The Punch - - INTERVIEW - Mike Ab­dul

I had a very in­ter­est­ing child­hood. I am the last child in a fam­ily of 10. I have six broth­ers and three sis­ters. My el­der ones were very pro­tec­tive of me and that made it more in­ter­est­ing. I prac­ti­cally lived my life like a boy; so, peo­ple called me a tomboy. I played foot­ball and did other things that boys usu­ally do.

My child­hood am­bi­tion was to be­come a doc­tor or a lawyer. But as God would have it, I ended up be­ing a mu­si­cian. I am happy that I’m us­ing my talent to praise God.

I had my ele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion at St Kiz­ito Catholic Pri­mary School, Iju, La­gos. My postele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion was at Iju Gram­mar School, Iju. I then stud­ied Mu­sic at the Univer­sity of La­gos.

I have al­ways been pas­sion­ate about mu­sic. From my child­hood, I had been singing in the church choir. While in sec­ondary school, I led the school to win sev­eral com­pe­ti­tions and that made me very pop­u­lar.

In 1999, I heard about a mu­sic com­pe­ti­tion called ‘Cir­cle of Stars’, in which I par­tic­i­pated and won. Since then, I have taken mu­sic pro­fes­sion­ally. The first song I ever recorded is ti­tled I had wanted to write a love song but it turned out be­ing an in­spi­ra­tional tune which en­cour­aged peo­ple that were de­pressed. How­ever, I was un­able to get it played on air.

My par­ents have al­ways been in sup­port of me do­ing mu­sic, but they didn’t be­lieve that I would end up taking it as a ca­reer. I had al­ways made them proud through my days in the choir by win­ning sev­eral com­pe­ti­tions and they sup­ported me fully when I de­cided to take it up pro­fes­sion­ally.

I have lost count of the num­ber of songs I’ve re­leased but I have three al­bums and sev­eral mu­sic videos. The al­bums are ti­tled, and

I de­cided to do gospel mu­sic af­ter I had an en­counter with God. Though I never in­tended to do sec­u­lar mu­sic, I al­ways tilted to­wards in­spi­ra­tional mu­sic. I am an advocate of peace and I like mu­sic that en­cour­ages peo­ple.

I can col­lab­o­rate with a sec­u­lar artiste be­cause the Bi­ble says ‘Go ye into the world’. Sec­u­lar mu­sic is a world on its own and if I want to win more souls for Christ, I have to go into their world. Some­times, they don’t hear your mes­sage be­cause you can­not reach them from where you are. If you want to reach them, you have to go to them.

I am one of the highly priv­i­leged peo­ple in the in­dus­try be­cause I have the sup­port of my hus­band. Since he was al­ready in the busi­ness be­fore me, he helped to take my songs ev­ery­where. And he of­ten told me about the chal­lenges that were ahead; so, I was pre­pared.

The big­gest sac­ri­fice I have ever made is leav­ing a white col­lar job for a ca­reer in mu­sic. I know that the plan of God for my life is to win souls and reach out to peo­ple who are lost in the world. It’s beyond be­ing a gospel singer for me as I am into full-time min­istry.

Right from when I re­leased my de­but al­bum, in 2010, I have had a won­der­ful ca­reer. Prior to re­leas­ing it, I had prayed to God that I wanted to put His name on the lips of all men. And God in­deed an­swered my prayers.

I have learnt that hu­mil­ity is the key to get­ting into peo­ple’s hearts. If you want to win a soul for Christ, you have to be ac­cept­able. I have also learnt that you should hold your head high no mat­ter the storm or at­tack that comes your way. As an am­bas­sador of Christ, be ready for chal­lenges and know that the God that called you will al­ways see you through.

My most re­cent al­bum, was re­leased not too long ago and it is do­ing very well. I am very pas­sion­ate about the al­bum be­cause God has been faith­ful to me. My first al­bum was a hit and all other ones have been suc­cess­ful. God’s words have al­ways been work­ing for me. He said I will be fruit­ful and mul­ti­ply and that has been hap­pen­ing to me. I want peo­ple to con­fess pos­i­tiv­ity into their lives by singing my songs. I am presently work­ing on the video for some of the songs on the al­bum.

Fame has robbed me of the free­dom of walk­ing on the street with­out look­ing over my shoul­ders to see if some­one is watch­ing me.

There are times I take my chil­dren out but I don’t get to en­joy that time with my fam­ily be­cause I also have to at­tend to fans who have con­trib­uted mas­sively to my growth.

My role mod­els are mem­bers of the Mid­night Crew – Pa­tri­cia King, Gbenga Oye­bola, Odunayo Ojo and Michael Ab­dul. I have been un­der their men­tor­ship for a while and they have re­ally helped me in my spir­i­tual life and ca­reer. I am so proud to be as­so­ci­ated with them.

I have a very won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship with my la­bel boss, Mike Ab­dul, be­cause he is like a fa­ther to us all at Spaghetti Records. He doesn’t treat us just like artistes signed to his la­bel; he ac­tu­ally men­tors us and sup­ports us fi­nan­cially.

I have had a lot of pro­found ex­pe­ri­ences with fans. A lady once ap­proached me and asked me to pray for her. When I fin­ished, she used her hand­ker­chief to wipe the sweat off my face and said she wanted to take that with her to tap from the grace God has be­stowed on me. I was touched by that and didn’t take it for granted.

I am very emo­tional and down-to-earth. I al­ways re­spect peo­ple, even those that are younger than me. I am also a very tol­er­ant and prayer­ful per­son. When­ever I feel de­pressed or be­trayed, I just go to God and pray for strength; and I al­ways over­come.

Apart from mu­sic, I don’t do any other busi­ness. I just do mu­sic and face my fam­ily. I like play­ing foot­ball and danc­ing. I re­lax by watch­ing movies. My style is sim­ple but classy.

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