‘Been born in the Cherubim and Seraphim has given me a great opportunity, I must honestly say.’ These were the words of Emmanuel Somuyiwa, popularly known as E-drumz, a United Kingdom-based member of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Ayo ni o. Apart from being an ordained prophet of the church, he believes in preaching the Gospel of Christ through his music. The gospel artiste, music teacher/producer and sound engineer tells ADURA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE about his life and music among other sundry issues
Are there fun memories of childhood you cannot forget?
I was born and grew up in Italy. I can never forget the first time I played the drums in my church, it was in 1992 during the anniversary of Good Women Band in the C&S Church Love Divine, Italy. My dad was the choirmaster but for some reasons, both church drummers were absent from the church service on that day. I was five years old, and just went up to him to volunteer for the duty; I was given a high chair to sit on. I played to my heart’s content, went home and slept for so long that my parents were worried.
Why did you choose to study music in school when many Nigerian parents in the UK preferred their children to study medicine, law or engineering?
I always had a passion for music, and negotiated with my parents to choose music technology as one of my options in college, together with business studies and Information Technology. It wasn’t easy to convince them, but I managed to do that. The basic knowledge I learnt back then has provided the right foundation for my music career till date.
Did you get the support of your parents to study music or were there initial opposition?
My parents have always been supportive of my music aspirations and bought me instruments from a very young age. I read Housing Management at the university and that is my profession today. However, I have continued to study and update my knowledge and experience in the field of music and music technology.
Apart from being in music, you also do other things. What are those things?
As mentioned, I read Housing Management at South Bank University in London, and have recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health from London Metropolitan University. My career involves working with disadvantaged and vulnerable adults in the community, supporting their housing needs but also other health and social needs. I have worked for Local Councils as well as Housing Associations, and have acquired a good level of expertise.
Can you also be considered as a gospel artiste?
I am not particularly in favour of the term gospel artiste. The gospel is for ministers, not for artistes. So I am a gospel artiste – the aim of my ministry is to preach the good news to unbelievers and draw believers closer to God. The gospel is not art, the gospel is the good news of salvation that must be preached to all men.
How many albums or singles have you released so far?
I have released three singles so far, with a fourth single due to be released soon in 2020. I have not yet released an album, though such a project is in the pipeline.
You just released a single, what influenced it?
I was inspired by current world events, with the pandemic and lockdown in many nations on earth right now. I felt God had given me a message that despite all these events, He is still God, hence the title of the single ‘Iwo ni Olorun’.
From being a music teacher to a production guru, sound engineer, and a gospel artiste, would you say you are fulfilled?
To be honest, not yet, as I feel I am just at the beginning of the impact that I want to make. My dream is to fill stadiums and bring large numbers of people to Christ. I want to have my own Christian record label, in order to help upcoming ministers to reach the world with their message.
When were you ordained a prophet and how have you been combining the prophetic ministry with your secular work/career?
I see my calling as an integral part of my life, so there is no separation. I am who I am, and the side of me God needs is at work at any point in time, whether in my work, family, church life or ministry at large.
What would you like to see changed in the C&S church?
I would like to see a C&S Church where the Word and Will of God are at the centre of the church while the Word of God is being applied daily into people’s lives. Evangelism needs to come back into the fold as well, equipping ministers and church members to grow in their spiritual walk, character building, identifying gifts and talent so they can be used to advance the Kingdom of God. The C&S Church must fully utilise the five-fold ministry that Jesus Christ established, which will greatly reduce the expectation of prophets to be all. The C&S Church needs to become more inclusive and open, and embrace excellence, raise our standards and strive for the best, rather than just the acceptable.
Tell us about your experience at the C&S and CCC joint programme in Europe which you organised last year?
I organised a joint session for C&S and CCC choirs to sing together. I wanted to celebrate my birthday, and while praying, God ministered to me to have a praise night. I believe the event promoted not just the church, but also the notion of bringing professionalism into our activities. People from different churches came together with no arguments to worship God – I believe it’s the first of such occurrences in the UK and Europe. During this event, we identified ways to improve for next time and also individual talents that can be further developed.
Will the same the programme be hosted this year?
I hope to, by the grace of God, once the COVID restrictions are lifted and people are allowed to gather again in large numbers.
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