Sarah Olawoye is an upcoming gospel musician who has devoted her God-given talent to enriching souls. She is also an entrepreneur and event planner. Our Community’s Kesandu Egburonu had an encounter with her at the Harvest of the Celestial Church of Christ, Iyanu Oluwa Titun Glorious Parish in Ijedodo, Igando-Ikotun LCDA. She calls on established acts to help build new acts. Excerpt…
How long have you being into music?
Since I was little. I grew up into it. In secondary school I was made an assembly prefect and then I left for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2015. I was the one always conducting the morning devotion at the camp. Afterwards, I had to proceed to take my career (music) seriously.
How rewarding has it been so far so good?
I cannot say that I have got there yet since I am still beginning. But, so far so good, we thank God. I have met some nice people who have helped in influencing my career. So far so good it has been nice.
What will you say about your performance during the praise night?
My performance that night was not one I bargained for as I did not plan for it. As the event was going on I thought to myself “why not just jump on this platform, so I had to go backstage, talk to people who alerted the M.C (Master of Ceremony) and that is how it happened. It went really well. I was surprised and amazed at the reaction I got from people. You know how it is with the Celestial Church – when you speak in English, no one wants to speak to you and I am fond of speaking English, but I thank God that everyone loved my performance.
How long have you been doing music professionally?
How has the road been in terms of challenges?
The challenge is that the money is not coming. Though I do not see it as a challenge because I know what I am after and I am still focused on my goal. So, the only challenge there is that I have not got there (stardom) yet, that is just it. Every other thing, I think I am strong enough to face them. Though there are some things you have to do and then the money is not there. Even when you go for shows and you are not being paid enough and you can’t move unto the next project. So, it is just about money, money, money.
Do you think the structure of the gospel industry in Nigeria favours upcoming artistes like you?
You know, this ball game is different especially when it comes to gospel music. The secular music knows how they run their thing. But gospel, the way I see it in the last few years that I have been in this industry, (it) is (about) the connection. No one wants to listen to you especially if you are not popular. You need to target your song to people who are willing to listen to it. That is the thing about gospel music. I know some people who are into gospel music and are not being encouraged because they do not get the support they need. The support is with the A-list artistes that we have, so right now it is not really encouraging for artistes like me. But, those who are coming up have little things we do for ourselves. Like some of us are on WhatsApp group chat. Some of us go out to perform and mingle with others. So we are the ones helping ourselves. That’s it.
How can government help?
Government? (Laughs) I am just trying to think of how government can help. I don’t think that government cares about this industry.
If not the government then who will you proffer this solution to?
I think the established artistes like the Frank Edwards, Tope Alabis, Tim Geofferys, should try to put up a concert for upcoming artistes. Let them just put up this big platform that will allow every upcoming, that is those that are singing very good songs, because there is a difference between music and music. Some people sing and it doesn’t have a message and some sing and the rhythm is just so boring. But when you have a powerful song with a powerful message, then maybe they screen them and put us on a very big platform like the way Big Brother Naija was done, let them do something like that where people all over the world can see. That is when they begin to spot new talents. Government cannot do anything about that. I feel the artistes who are already made should be the ones to try to groom us. Let them be the ones to put us out there.
Are you signed on to a record label or a management company?
Right now, no.
Are you presently eyeing anyone?
The record labels come with their drama too. Anyhow God wants me to rise is the way I will rise. So I am not focusing on those things now.
What are your future plans for the next five years?
I have a brand I am building and a business. I hope that in the next five years I should be able to build my brand to such an extent that people can always look up to me as a role model, especially the younger generation. Asides running my business on a multi-national scale, it has to be my music. I don’t know how God wants to do it. I just believe that when the inspiration comes I do it. No matter what happens afterwards, just make sure that you are active. Music-wise, I know I will still be there, nothing can kill that. I have always been into music since when I was little, in secondary school and NYSC, so I know nothing can kill that. Well, I will also like to go into counseling as I love it. I see myself being a counselor, talking and motivating people.
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