Interview: Joe Praize shares his music and Christian life with Selah Afrik


Thanks to Selah Afrik for having this interview, enjoy reading below.
"My journey started in a way that I can’t fully describe, but I just know I was this young guy in the choir , coming for my rehearsals and committed to what I was doing ,I actually didn’t see anything like becoming an artiste , that is why I always say that i am not living my dream but living God’s dream for me .”



It’s not that difficult to tell that Gospel music minister Joe Praize stands out even amongst other Gospel artistes, what is hard to figure out however is how he manages to go against the popular trends with his music and still sell out!
Joe Praize stand proudly amongst the Gospel music minister who makes music from the heart (or spirit as the case may be), yet manages to outshine every form of competition that there is. Beyond the vocal prowess is a power that  follows his music with sincerity and purity of worship oozing from every note, subjecting every rules of engagement to the dictates of the spirit.
Joe said he never envisioned being an artiste. Peradventure that was the case, the world and the Christiandom would have been robbed of the world’s last breed of worshipers, able to influence true worship and not minding if that does not equates multiplicity in bank statement nor social media trends.
Nonetheless, Joe Praize is one of the biggest names in Gospel Music in Africa. An international multi-award winning Gospel singer, song writer and music director, he runs a record label, ‘COAST 2 COAST’ which was coined from his mandate to take Gospel Music to the ends of the earth, as he would also say “gospel music is for everybody”. One of the highlights of his music is featuring alongside two time Grammy award winners, The Soweto Gospel Choir‘ in his chart buster and multi award winning song, ‘Mighty God‘.
Talking about how music started for him, Joe Praize said:
SelahAfrik:  You have been in the Gospel music scene for a while now, how would you rate the growth in the Gospel music Industry in present times?
JP: All I can say is that it is getting better, it wasn’t like this several years ago , the gospel music industry is really evolving fast , and it will still get stronger and better… Gospel music is never obsulate, its always relevant in all times. The quality of our productions now is far better than what it used to be several years ago. I am particularly thankful to God for helping us to get to where we are today.
SelahAfrik: Tell us about your background, childhood, family and education? 
JP: Childhood was beautiful, though I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, thank God now I have a golden spoon… (Laughs). I am number 8 in a family of 9, was born in Opoji { Esan Central}  in Edo state, had my primary, secondary education in Benin City, then several other things came along, later went back to school in 2001 after relocating to Lagos, had my Diploma in Social Work and Administration at the Lagos State University, then went all the way to the north, UNIVERSITY OF JOS, where I had my Bsc in Social Work and Administration still.
SelahAfrikDid your background played any part on your decision to go into Gospel music?
JP: Well I didn’t grow up in a christian home, but my home was a christian loving home. I  eventually got into church as a very young teenager, and I believe so well that my being in that church environment gave me the opportunity to see myself as a spacial breed,  knowing that my life was going to be great… I didn’t quite know how or when but it HAPPENED .
SelahAfrikAt what point did you notice that your music ministry was becoming huge?
JP: 2004 , that was when I began to fully recognize the hand of God upon me in a special way… in all these knowing I needed enough time to fully understand it and also be trained… I thank God for my Man of God , Pastor Chris Oyakhilome PhD. I am so excited he is my man of God, every artiste need to have a man of God, a teacher, prophet , a mentor… i am thankful to God he put me under a man I call WORD BANK …
joepraize 2SelahAfrik: Your song “All the Praise” sounds like an allusion to your name “Joe Praize” – is the story in the video parallel to your story as well?
JP: Yes Oh!  that story is a very true life story , we didn’t even show everything there so it doesn’t appear to the outside world on a pity note … but in all these things GOD SHOWED HIMSELF STRONG . Joe Praize as a name was borne out of a lifestyle, the all the praise song which happened to be the title of my second album came as a result of God arrangement for my musical career, because my very first album was “MY PRAISE,” so it’s not really an allusion but vision followed.
SelahAfrik: How did it feel making “Mighty God” with the Soweto Gospel Choir?
JP: I felt like ”yeah… lets go!” Seriously, doing that song and video was just one thing I did and so proud. You know at times you do somethings and in the end you feel you have put in your very best to make something stay for eternity… I always believe that if its for Jesus , then it has to be ON POINT. The Soweto Gospel Choir actually were so delighted that they got on the track. I love those guys man… they have that rich vocal prowess that you can not ignore .
SelahAfrik Tell us about some of your nominations and awards.
JP: SABC CROWN GOSPEL AWARDS 2010, BLW PRESTIGIOUS AWARD 2010 { SONG OF THE YEAR}, AFRICA GOSPEL MUSIC AWARD UK{ BEST WEST AFRICA}, NATIONAL GOSPEL AWARDS, BLW PRESTIGIOUS AWARD 2011{ WORSHIP SONG OF THE YEAR }, NIGERIA GOSPEL MUSIC AWARD 2012, GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS ITALY 2013, and still counting … BUT REMEMBER MAN GIVES AWARD, GOD GIVES REWARD.
Read full interview on SelahAfrik.com

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