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EXCLUSIVE + INTERVIEW : Segun Obe Returns from US/UK Tour, Speaks to Gospel City Naija

Segun Obe is a veteran in gospel music ministry and has etched his name with his sonorous and melodic delivery over the years. His sound is mature and filled with God's message.

For over two decades, he has been in ministry and it has obviously become a part of him.
When he speaks, he does so with such clarity and objectivity that one gets easily soaked into the knowledge he imparts.

Gospel City Naija spoke with him and he took time to express his views on topical issues about himself and gospel music ministry in Nigeria. Indeed, Segun is an interviewer's delight. 

Here, we bring you excerpts from the interview we had with him.

Good to have you here on Gospel City Naija, Segun Obe. For the sake of our readers who may not know you (especially the foreign ones), can you briefly introduce yourself?

My names are Samuel Olusegun Adepelehinde Obe, I hail from Ondo state born in Washington D.C,U.S.A....last in a family of four, a worshiper by calling and a gospel artiste who loves GOD and HIS ways.

Great. When did you start doing music professionally and what's the drive in you for it?

I started music(secular) in the late 80s but felt there was more to me than just singing "love songs" on stage(live music) so I gave my life to Christ. About 25 yrs ago and got into gospel music professionally about 21yrs ago

So, how would you say the journey has been so far? Considering the fact that a lot of secular artistes that get the itch to ditch d secular for d gospel always have reservations

For me, it’s no longer a quest to make money ALONE, life is not all about cash, it's about having a calling and staying true to it, and for every vision, there is ALWAYS a provision if indeed GOD called you, never easy always, but remaining focused and undaunted helps.

Also important to have mentors to talk to when u r discouraged, these days, everyone is their own boss, whatever works for you as an individual is fine. But a calling is different from the quest to just be famous and have cash to spend.

You speak my mind, my brother. Its all about doing what God expects of us. Fulfilling our purpose on earth is paramount. We've seen a lot of artistes that misplace this purpose...a couple of them come to us seeking fame and hype to be popular through our platform..We are all about promoting and making Christ popular and bringing His grace to   people...purpose! How would you address this misplaced priority amongst most 'gospel' artistes?

Some have gone into politics these days, some do both secular and gospel, I will not go further to criticize another man's calling, every man is answerable only to GOD the ALMIGHTY, even me....all I can say therefore is what u sow, you will reap, GOD is NEVER deceived, if u are called as a gospel artiste, focus on that through good or bad times, it's just a test of your faith to keep u grounded. Challenges will come, but your calling and election will stand sure. Remain focused, simple.

Looking at Gospel music ministry today, what would you say is delimiting substantial progress or needs to be addressed?

Unity and clarity of purpose, defining the industry (if indeed there is one) so it does not become an all comers affair and putting structures in place for artistes, churches are less bothered about their gospel acts and their welfare, they'd rather treat an artiste from even Ghana like a king while looking down on their own, even artiste themselves need to step up and do higher quality work in their audio/video productions to be taken seriously, an over haul basically.
Easier said though, but thru all this, GOD will build HIS church and the gates of hell will not prevail, progress will come.

His words shall stand! Looking at your pedigree, you've been in gospel music ministry for more than two decades now..How would you rate the present state of music compared to that of the era before now?

There was a lot more depth and spirituality back then, these days, you cannot but mix a bit of showbiz into it just to make it "catchy", but I would go for spirituality any day, in terms of compositions and energy, we have that going in today's gospel music. But we should never lose the main essence of gospel music and have a lot of "show" going on without substance, a relationship with GOD cannot be faked, it will reflect thru the music an artiste churns out
Wisdom is profitable to direct, but I strive to create a balance as much as I can, doing the showbiz but not losing the essence of gospel music the way GOD intended.

We agree with you. The problem with the 'show' is that it might distort the message like in most cases...if we are of God, we shouldn't be unevenly yoked with the world. We believe God's children must not allow room for distortion of the message. Back to you...we got wind that you came into the country a while back. How was your stay abroad and what was the purpose for leaving the shores?

 Just went to rest and do one or two things, it was a very fulfilling trip and an album called "still standing" was birthed and a tour was initiated, all successful to GOD's praise.

That's great. Where exactly did u go to and where and where was the tour held?

America and UK, but was majorly in America....Maryland, DC, new jersey, Dallas Texas. CD release was in Maryland

Ok. Now you are back in Nigeria...tell us about the recent material u just put out featuring Samnem
Yeah, it's called "higher octave" and I featured an upcoming act who I feel has a unique rap gift and I feel people should know him. It is my own way of giving back to the gospel genre in Nigeria. And to encourage him to believe in his unique ability, it currently plays on radio but a video will follow in no time, preparation is already under way.
Just my own way of identifying with those coming after you, I love to encourage up comers. And I had to leave my comfort zone (vocally) just to fit into the flow that was quite interesting for me.

You are vouched to be one of the artistes with strong vocal prowress in Nigeria, how do u keep ur voice in ship-shape?

I still do vocal exercises daily and now I train choirs both home and abroad, so that keeps me in shape

Its Jan 2013...a couple of artistes have given us glimpses of what to expect from them this year...What do we expect from Segun Obe in 2013?

Started already, work, work and more of Segun Obe's works out there as I perfect my relationship with GOD and man. Exploits all around basically in Jesus name.

We are strongly with u. Gospel City Naija is open to promote God's Kingdom and raise the entertainment ministry against the backdrop of misnorms in the entertainment industry. We support the ideals of God in you

Fantastic. It’s such an honor to be associated with you.

Finally, before we go, do u have last words for the reader, gospel music ministers, etc?

Yeah, ability minus availability is equal to disability, locate your ability, dust it up, polish it up and work it, and shine therein and u will not be tagged "disabled", your world is waiting for you to take over, keep supporting the segun obe brand,@segunobe 1 twitter handle and obe on facebook, see you all at the top and thanks for reading.

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