‘Why I distribute my CDs free to people’
You came out with an album, Great God, last November and you are out with another single, You Alone Can Heal, why the hurry?
To mundane eyes, people may think that I am in a hurry, not so. I am not in a hurry. My music is not the same with the usual Christian songs. Some sing to make a name, others sing to make money, but my music is a message of hope. I’m preaching to the people, especially the hopeless. A preacher should be seen appealing to the people’s conscience all the time. I am a messenger of God. I should be able to relate with the people according to the mandate given to me by Jesus Christ.
Are you saying that you are not making money from your albums?
Yes, I can say it that I am not out to make money but to deliver the message of hope to my people. Money will come, but for now, I am distributing my CDs free to people and I’m happy about it. Many marketers from all the states of the federation have come to assist in marketing it, but I told them that they should not bother as my mandate is for the music to reach millions of people. I am not a wealthy man, but God has been faithful in his provision. I can’t wait until I am a billionaire before I start giving. I don’t know whether it is wise to start selling my album to the less privileged, orphans and the weak that have no food at home. I know that rich people can afford the music; the people that need it most are the people that I am giving it to free.
Are you a philanthropist?
I don’t know how you describe who a philanthropist is. But I am giving out my album free. God gave the talent and the inspiration to me. So, freely I am giving back to God, because he said whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers that you do unto me.
How would you rate your music?
I can’t judge myself but, with the comments that I hear or see in the electronic media, I can say that God is faithful. My music is virtually on every radio station. I am everywhere, Traffic Radio, Raypower, Naija FM, Nigeria Info and Eko FM, the videos of my music are on my YouTube channel, Augustine Adigwe, and to download the audio version, google Austin Adigwe for the links.
Why are you into gospel music?
I want to preach the gospel of Jesus, which is the ultimate, because life without Jesus is useless. I have brought the message of freedom to the captives and the oppressed and love to the world. Love is what will heal the wounds, and my music will heal Nigeria of sorrow and tears. My music is to inspire, motivate and bring a solution to issues such as reminding that woman who thinks that she would not get her own children to remember Hannah and Sarah in the Bible. I wish to remind that man facing challenges about Job who later overcame all his own challenges. That you are having challenges does not mean that God has forsaken you. He is a great God, so you should call upon Him and challenge Him on all the promises he made concerning you. I want people to know that God honours his words because he said his words can never return to him void.
But the genre is not as commercially viable as secular music?
It is just like asking me not to bear my own children because the world is overpopulated. Of course, you should know that I am not into music basically for financial gains. I am a banker with the FCMB and I have worked in other banks. I am also a part-time lecturer with the Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo. The message of God cannot stop. We cannot have enough good news. God loves and He keeps ministering to living souls. Only the living can praise the Lord. I am only passing the message of hope, as a lot of things are happening daily and I draw inspiration from them. My music is inspirational, and it gives hope to the hopeless, the needy and the oppressed. My music is love, and it is only love that can heal the wound.
Why did you single out Nigeria in your songs?
I called on God to heal Nigeria because of what we are passing through. We are facing difficult times, but we need spiritual healing. Nigeria needs love, and love is what we need to conquer all the evils and corruption in Nigeria. Love is what we need to stop kidnapping, armed robbery, and killings, including assassinations. Love is what politicians need to utilise the money meant for the public. The message of Jesus is very simple: love your neighbour as you love yourself, and love God with all your heart. Once there is love, people would not go into kidnapping or killing their fellow human beings as if they are killing rams. I am re-emphasizing the teachings of our Lord Jesus. Second, I am encouraging Nigerians to be hopeful and not pessimistic. Nigeria is going through spiritual cleansing. I compare Nigeria to Israel. The children of Israel passed through difficult times. They went into slavery in Egypt, into captivity in Babylon and they fought many wars and they were confronted with many difficulties, but, today, Israel is one country that the world wants to reckon with. Nigeria is like Israel; God will heal us and the world will sing a new song for Nigeria.
What is the message you have for Nigerians?
I want government to know that the crisis and corruption we see all around us are not going to be resolved by any military might or new laws, but true love for one another. Love will conquer all the strife and corruption. I am preaching love, and the message of love takes time to germinate. When terrorists, robbers, kidnappers and other criminals begin to hear it over and over again, they will begin to feel it. We should not lose hope in Nigeria. God will heal the land. But we need to push my message of love till it gets to Sambisa Forest, Nasarawa, Niger forests, and Abuja-Kaduna expressway. Let’s push the message of love till it gets to killer herdsmen. For those who are jobless, don’t commit suicide. There is still hope. For those who are looking for the fruit of the womb, remember Hannah in the Bible, who stayed many years waiting on the Lord and he did not disappoint as he gave her a male child.