Ademola Olonilua and Timileyin Akinkahunsi
Inspirational gospel artiste, Biyi Samuel, has described finance as one of the major issues that artistes face in Nigeria.
The Igi Aruwe crooner emphasised that the general economic problem facing the country had adversely affected gospel artistes.
“One of the challenges gospel artistes face in Nigeria is finance. Gospel doesn’t really work like that in Nigeria. Even if you have a sweet voice as a gospel artiste, the only guarantee for success is the grace of God. The major factor is grace and mercy of God. The successful artistes are where they are today by the grace of God.
“Some gospel artistes want to do some projects, but because of finance, they are restricted. People who believe in your talent may not be able to invest in you because of the economic situation of the country,” he said.
Samuel also talked about how he started music as a young boy in his church, notify that his parents were in full support of his career because there was a prophecy that had affirmed that he was on the right path.
“It all started when I was in primary school; I joined the central choir of the Christ Apostolic Church when I was in Primary Six. A prophecy came at that time that indicated God wanted me to go into music and my parents were in full support of my career right from that time.
“My mum actually gave me the money for my first album in 2000; she got the money from my dad after he retired. She went on her knees and begged my dad to give me the money; she was supposed to use the money to improve her business at that time,” he added.
Despite the financial challenges that gospel artistes may go through in the country, the artiste however said he had never been tempted to go into secular music.
Samuel insisted that he felt more comfortable singing gospel songs, adding that the encouragement he was getting from his fans had kept him going.
“I get testimonies from my songs daily, even men of God tell me they have been inspired by my songs. There was a woman who used to be based in the US; when she met me in person, she narrated a story of how my song ministered to her when she used to have issues with her job and finances.
“I am always quick to tell people that God did not choose me because I am holy or clean. God chose me because I am a recipient of grace. I am exceptional when it comes to love songs but I feel comfortable singing gospel songs,” he said.