“He said that all female gospel artistes are not faithful to their husbands and I said ‘no, everybody cannot be the same.’”
Growing up, gospel singer Nkiru Emmanuel desired to be a hip-hop artist but today, the native of Enugu State has released seven gospel albums and still counting and yet has no plans of returning to secular music anytime soon. In this chat with Entertainer, the light complexioned and happily married mother of five who recently dropped a brand new album, More Than A Millionaire, opened up on growing up, her challenges and, of course, her dreams.
What was growing up like?
I was a rough kid while growing up. I wanted to be a hip-hop artist and not gospel artiste. I was always happy singing any type of music, especially hip-hop music, but I didn’t sing gospel music because it was not my focus. Back then I did more of hip-hop like Tuface and P Square. I liked their songs so much so I thought I was going to sing like them, In fact, I don’t how God switched me from secular to gospel music. It’s so bad that right now I can’t sing hip-hop.
How did you start music?
It’s been a kind of evolution. I’ve been getting inspiration since I was very young. I noticed that even in my prayer life, I couldn’t do without ministering through songs. This galvanised me to go fully into music. I believe that God has blessed me with a message which I must share with mankind. I want to reach out to as many people as possible through my music. I’m also an evangelist.
Did people try to discourage you from doing music initially?
That was at the initial stage and it was people around me. My husband was not in support, he was mad at me. He said that all female gospel artistes are not faithful to their husbands and I said ‘no, everybody cannot be the same.’ I have a different motive for being a gospel musician. Maybe, those that stray had ulterior motives. I must confess, it wasn’t easy for me but at some point, he had to let go and today the rest is history. Today, he’s my biggest fan and just can’t stop listening to my music.
What is your source of inspiration?
It’s inexplicable. I could be on my own and out of the blue I’ll be hearing songs from above. It could be in the bus, the bathroom or anywhere. When this happens I quickly write it down or record it with my phone and then later, I work on it.
Tell us about your latest album More Than A Millionaire?
More Than A Millionaire is one album close to my heart. It means I’m worth more than millions of naira because first of all, my life is a miracle. You cannot buy life even if you have all the money in the world. The album is basically proclaiming the message that I’m worth more than what people say I am. The Bible says ‘He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.’ That gives me assurance that I’m worth more than a millionaire. Sometimes, when I listen to the album I ask myself ‘when did I compose this song?’ When did I say this or that? It’s more of inspiration coming from my darling Jesus. At Tejuosho Market the other day, we found out that some people were dancing to the song and they video taped it and posted it online and it went viral and my friends were forwarding the video to me. It was mind blowing! My fans are very happy about this album. People are calling from all over to appreciate it.
You have seven albums to your credit, which would you say is your favourite?
I think Wonderful God is one of my best. But the new album More Than A Millionaire has a great message which is heavenly inspired. I’m currently promoting More Than A Millionaire because it’s going to impact lives.
What challenges are you facing in terms of growing your career?
It’s all about financial support. Sometimes you want to shoot a video but you don’t have the resources so you have to take it gradually which might take a year or more. But if there’s money or you have people that support you, everything’ll go fine because music needs promotion. Without promotion, your music won’t make any impact.
Which of the big names would you like to feature?
Wow! If God permits, I’d like to work with Chinyere Udoma; she’s so talented and awesome!
Where will you be five years from now?
Five years from now? Hmmm… my music will take me to America, Canada and London; you name it and I would have conquered the gospel music scene in Nigeria God’s willing.
Are you making money from gospel music?
God has been so wonderful in my life. I never even believed I could make it in my own little ways but God has been so kind. I am living fine for now.
Tell us the greatest thing a fan has done to you?
Someone I met some years ago listened to my album and sent me money from Ghana; I was completely blown away. A man also called me from Liberia. He said that he bought one of my albums entitled Help Me Lord. He said ‘I can’t thank you enough, this album has changed my life.’ He said that he got healing through that album so he demanded to see me and I went. I’m always overwhelmed when people appreciate what I’m doing musically.