Funke Akinokun… Singing His Praise in Dubai
When Funke Akinokun, a Nigerian gospel artiste was growing up, she loved to sing. Little did the lady, who holds a Higher National Diploma in Business Administration and Management from the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, know that this would pave way for her in the future. In 2009, she released her first album, His Praise, and later, came out with the second album, Who You Are? Today, the beautiful lady, who resides in Dubai with her husband and children, is excited about her success story. The awards she has won include, PRAISETEK Awards (UK) 2012, AGMA Awards (UK) 2013, CRYSTAL Awards (Nigeria) 2013. The recent one is the MEGA Awards (Nigeria) 2014, where she got awards in two categories and was announced as the Mega Artist of the Year. In this chat with GERALDINE AKUTU, she talks about her musical career and her kind of music.
When and how did you start singing?
I STARTED singing in my primary school days. I started singing because it gave me joy. While growing up, I felt the urge to use my God given talent to praise Him for his goodness to my family and me.
What inspires your songs?
I depend on Holy Spirit a lot for inspiration, but also get somefrom happenings around me.
Can you share your fondest musical memories?
When I was able to record a single, Love is What We Need, featuring 17 gospel artistes and shooting the video with a total of 55 people from the entertainment industry from different tribes and different religious backgrounds. Through this song, we came together to pass a message to the whole world, saying it doesn’t matter, who you are or where you are from, with love, we can dwell together in unity and build peace in the world.
Which famous musician do you admire and why?
Vashawn Mitchell, Panam Percy Paul, Mama Bola Aare, Nathaniel Bassey, Frank Edwards, Femi Micah , Ibitayo Jeje and Patricia King to mention a few. They are very original.
Your role models in the music industry
I have a lot of people in the music ministry that I have great respect for and admire. The only role model I have is Jesus.
Describe your first experience on stage?
The first time I was on stage was a long time ago. I wasn’t singing but I was acting a play, Wedlock of the Gods. It was a very interesting experience as contrary to my fear, I was able to face the large audience and deliver my lines perfectly without stage fright. This greatly helped me subsequently to handle stage performances.
How often and how long do you rehearse your songs before performing?
Very often. I rehearse a lot, even when I am not performing, because sometimes, I have a very short notice before a performance.
How do you handle mistakes while performing?
Though, this hasn’t happened to me, so many times. I could only remember once when I forgot a line in a song and filled in with my own words without making it obvious to the audience.
What is your favourite part of the music making process?
The stage when everything is ready.
Aside from singing gospel, what else do you do?
I am a wife, a mother and at the same time, a businesswoman. I am a beauty consultant running two beauty outfits in Nigeria.
How do you balance your music with other obligations- home front and job?
Through planning, with the help of my very understanding children and husband, and above all, with the help of the Almighty.
How supportive is your husband?
He is very supportive. He puts in his all into ensuring I do well in my ministry. I call him my number 1 fan.
What is the main message in your music?
Describe your style of music?
I do different styles of music, fast beat, highlife, rock and so on.
Who would you like to work with in future?
Patricia King and Ibitayo Jeje.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am currently working on my next album.
What should your fans expect from your third album?
They should expect something better than the former by God’s grace
What has been the best part of your musical career?
Holding a concert in Dubai, in 2012, tagged, An Evening of Worship.
Describe your style of dressing?
What wouldn’t you be caught wearing?
Your take on indecent dressing
I believe one’s style should be, putting on things that will portray one as a responsible person. Our dressing says a lot about us. So, we should always dress the way we want to be addressed.
Best compliment received from a fan?
Best compliment was when someone told me, ‘you make me want to worship this your God, through, the way you worship Him’.
Any message for your fans
To my wonderful fans out there, thank you for believing in me. God bless you immeasurably.
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