is this: ‘When you go to bed at night, sleep like an innocent baby; with no cares and worries at all’. ‘When you wake up in the morning, get up strong like a giant; ready to take on the world!’ It basically highlights the need to understand and maximise our seasons and to learn adaptability accordingly.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself deeper in my roots, richer in my values, greater in my legacy with my mentoring work called The Zidata Initiative, with and for creative children/ young people, and also wider in my reach. I see myself more strategically engaged in policy-making and development for the greater good. And definitely, meeting more people and leaving lasting smiles in their hearts and faces.
What are your prayers for Nigeria?
To have a thriving Nigeria where our children have access to basic facilities, qualitative healthcare and education, where people can crisscross our land borders to live, settle or do business and move around freely without any fear or inhibition whatsoever. To have a Nigeria where your colleague at work, your neighbour at home and the stranger on the street is truly seen and acknowledged as your brother or sister, not as a suspect or enemy because he or she is of a different creed or ethnicity. To have a Nigeria that provides an enabling environment that is meritorious enough for dreams and ventures to flourish. I say Amen to these and so much more!
What is your fashion must have?
For me, the black dress is an essential. I guess passing through law school many years ago prepared me for that necessity.