In our Chat Room this week with Precious Egilewe is the Lady with the silky voice, Ika-born Emmanuella Eric, popularly known as Ella Eric, a gospel artiste, who just released a gospel single, titled, ‘AMAZING FATHER.’
In this interesting and inspiring chat, she tells us about delve into gospel music, her challenges as an orphan, the place of gospel music in Ika land.
Can we meet you?
I am Emmanuella Eric popularly known as Ella. I hail from Igbodo Ika North East Local Government Area, I was born June 12 1994. I am from a family of 4, the first child and the only daughter. I am an English Language graduate of Delta State University, Abraka. My parents are both from Igbodo in Ika North East Local Government Area.
Tell us about your growing up days?
It is a super story but along the line, it was no longer rosy as it were, and along the line, we had to struggle to survive, as I lost my dad in 2012 but my mum was still there struggling to make ends and sadly enough, my mum died too, just two years after. It has been the faithfulness of God all through, because my siblings and I are all in good health. Somehow, we scaled through school and God is still doing it, it has not been easy.
ELLA ERIC, how has the death of your parents affected both you and your other siblings?
When we lost our dad in 2012 and our mum 2014 respectively, it was not easy. I eventually became both a father a mother to my younger ones, who were three in number. I was just eighteen then, while my brothers were aged 14, 12, and 10 respectively. Being all males, it was not easy taking care of my brothers, but God helped me, and we were in Scripture Union, so we had some overseeing parents that were interested in us so they too help in bringing them up. However, not having full nurturing from both parents somehow affected us, but God has been faithful in that he has a way that, at every point he always takes control.
With the death of both parents, how has life been with you?
It has been very tough; I could remember there were times when we would not have something to eat, and other times, we may even have but means to prepare it might be the problem, but like I said it has been God’s grace all the way. There are things I cannot recount now; nevertheless, God always had our back, as I refused to let go of God.
How has the death of your parents affected both you and your other siblings?
When we lost our dad in 2012 and our mum 2014 respectively, it was not easy. I eventually became both a father a mother to my younger ones, who were three in number. I was just eighteen then, while my brothers were aged 14, 12, and 10 respectively. Being all males, it was not easy taking care of my brothers, but God helped me, and we were in Scripture Union, so we had some overseeing parents that were interested in us so they too help in bringing them up. However, not having full nurturing from both parents somehow affected us, but God has been faithful in that he has a way that, at every point he always takes step in to take control.
What do you do?
After I graduated was actually teaching in a private school, but I left the job and I am currently undergoing training in cake making and baking. I am also into Event Planning.
Tell us about your music career
It is a gift from God which I decided to continue to present to the world as I cannot let it die. And by God’s grace it has been a blessing to many, I am privileged to be used by God.
Can you briefly tell us how you got into music?
As I was growing up I discovered that I could sing; my mum was then into pastoral ministry; I grew up in the choir. I have been singing since childhood, as I remember giving a special number during my younger brother’s dedication, when I was just a few years old. Actually, my music career is God’s gift, at a point that I had to build up myself by joining some groups and musical team.
What kind of music are you into?
I do gospel music; strictly gospel
Why gospel music?
I felt the best way to actually reach out to men in fulfilling the great commission of evangelization is by going into gospel music as the lyrics are all to the glory of God, touching and changing lives.
Who are your target audience?
The lost souls out there in the world are my target, considering where I am coming from and knowing the pain of in facing challenges. I therefore intend to give hope to those going through hard times like I did, and to let them know that God is able to do all things no matter the situation.
ELLA ERIC, who are your mentors?
I was greatly inspired by some gospel artistes both home and abroad, even though I have never seen some of them physically but I connect with them via audio.
We want to know more about your educational background, and how has it influenced your musical career?
I graduated two years ago from Delta State University and I studied English Language. My course of study has been of a tremendous advantage in composing my songs; that is the lyric and this coupled with my singing skills. Also, my education has helped in my thinking and understanding of events around me.
What is your most memorable experience? And what are the lessons you learnt?
Actually I have seen a lot of things and I have experienced much too. The summary is that the experience has taught me to trust God, even in times when there was no way out and no one to run to for help. All I had to do was just to put trust in God and He has never failed me.
How would you describe your relationship with God and how has it influenced your musical career?
My relationship with God is a fulfilling and intimate one, for if not God, I would have long lost hope as God was actually holding me, and that is why I kept going on and I have gone too far now with God to go back. The truth is that my intimacy with the Father keeps me going and inspires me to compose and sing songs that glorify His name.
ELLA ERIC, What are your projections for the future?
As regards to music, I see myself making great impact, changing lives and drawing men closer to God.
There have been some societal challenges; must glaring is the increase in the cases of rape. As a lady what do you have to say about this?
We can look at it from two perspectives. Nigeria is a corrupt nation, that’s the reason for the gospel, since anyone who accepts the gospel would know that Rape is a grievous sin, and aside being saved, simple moral should tell anyone that rape is not good. And for the ladies their composure matters, it doesn’t just happen, one thing or the other sometimes give s rise to rape. In addition to composure is mode of dressing, communication, understanding of body languages, the company they keep and their relationship with others which are all determining factors.
Aside music what are your other hobbies?
I have passion for creativity that is what motivated me to go into Event Planning, cake making and baking. Aside creativity, I love cooking. Just get me all I need, I can cook for a whole day.
Are you satisfied with the level of gospel music in Ika?
I will say we have a lot of Christian musicians in Ika, talented ones but the problem is that they lack sponsorship. By God’s grace, I lead a musical group and we have so many talented ministers among us. And we do hold end of the year programme annually with a lot of testimonies. In Ika land, a lot of gospel musicians are just locked down, trying to reach out for support and platforms. Nevertheless, we believe God for breakthrough.
How can the government, corporate bodies, organizations and churches be of assistance?
They should acknowledge that we have what they are looking for outside our locality. There are instances where we had to meet the PFN chairman, in relation to musical programmes, letting them know that there are very talented gospel musicians in Ika and even Delta State, yet gospel artistes from outside the State are patronized to the detriment of our local artistes. This really makes many of us gospel ministers here in our locality to feel bad.
I am therefore using this medium to appeal that we the local gospel artistes have what they are looking for outside, therefore, upcoming local gospel artistes should be encouraged. There are some that have composed many songs that are yet to be heard, because there are no platforms, for them to showcase their God-given talents. What the government should do is acknowledge them by setting up a body that can do research on them and organise talent hunt which is one thing we lack in Ika land. Though there are so many bodies that are trying to bring up this talent hunt, but they are cash constrained, but if the Government will show interest knowing, fully well that they are impacting lives.
Talking about gospel music, they have been general observation that most of the secular musicians today were once a gospel musician, what is the reason for this?
Just like I said earlier, they are just looking for where they can be encouraged as they feel that the church does not value and believe in them. This then goes to our churches as every gospel musician belongs to a church, pastors have to take up responsibilities and support them because once they don’t get the support, and they would go out and become secular musicians. They are lot of people luring them with attractive promises and those the gospel artistes that are not rooted in the Lord can easily give in. Our pastors and General Overseers should try setting up the platform for the promotion of gospel music not just keeping them confined to their normal church activities.
How do you differentiate a circular music and gospel music and how do you know a gospel minister and a secular musician
Secular music pertains to worldly things, it is not related to religion, God or the gospel; they are more appreciative of nature and the things around them, but the gospel is focused on Christ, and they are centered on the word of God; preaching the gospel.
Are you in a relationship?
How do you intend to combine the home and your singing career?
It has been a long time prayer point for me because I don’t want such distraction. I desire a man in same direction with me, who already know what I do. With this in mind, I am very mindful of the kind of person to accept in a relationship. I know that God will not allow what He has already planned for me to be thwarted by another. For me, I wouldn’t want to fail as and there are a lot of responsibilities; that is why we pray to God for the grace to balance it all up.
Where do you fellowship?
I worship at Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Agbor. The church has so much helped me spiritually and physically.
We heard of so much stories of how females have been molested by producers, what do you have to say about that and how do you intend to handle it?
When you understand when it is your time, the right producer will come, the right source will come. You should also know the right people to go to be your producer.
Can you tell us about the song you just released titled Amazing Father?
The origin of that song was the day I was seating under a pear tree, waiting to see a Reverend that sent for me. While I was there the song came to my mind and I just picked up my pen and wrote it down. In the real sense, it is not just about having a song, is about having an experience of the song, let it not be like you dropped a song and somebody else understands it more than you therefore, there should be an experience and feeling between you and that song, so the song was an inspiration matched with my personal life
On a lighter mood what is your favourite food?
I won’t say I have a favourite food, however, the food I cannot reject is rice so rice and stew is my best. you may not actually bother adding anything.
What is your motto or guiding principle that has taken you this far despite the challenges?
Scripturally, I have two scriptures I hold on to and one of them is Matt 16:13, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other thing shall be added unto you.”
This has been a guiding light to me because if I could make God my priority, every other thing would be added to me. The other scripture is Romans 8: 28, “All things worketh together for good to them that love God.” In other words, all I just need is to love God, keep serving and obeying Him and all lines will fall in pleasant places for me.
What is your message for Christian Youths out there who are still yet to discover themselves, and those struggling to make impact?
My message to young ones is to be patient, just be patient with God; impatience is what is making many run off from the gospel and looking for other means and before you know it they get into problems they can’t even solve. So, they should be patient because they will definitely get there. And they should be self confident, believing in God that one day they will arrive at their destination. They should have this self confidence that God has already endowed them with all that they need, so there is no point rushing, because when the right time comes, no matter where they are their blessings will locate them.
What is your message for orphans who are struggling to make it in life, and what is your message for the community on how they can be of help to them?
I will start from the less privileged, having been there before, if not for the benevolence of Christians that came around me. They should never give up, they should just keep on, trusting in God, despite the challenges, it is not worth going into immoral activities and social vices, since things will always get better. On the other hand, the community should set up a body, probably there are available but people may not have taken note, so they should try reaching out to the less privileged such as orphans and widows.
How many songs have you released so far?
AMAZING FATHER is actually the first song I am releasing.
Are you fulfilled as a gospel artiste?
After ministration, we hear some testimonies of how lives are changed, which is the greatest fulfillment in life, because anything you have in life that will not be a blessing to others is not a fulfilling gift. Moreover, I am still trusting God for a better experience.
Tell us about your early school days
I had my primary and secondary education at Divine Academy in Umunede.
What is your message for your fans and those that are looking up to you?
The greatest gift God can give is the gift of another man, I have said God has brought wonderful people my way, and my fans are one of them. It is one thing to be into music and it is another thing for someone to love what you do. I really want to say thank you to them for their calls, texts and care, a tree cannot make a forest, I can’t love them less my message to them is keep moving and they shouldn’t give up on anything they are doing because we will all get there.