The art of singing is not an easy task. To be able to sing clearly and communicate your ideas in music to your audience requires a lot of discipline, patience and perseverance. Despite this challenging demand, becoming a world class singer is the burning desire of Patrick Aziapkoun Ugbomah. He is a native of Ashaka London, Ndukwa Local Government Area, of Delta State.
Aside from seeing music as the combination of an organized sound that is pleasant to the Ear in time and place, Ugbomah in this interview with the Ika Weekly Newspaper, speaks about the state of the nation, the Nigerian youths and his musical career among other issues.
Kindly say some words to enable the readers understand more fully your background?
My name is Patrick Aziapkoun Ugbomah and my stage name is Patrick Melody. I am a Gospel and Inspirational Musician. I am a native of Ashaka London, Ndukwa Local Government Area, of Delta State, Christian and lover of good music.
What was growing up like?
I give God all the glory, because it was not easy, I remember going to school without eating, and sometimes waking up in the morning without knowing what to eat. But I just believe in the word of God in my life and keep on working hard.
So Mr. Patrick is a Musician, as a way of adding context to the discourse, could you kindly define the term music for not just our readers but for the lay man?
Music is the combination of an organized sound that is pleasant to the Ear in time and place. Or we say music is the sound that is pleasing to the ear.
Tell us, what informed the choice in the first place? And what is the experience like?
It all started when I was 10 years old, when I went to a musical concert, it was a transformation in my life. From that moment I knew this was it. Music kept ringing in my heart. At the age of 17, I joined the church choir and after one year I became the choirmaster and I kept seeing myself growing from one stage to the other.
Also, for more insight, kindly tell us more about the journey so far in the world of music, the tracks you have produced?
I started with stage singing from the Church to wedding party, Birthday party etc. I have some couple of songs like: Count My Blessing, Divine Connection, He Is A Great God, Na Ur Grace etc. the journey is not an easy one but God has been helping me.
Do you have a group or is it just a one man squad?
Yes, they are called the Harmonious voices.
In recent times, so many musicians have emerged and fizzled out within a twinkle of an eye, what do you think is responsible?
Let me take you back to history, during the time of slave trade, music was used for communication and during the time of our forefathers, music was used for traditional worship and entertainment. But for this generation, music is used for making money. Everybody wants to make money from music those who are making money remain in the business while those who are not making money fizzles out. There are other factors that contribute to them leaving music but the one I mentioned is the major factor.
Now, let’s talk about your present position. Who are your target audience?
As a gospel musician, my audience should be everybody because they need to hear the gospel of God and those who are down need the inspirational songs that will help bring them up. One good thing about my music career is that I am not singing Gospel music because I want to get rich but money comes while I do it, and I will give God the glory.
What is your greatest challenge doing this job?
Capital, I mean money, because without money, spreading the music will be restricted
Who are your partners?
So far I am not with anybody now, I am working on something.
A while ago, just before this conversation commenced, you made mention of making a resolution. Can you throw more light on the term-resolution?
Making a resolution is like setting a goal oneself to achieve
Why do people make resolution?
It helps one to discipline one’s decision.
Did you remember your last resolutions? Share with others.
I made a resolution of a good example to my generation, making sure I get to the top of my career.
How faithful have you been in keeping your resolutions?
It is not easy, sometimes you fall, but the good thing about resolution is that you keep pushing till you achieve it.
What challenges did you encounter in trying to be faithful to those resolutions?
Because I said I want to be a good example to others, I am always careful of what I do or say outside, it is challenging but if I fall, I arise again.
How did attaining your resolutions make you feel?
I feel good about it.
What are the best ways of dealing with our bad habits?
There is no best way to deal with bad habits, than when you know your habit is bad you find a way to work it out. And if you discover the harm your bad habit causes to the people around you, it’s becomes easier to put to it a stop. These are the ways in my views to go about solving the problem of bad habits
From a youth/musician point of view, what do you think is the solution to unemployment in Nigeria?
There are many solutions, but first the youths should engage themselves in today’s politics and they should find a way to get vital positions. Every youth should find a way to improve themselves in every way because unemployment will not have solution if the youths fails to play their part and their part is to start doing something.
Now, let’s talk about the Nigerian youth. You are often always found at youth related engagements, tell us, why this special interest?
As the saying goes; “he that wears the shoes knows where he feels the pain” I have special interest for the youths, because I know how it is to be a youth.
Like every new invention which comes with opportunities and challenges, there was a veiled agreement among participants at a recent gathering in Lagos, that social media originally created to fosters sharing of ideas, thoughts, information, and encourage the building of virtual networks and communities, has turned a nightmare to some of its users particularly the youths. Do you share a similar thought?
I agree with you, a youth most always be a youth.
If this line of reasoning is correct, who will stop those that cannot apply the virtue of moderation in their use of social media? And who should be the judge? Or must we as a nation allow the useful and the useless like good and evil go on together allowing our nation to reap whatever fruit that comes in the nearest future?
It is all about educating the youths to know the evil in this new invention. Parent, Government, Churches, Organisation, everybody should be involved in educating the youth.
What do you think that parents and government can do to regulate the access from within?
Parent should always check what their children do with the internet and be of good example to their children because some parents are worse than their children when we talk about internet evil. As for the government, they should engage the youths in using the new invention to their advantage.
The nation is morally prostrate. There is so much corruption in the country. From examination malpractices to internet fraud-all involving the Nigerian youths. Does it worry you? And where do we go from here?
Yes, it worries me but what will the righteous do if the foundation is faulty. Our government is not ready for change if they do, there are many solutions.
What about the rising cases of rape? Who is to blame; Parents, government or the society?
Everybody is to blame.
There is this accompanying belief by the vast majority of parents have at different times and places, in their concern with values such as work, success, prestige, and money, abandoned their care giving role. That gap is presently fueling decadence among youths. Is this claim correct? And how can such ‘virtue’ be reversed?
Parents should go back to history and learn how our forefathers trained their children, if you agree with that parents of the past have produced more successful children than this present parent.
Please, our audience will like to know; if the church and other religious organizations doing enough to arrest this ravaging situation?
Yes, they are doing their best.
Can you say that democracy is best for us as a nation or should we go back to the regional system of old as currently clamoured in some quarters?
Democracy or no democracy is not the problem of Nigeria. The Problem of Nigeria is weakness. Weakness of the black people, I hope that is a topic for another day.
Looking at this catalogue of negative reports, what would you say is the problem? Is it leadership? If yes, what is the way out of this appalling situation? What is it that our leaders are not doing well that impedes socio-economic development of the nation?
Our leaders should invest more on the youths, not just invest but protect the investment. For example, the government should fight against copyright in the country. As a musician, if the government invests in my song and protect it from copyright, we will not be talking of unemployment in Nigeria. The government’s efforts on the youths who have come out to make an impact in the society should be intensified. At that point we are at a step in improving our economy.
Now, let’s talk politics; first, are you a politician?
Do You think PDP is prepared to bounce back to power at the federal level, especially the Presidency in 2023?
Everyone is a politician, has for PDP back to power at the federal level, especially the Presidency in 2023. I don’t see that coming to pass
Is Igbo Presidency achievable come 2023?
For now No, I will advise the Igbo to support the north for now.
How would you evaluate the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s led administration and PDP led states?
Governor Ifeayi Okowa is a man of the people and Delta is a PDP State
What is your impression about the APC led Federal Government?
In a short word, bad government.
The nation is facing a lot of security challenges now, what would you proffer as solution to the security threats in the country?
Make the country a better place to live, create jobs for the people, then, the security threats will be half solved.
Stakeholders are calling for regional outfits as a way forward while others are saying true federalism. What are your thoughts on this?
None is the way forward but self discipline, our leaders should ask themselves how can we make our country better. The problem of this country is weakness.
Apart from call for restructuring, is there any other thing wrong with the Nigerian nation?
No, as you can see, we are blessed with so many things.
There is so much corruption in the country. Does it worry you?
Yes, it does.
Your final message for Nigerians particularly the youths
My message to Nigerians and for the youth; is if we make ourselves better people then we will have a better nation.