23 June 2014


"Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us" ~Martin Luther

Music means many things to different people. For the young boy trying to impress the guests at the Karaoke bar, music is a dream. For the baby in her cot trying to catch her nap, music is a sleeping pill. For the artiste moving from city to city and singing from stage to stage, music is money and food. For my guest, Nath, music is a calling and the very essence of his life.

A graduate of Politics and International Relations from the University of London, Nathaniel forfeited an established career in mainstream Jazz music to find meaning and purpose for his life and music, and this led to his career in gospel music which has being a source of blessing to many lives around the world.

In this quick stroll, Nath shares his conviction to sing for God and explains the difference between the music industry and music ministry. For World Music Day 2014, here's my stroll with Nathaniel Bassey;

Ebenezar: Thank you for accepting my invitation to stroll Mr Nathaniel. Happy World Music Day to you and other musicians out there.

Nathaniel: Happy World Music Day to you and all the readers too

Ebenezar: What can you say about the impact of music on your life so far?

Nathaniel: Music has given me so many opportunities, privileges and fun, too numerous to count.

Ebenezar: How did you discover your music? Because from what I gathered, you studied Urban and Regional Planning in Unilag, and Politics and International Relations at the University of London. So how did you finally choose music?
On the set of "Someone's at the Door" video
Nathaniel: The thing is, Music had always been there even before university

Ebenezar: You're regular on social media always dropping messages to inspire and admonish your fans and followers. Considering the fame and influence that follows music and musicians these days, how can musicians convert that influence to create positive change in the society?

Nathaniel: Social media is a big platform to reach and communicate with people. And since I can not possibly reach my friends and aspiring musicians individually, it is a great avenue to share my views on not just music, but life in general. Music is known to be a massive influence; shaping cultures and people. As such, musicians must be deliberate on the things they do, say and how they live.

Ebenezar: Okay, I asked that because these days secular music--as we see on TV--has been reduced to half-naked girls, shiny jewelry and vulgar language. Is this the reason you decided to sing for God alone?

Nathaniel: I sing to God alone because I love Him, and because he has called me to minister before Him.

Ebenezar: Your story is like a reverse of what happens these days in the sense that you started from playing secular jazz before you moved to Gospel. These days we see more and more Gospel musicians going 'mainstream' as they call it-- with the move of Mali Music being the latest. How have you managed to stay focus as a minister?
Nathaniel: Well, I did, I actually started in church, remained in church, but then did mainstream by the side. However, the time came when I had to decide fully for God. The grace and mercy of God has kept me thus far.

Ebenezar: Pst Mfon, your late mentor, used to tell you "Music is beyond making money" And people say money is one reason Gospel musicians are going mainstream. I'm asking this for the benefit of young ministers in the gospel music industry, how can a gospel musician balance singing for God and surviving on music--that is making money out of it? How do you do it?

Nathaniel: Well, if God has called someone, he'll always make provision. I have a revelation that the music ministry is way different from the music industry. The rules are diametrically opposed to each other, and if He has truly led one into the music ministry, somehow he ensures provision.

Ebenezar: I heard about the Trumpet and Ministerial Academy(TAMA) sometime ago, is that Academy still on? And how can interested persons get in touch?

Nathaniel: TAMA is still alive, but due to my busy schedule, it has been on a break, hoping to begin sometime soon.

Ebenezar: The sound of your voice and the sound of your trumpet are special sounds one can't hear anywhere else on earth, and I'm moved to ask, what is the secret behind that sound? Is it rehearsals, or...?

Nathaniel: The anointing makes the difference. The presence of God is what I've always desired when I minister.

Ebenezar: Are you working on anything new presently?

Nathaniel: I'm working on an album in Houston, USA presently.

Ebenezar: Wow, that's cool.

Nathaniel: Yeah, I am trusting God to have it out later in the year.

Ebenezar: One of your popular songs is "Book of Life" and the recurring question, "is your name in the book of Life?"... Can you tell us a bit about this book? And why individuals--not just Christians--should be interested in getting their names into this book?

Nathaniel: For want of time, I'd encourage readers to read the book of revelations to know more about this great book. The book of life.

Ebenezar: Apart from singing and playing the trumpet are there other ventures you're involved on?

Nathaniel: Yes, there are quite a few of them. Serving our youth church as a leader of the team, mentoring, etc

Ebenezar: Finally, people look up to you a lot and I'll like you to drop a word of advice for those musicians who look up to you for inspiration.

Nathaniel: Seek God above all else, including music. Sometime musicians tend to make a god out of music.

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for time sir, it was a pleasure strolling with you.

Nathaniel: Thank you

For more about Nathaniel, and to keep up with his tours and concerts, you can follow him on twitter @nathanielblow , or Like his Facebook page

Just like I said on my stroll with Bez last year, please musicians should focus more on touching lives with their lyric and music content rather than displaying nude women and men--mostly women--in their music videos. So you smoked weed--which is bad for your health, by the way--and you had sex (which counts as fornication) last night huh? Please do you have to go into the studio and make a song about it for the consumption of the general public? Like seriously? Who cares? And the Radio stations giving precious air time to empty, useless, good-for-nothing songs should please STOP! Yes, please just stop, It's annoying.

Recently, Maria, Co-Founder of Write Paragraphs, participated in a popular music talent show in Nigeria (No mentions, they didn't pay for adverts ☺) and she couldn't help but lament over the number of 'singers' who applied for the competition. Please can I just quickly remind you that music is not for everyone? And that there are few special 'singers' like me who do our thing in the shower
, and should be content with singing inside there because, we are not called to come out. Music is not everyone's calling. Find your sky and stop making yourself miserable and insignificant by competing to shine in someone Else's sky.

Till my next stroll, Let the music keep playing.

Jesus Loves You.

"Then Elisha said, "send for someone who can play the harp." The harpist began playing, and the LORD gave Elisha this message for Joram" (2Kings 3v15, CEV)

A Stroll with Waje Iruobe (For World Music Day)

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