GospoGroove.com chatted with fast rising, Abuja based Gospel artiste, Ogecha. Enjoy reading…
GospoGroove: Congratulations on your wedding. How do you combine being a wife and a recording artiste?
Ogecha: Thank you very much! It’s a very interesting combination, my husband, Mr Obande Peter Obande, happens to be my mentor, my manager, my music director, he’s also the band bassist…so being a wife and being an artiste are nicely balanced.
GospoGroove: When did you start singing?
Ogecha: I really cannot tell, I’ve been singing all my life although professionally, I started in 2008.
GospoGroove:What sort of Christian experience did you have growing up at home?
Ogecha: My wonderful mother, Mrs Elizabeth Metuwo Haruna, would tell us stories about characters in the Bible. She told us about God and taught us His principles. There wasn’t any explosive encounter; I just knew that I wanted to serve God, especially after my brother was born. My parents had five girls before he came and with the unfriendly atmosphere that culture sometimes creates and what they had gone through before his birth, I was so in love with Jesus because of the smiles that I could see on their faces. My father, Maj. Gen. Peter Musa Haruna had a deep love for God that amazed me so much. My siblings also caught the fire at very young ages; I believe that we’ve seen a tumultuous amount of God’s goodness to us, especially when we do not deserve it. We know that we cannot find that with any other god but Him.
GospoGroove: How would you describe your music?
Ogecha: One peculiar thing I would say about the songs I write is the fact that they spring from personal meditations and experiences and so a lot of people find them easy to relate to. Sometimes, I just desire to fellowship with God and I start singing, or I have something on my mind that I cannot talk to anyone about… I’ve also discovered that most listeners find it relaxing, comforting, reassuring as well as enjoyable. I agree with them.
GospoGroove: You have just released the official video for Brand New Thing, a single off your debut album. Tell us about it.
Ogecha: The Brand New Thingvideo was shot and produced by Blast and Eddie. Blast was also one of the Executive producers of the album ‘All for You’. The song itself is based on Isaiah 43:18-19. I needed a lot of changes in my life at the time and one Sunday, my Pastor, Tunde Benjamins-Laniyi spoke about the fact that God is willing to do incredible things in our lives if we would just give Him the chance. That scripture was imprinted in my heart and that gave birth to the song, Brand New Thing.
GospoGroove: Are you satisfied with the standard of Gospel music videos in Nigeria? If not, how do you think it can improve? What needs to be done?
Ogecha: Excelling in the music industry and indeed life in general, requires that you are up to date with new trends, concepts, strategies and so on. One of the things I do to keep me up to date is watching a lot of music videos to enable me learn from those who have gone ahead, and I must say, a good number of our predecessors in the gospel scene have really set the pace for us newbies. Sometimes though, when I watch music video channels and I see the standard of videos been produced in the secular world and compare them, I wonder at the degree of disparity. It’s like once the producer hears that you want to shoot a gospel video, they have certain templates to choose from. I personally believe that everyone in this industry has something they are trying to sell, if we are the light of the world, then let us SHINE! Let the music video channels be unable to stop playing our videos regardless of the bias that its ‘gospel’ because we are dishing out creative award winning videos with enthralling concepts, high quality and of course, the message itself should be well packaged.
GospoGroove: You have done commendably since making entry into the Nigerian music industry. You have a few award nominations to show for your efforts so far. How have you been able to pull these off in such a short time?
Ogecha: Lol! Sir! I just obeyed God. I opened my mouth and the message came pouring out. While I was doing this, the Lord prepared a wonderful executive producer, Blast, to handle the album, who organised some gifted producers like Mystro, Yisheng, Mista Seth and Danja for me to work with. My Mum also jumped on the project with so much enthusiasm that encouraged me to give it my best. And then, along came my Favourite Bass player/music director/manager who picked up where everyone else had left off and by the help of the Almighty has done his best to ensure that everyone hears the songs on that album. That’s my husband by the way.
I told The Lord that since He gave me the order to sing, I was going to do just that and He should have His way with it. That’s why my debut album is titled ‘All for You’. I owe everything to God, He’s the secret behind it.
GospoGroove: Your musical influences?
Ogecha: I love Don Moen’s music. I love the way He sings and worships. I also love the music of these worshippers, Vicky Yohe, Cece Winans, Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin, Byron Cage, K’ore, NUTTY Josh, Frank Edwards, Chris Morgan…
I tend towards worship music. If I hear a song with a nice beat, an interesting voice or well written,clean lyrics that I like, I try to learn what I can from it and perhaps from the artiste or band. Otherwise, I enjoy a variety of artistes and genres, and there are so many great people in the industry today.
GospoGroove: What do you think your “biggest break” has been so far in your musical career?
Ogecha: A big break to some might mean the size of the audience, the award they won or the country they got invited to, these are fantastic things that I look forward to as well but for me, my biggest break happens to be my biggest testimony since I started singing professionally. Her name is Princess. I’ve known her since she was a little girl, she was very withdrawn and she only related with her immediate family. She would not speak with visitors or even acknowlegde their presence. This went on for years till the day she heard the song ‘All for You’ she became a different person entirely. She began to do things she never used to before to the amazement of even her family. It might not seem like something of note, but for me, it was the greatest form of encouragement anyone could have given me to keep doing what I am doing.
GospoGroove: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Ogecha: One thing I desire is to be an ambassador to and for the youth. I had great teachers in my life so that even though I made mistakes, I could pick myself up and keep going. Many of the young adults today do not have this, they are left to their devices until they make life changing decisions that set them on a downward spiral for life and I have a strong burden to help. I also want to be part of those causing changes in the gospel scene, taking off the lid that some have placed on what they believe gospel ‘should’ be and rather, letting the rich goodness of God’s word creep into every household, especially that of those we are desperately trying to reach with God’s word.
GospoGroove:Apart from music, what else do you do?
Ogecha: I’m a wife! Then I’m an engineer, a certified fashion designer, a writer and some other things I can’t really remember right now. 😉
GospoGroove:A message to your fans
Ogecha: I prefer to call you wonderful people my friends! Thank you for taking out of your precious time to listen to my music and thank you for supporting me. I appreciate you so much! I pray that The Lord will cause all your dreams to be realized according to His will for you!
GospoGroove:Thank you for your time.
Ogecha:It was a pleasure. I’d like to say thank you to you sir Victor Igbinigie! You’re a great man! There’s no way I can end this without saying a big ‘Thank You!’ to my manager, The Lord favored me the day He brought you into my life and even more, the day you asked me to be your wife. You’re a treasure and I cherish you.