In our CHAT ROOM this week, we have the young, ambitious and highly talented MR. ATUNURE GODSLOVE EJIRO, a musician cum businessman who is preparing to make his mark in gospel music. In this interesting chat, he gives the pros and cons of gospel music, his aspiration, as well as the challenges.
Enjoy the chat
Let us meet you
My name is Atunure Godslove Ejiro.I was born on 11th August, 1992. I am a businessman cum musician here in Agbor, Delta State.
As a businessman, what is your reason for going into music and how do you combine the two?
Basically, I love music so much that whenever I feel unhappy, music keeps me going. That is why I find myself doing music. I get a lot of inspiration from it, and I would want others to benefit from it as well. I do purely gospel music. My areas of business include Travel Agency, Networking, among others.
I discovered that before anyone will appreciate you for what you do, you have to build yourself up first. As a result, I had to first focus on business to raise funds before taking my music career serious. I am presently using the little resources from my business to build my musical career.
What was your growing up like?
I grew up with my parents and my siblings. My dad is Pastor Atonuwe Christian, Urhobo by tribe from Udu Local Government Area in Delta State, while my mum is Mrs. Mabel Atonuwe, from Owa-Oyibu in Ika North East Local Government Area.
What actually inspired you to go into music?
I am from a very humble background, but God has lifted me. When I put into consideration where I am coming from, I feel indebted to God. I believe that music is a good channel to proclaim the grace of God in my life, as well as to propagate the gospel. I dropped out of secondary school and since then, I have been hustling to make it in life. Sincerely, God’s blessing in my life is far beyond my understanding. God’s love inspired me to go into gospel music. In addition, I have learnt to always put God first in whatever I do and to continually give Him the glory for my life.
Being a gospel singer, can you tell us about your spiritual background?
I gave my life to Christ while in secondary school and since then, I have been into gospel music; going to different churches to minister when I am invited. On a particular day, someone invited me to Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and that was how I decided to make RCCG my church. I then joined the choir. And last year, I was made the music director of the church choir. I greatly believe in God and I earnestly want to serve and glorify Him with my musical talent.
How do we differentiate a Christian musical artiste from a secular musical artiste?
First and foremost, the lifestyle of the secular musician is quite different from that of a gospel singer. Notwithstanding the fact that there are points of similarity in the two genres of music, there are still strongly pronounced differences as there are certain things that a Christian artiste does not allow in his music. Take for example, in shooting a video, a gospel artiste would not allow any level of nudity by females and even males, whereas secular musicians allow such. Importantly, Christian musicians have a sort of restriction, because they are meant to preach through their music and portray the image of Christ to the world.
It is globally known that most secular musicians today started from the Church. The question is; what do you think is the reason for this movement from gospel music to secular music?
Personally, right from when I gave my life to Christ, I decided not to be charging money from my host church whenever I go to minister in any church, except free cash gifts. I made this vow because I came to a conclusion that it is not the money that I will be given that will enable me to make it in my musical career, most especially as money is not the driving force of my musical career. From my personal observation, money is the major factor why many of the Christian musicians move to secular music. Take for example; whenever we have some instrumentalists coming to play in our church, I most times foot the bill. When they feel they are not getting enough money from the church, they delve into secular shows where they are well paid. It is also fair to state that churches are not really helping matters when it comes to the welfare of Christian musicians, as many of them rely on music for their livelihood. There are however few churches that are really taking good care of their musicians, even to the extent of having them on their payroll. Basically, the major cause for the deviation is money and fame.
As a gospel artiste, do you have other gospel artistes you look up to? If yes, who are they?
I look up to so many gospel artistes, but they are those I usually relate with, for instance GUC, Tim Godfrey, Mercy Chinwe and others. I listen to and admire their music and somehow, I have patterned my music like theirs.
Are there gospel artistes that you are aspiring to be like character-wise?
Some of the gospel musicians sing very well but their lifestyle deep down is nothing to write home about. I therefore try as much as possible to keep my uniqueness and serve God with all I have.
There is the general assumption that music ministers; that is, the choristers are more involved in immorality than other departments in the church. Is this true?
In my own opinion when it comes to music in the church, the choir is next to the Pastor. And it is for this reason that the devil pays much attention to the choir ensuring that they are lured into immoral acts just to embarrass the Church of Christ. Another thing is that singing exposes choristers to so many temptations as they are easily noticed in the church.
What do you think can be done to change the trend as well as keep gospel music ministers in the faith?
Firstly, God’s grace should not be taken for granted. And what many Christian musicians should know is that they have to flee from all appearances of evil as instructed by the Scriptures. In the real sense, if the gospel music ministers can opt for the flee option, they can overcome all forms of temptations that come across their way, and by God’s grace remain strong in faith.
Have you released any album?
Actually, I have composed a song titled; YOUR GRACE. It is a testimony of how God has brought me from grass to grace.
What are the challenges you are presently encountering in your musical career?
The challenge presently is getting sponsors to finance my musical career; to help move my musical career higher, since making it big in music involves a large sum of money.
What are your plans or goals for the future?
First, I have the goal to have my own music studio where I can empower and encourage upcoming artistes, most especially gospel artistes; bringing them to limelight. At the same time, I am still aspiring to move my business to its peak. For now, my music career is like on part time basis, while my business is full-time.
Do you have any mentor? And if yes who are they?
They are Solomon Nwabude, C.E.O. Solowise Cyber Technologies; Pastor David, the man God used to bless me with my first highest cash; and Nkpughe Festus, I. T. Consultant and C.E.O. RAGP. I remain indebted to them.
What are your hobbies?
I love traveling and singing
What is your advice for other youths who would want to venture into gospel music?
I do not like discrimination. I believe in doing what you know best. They have to be focused and persistent in what they know how to do best, and most importantly, they should put God first in whatever they are doing and never give up as their breakthrough will come someday.
EJIRO GODSLOVE ATUNURE CAN BE REACHED ON 08149432085