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Aimee aims for the top with new album, Increasing Grace

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Aimee

Gospel singer, Rita Alakija popularly known by the stage Aimee is advancing her love for the worship of God with the release of her new album titled, Increasing Grace. The eight-track album, celebrates God with inspirational songs in a style that many will consider mature and distinct.

The Lagos-based singer has also released the video of one of the tracks titled Beautiful, produced by Be Jossy. Also in the album are tracks like How Great, There is Healing, Amazing Love, Here You Are Maranatha and I’m Safe, in which she featured Adaeze Adeoluwa.

Although the album and the video radiate beauty – in theme, beat and overall presentation, Aimee, who has also been a banker and broadcaster, is quick to note that the glamour she is celebrating is not that of the body but what she calls the pretty awesomeness of God.

 
“When challenges – like wild winds – come, other birds run away. But that is the time the eagle takes off. The eagle takes advantage of the wind and flies according to its vision. So, the wind is part of the strategy here because it is in the same manner that God relates with me,” she said.

The former aviation worker launched herself into the music world some years ago with the released of her first album titled, So Grateful, which she said is a product of some challenges she had faced. She later released a couple of videos in which she demonstrated a class that has been acclaimed, including with some awards.

The new album according to Aimee, is already on iTune and CD Baby. It has the production imprint of Akin Cole; mix dexterity of Laitan Dada, and project management skills of Jude Nnogo.

The quality of the sound of each of the songs shows that it was painstakingly produced. The singer’s voice comes out well, while instrumentation, which tends towards what obtains in the works of global stars, and the mixing is clean.

One thing that many listeners will notice in the new work is Aimee’s seeming focus on purity of the gospel genre as she sees it. With a beat that reflects classical notes in some parts, she is not eager to experiment with hip-hop, reggae, fuji and all, as many Nigerian gospel singers do nowadays.

According to Aimee, her experience working as a broadcaster and from her earlier albums influenced the quality of what she is dishing out. “Besides, anything that one wants to dedicate to God, as in celebrating Him, ought to radiate total beauty because God is a beautiful God,” she said.

She adds, “I always wait for God; it is the best thing to do. We are all spiritual beings. The spirit controls the physical; so, songs can come anytime and anywhere but I give all to Him alone. I do have compositions that talk about other things – patriotism, courage, quality love, verses that idealise and even those that can aid commercial products to fly.  But in Increasing Grace, I am out for spiritual edification.

“Grace is about God’s unlimited favour. So, the album is inspired and rendered to be a blessing to the listener. It is saying that you can aspire more, you can inspire more and you can achieve more.”

While Aimee believes that every talent deserves ample rewards, as she is well disposed to financial gains from her creativity and investment, she notes that the blessings that she gets from God cannot be measured in monetary terms alone. Hence, after three albums, she insists that God is her staying power.

Unlike other gospel acts, Aimee chooses not to romance slang verses that they embrace. This is despite the fact that gospel music, as many of its practitioners have said, is not as lucrative as the pop or traditional brands.
She notes that noting that it is important for one to continue to do his or her best, while keeping educating oneself, stressing that anything can be a source of inspiration to a musician – the good, the bad and the ugly. But because hers is gospel, she tries to see everything with and in the light of God.

Speaking on the connection between her previous albums, Lost Without You, So Grateful and Increasing Grace, the singer said, “I was really lost during that period but God found me out. So Grateful came when I had come out of the dark place. Now I have to thank God, as I am where there is increasing grace. It has been a great journey indeed.

“A lot of the songs were birthed through fire. But I am just giving God praise because I have the cause to. There was a time I thought nothing beautiful could thrive around me again. Things were not working out in many areas. But God said I could make it and here I am against all odds. God removed my ugliness and make me whole again. Or, when you look at me, what do you see? A strong, beautiful woman.”

As a life coach, Aimee speaks to groups, institutions and corporate organisations. She says this can be various areas of life where people need to grow and experience positive change. She also helps to develop scripts and produce videos.

On what she teaches on leadership, she explains, “Leadership is about the ability to inspire others to achieve goals that are beneficial to the immediate and larger environment, and to the present and the future. It is not just about ruling or heading a place. It is about influencing and inspiring others to attain success.  That is why the leader’s vision must be grander than that of those he or she leads.”


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