MY COLOURFUL ATTIRES ATTRACT MEN A LOT â€“ EMERGING GOSPEL ARTISTE, BLOSSOM GABRIEL
For Blossom Gabriel, praising God with her sonorous voice is one thing she cannot stop doing. In fact, she got addicted to the ritual several years ago, as a teenager. Today, with the support of her Engineer husband, she now has a seven-tracker-album. Entitled: Never Let Go and billed to be launched soon, the mother of two, who's also a fashion designer cum accessory maker, said the gospel project was divinely inspired.
Hugely influenced by the trio of Cece Winans, Onyeka Onwenu and Kefee, the emerging singer who simply wants to be known as Blossom, hinted she's into gospel music in order to affect lives positively and win more souls for God.
With couple of shows, especially church engagements, here and there to her credit, the blossoming songbird from Imo State, is quite optimistic that her full album will make the required impact when dropped on shelves in the next couple of months.
She equally hopes to unveil the videos alongside the album, for her growing fans base to watch, applaud and above all, get inspired. In this encounter, the delectable entertainer dialogued with Daily Sun on germane issues about her burgeoning career, why she's colourful, coping with men, challenges and many more.
Let's begin with your background?
Okay, I'm Blossom Chioma Gabriel, I was born in Imo State, but grew up in Anambra State. I am married to Engineer Gabriel and blessed with two children. Aside being a born again gospel artiste, I'm also a fashion designer and accessory maker with over a decade experience.
Whao! You're three things rolled into one, but let's start with your life as a gospel artiste, how did you join the train?
My romance with gospel music started a long time ago, during my days in secondary school, in fact, I was just 16 years then that should be in 1989 or 1990. I saw myself singing and writing Christian songs.
However, as a child growing up, I used to dance a lot. I was highly celebrated in the boarding house as a teenage singer and song writer. I later took it to the next level by singing in churches and other social engagements, until I came to Lagos in 1991. While in Lagos, I kept writing and praising God with my voice, until I released my debut album last year, entitled: 'Never let go.' It's a seven tracker and Never Let go came out first as a single and we started promoting it last year. I also have a wedding track in the album. It is an inspirational work that was divinely inspired.
This work had been ready since last year, yet it has not been officially released. Why the delay and how soon do you intend releasing it?
God's willing, before the end of this year, the launch will take place, after which the full work will be released into the market. I have discussed with some marketers but still trusting God to give me the best person to distribute my work effectively. I have already shot the video of 'Never let go', as soon as a good marketer comes, I will shoot the remaining videos. Hopefully, all the videos should be out before the end of the first quarter of next year.
Since turning professional last year, what would you say are the major challenges and how have you been coping with them.
The challenges are huge but by the grace of God, we won't be deterred. First is that, as a new artiste, a lot of people will look down on you, especially marketers because you have not made a name yet. Sometimes, the way other colleagues approach us is hurting. Even the way you are looked at is not encouraging. People want to only identify with those that have names, forgetting that one day; we will also make names and be discovered.
All theses challenges do not weigh me down. Again, funding is a major challenge because its very difficult getting sponsors as a gospel artiste. Secular singers are privileged in that area. But I know that God will make a way. I single handedly raised the funds that was used in putting together this work. Just my husband and I took care of all the expenses. I used the money realized from my fashion and accessory businesses and the one from my husband to start work on the album.
Are you saying that you never had issues with your husband while your were starting in the music industry?
Since the very beginning, my husband has given me 100% support and we have been happily married for over a decade. He approved of it after telling me to hold on a bit them.
As a rising gospel artiste, how often do you get invitations to perform at Christian gatherings and shows?
God has been faithful; I get invitations regularly to perform at several church events, especially weddings based on my wedding track. But I think I will be more appreciated when the full work is dropped in the market, because right now, most people do not know the value of my work. However, they are satisfied with the little they have seen from me so far.
Aside God, where else do you draw your inspiration from?
Honestly, it's God alone that gave and still giving me the inspiration and motivation to carry on as a gospel artiste. In fact, the inspiration from God started when I was even a kid and it has really helped in my career.
You are a gospel artiste, fashion designer, an accessory maker and above-all, a wife with children, how has it been combining all these together?
It's been tough and interesting, but all the things I do, are gifts from God. And because they are special gifts from God, I enjoy doing all of them despite the stress. I never learnt beads making or fashion designing, they are natural gifts from God. My hands are blessed and gifted. Another thing that has really made my work easier is the support of my husband and the kids. My son, daughter and even husband all sing very well.
If given the opportunity, which Nigerian gospel artiste would you love to feature in this your album?
I would love to feature Kefee, in fact, I'm currently trying to approach her. I plan to make some readjustments before releasing the full album, and hopefully, I might have a duet with Kefee as part of the new package for my growing fans base. She's bold and has faith in herself. I also like the way she works. I like her ways.
In Nigeria today, we have a lot of charlatans and imposters masquerading as gospel musicians, now that you have joined the gospel train, what would you say makes you real and unique?
First and foremost, I'm led by the spirit of God and also not a copy cat. I have all my songs written, composed and arranged by me. I am very original because I do not have anybody's songs in my album. The fact that I am 100% original makes me different. I don't think it makes sense when you put other peoples' works together and call it a gospel album, just because you want to make money. No need copying other people to be a gospel artiste just be original by being yourself.
With what you have gone through in the last one year, do you think there is a bright future for up and coming gospel acts like you in the industry?
I think and believe there is a great future for us because everybody must go back to God to give account and gospel songs have a way of touching lives and also changing lives. And because we cannot do without God, it means there is hope for new comers like me. Everyday people listen to new songs and lyrics that touch lives. For me, it's a journey I have started and there is no going back. I became born-again in 1997, after I saw myself preaching in the dream.
But before then, I had already formed the special habit of studying the Bible as a young Catholic. I was groomed and transformed later when I started attending Pentecostal Churches. Nobody preached to me to do that, my soul and body wanted it and I follwed it wholeheartedly. Currently, I have a special ministry for the poor and drug addicts.
How are you coping with marriage and its attendant challenges?
We thank God for the strength, support and understanding. I have been married for over 13 years. Marriage for me is a wonderful and good experience; in fact, it's good to be married.
When your full album finally hits shelves, what is the core message, you intend passing across?
The message of love and people believing in themselves, we should also believe in God and seek knowledge because you will find. Again, do not blame uncles and aunts for your misfortune, just discover what you have within you and work with it to the glory of God.
Let's look at your other sides, as an accessory maker cum fashion designer, how did that part of you evolve?
First and foremost, when you talk about accessories, you talk about bags, beads, hats and other fashion items; I have been in accessories since 1997 and cannot really say how it all started. All I can say is that God has over blessed my hands. Professionally, I went into fashion designing in 2001, unlike 1997 that I started beading. As an artiste, I costume myself always. In fact, kraffitude, which is my label, did all the costumes in my video. Kraftitude is nine years this year and has done several great jobs for me and other people.
If you are to choose between singing, beads making and fashion designing, which would you opt for?
They are all natural gifts given to me by God and I enjoy all of them. But if you ask me to pick one, I think I will go for music, which gives life. Mind you, fashion clothes people outwardly, while music enriches and clothes you internally. It also beautifies your inner mind.
You are 37, pretty and married with two children, how often do men chase you especially now that you are gradually hugging the klieglights?
They come after me, but not always, just once in a while. I also think that the way I carry myself prevents them from coming always. Although, I always act, behave and present myself as a married woman, but some of them do not care about your status. I always stand my ground whenever such happens.
In the midst of all these, have you ever been tempted by the opposite sex?
I have not been tempted, but advances had come my way. Each time I come in contact with them, I always walk away by wriggling myself out, because if I slow down, I might be trapped. Most times, I discuss the ugly experience with my husband and we usually laugh over it.
Have you ever bothered to find out from these men, what usually attract them to you?
I don't really know because I'm not the men. I cannot say, but if I might ask you a question, do I look ugly? God created all of us very beautiful in his own image and we have to be attracted to people. I am a beautiful woman and have to be attracted to people. As a marriage counselor, I always advise women to look good, so that their husband do not look outside.
Men love colours and beautiful things, so you as a wife must ensure that you look beautiful both inside and outside. For a woman, outside beauty is not enough. A woman must always look good; I am also a designer, so I must always look good. Being born-again does not mean I should not look good, because even the heaven is made of gold. As a born-again, I love colours too and my husband knows it, even my role models, Cece Winans and Onyeka also dress good, even Kefee.