When it comes to gospel music in Nigeria, Charles Granville is one of the first names that readily comes to mind due to his immeasurable talent and vocal dexterity. He spoke to Rhythms and Sounds about his music career and other sundry issues
What is the latest project you are working on?
I just released two new singles and I worked with ID Cabasa on them. The singles are titled ‘Trip for You’ and ‘God No Be Your Mate’. ‘Trip for you’ talks about my love for God and I wrote it in a way that will appeal to everyone that loves God irrespective of your religion. ‘God No Be Your Mate’, which is the second song came while recording in the studio. We initially did the slower version of it before we got the one we have now. I am sure of the quality of what I just released because I took out time to ensure that both songs meet any standard anywhere in the world.
What do you intend to achieve with the songs?
Firstly, I sing basically to glorify God. I sing because people need to have a relationship with God. I look forward to doing more songs that will inspire people throughout Africa and all over the world. For instance, ‘Trip For You’ has lots of messages in that direction and is not just limited to the Nigerian audience alone. I was at the airport in Casablanca when I wrote the song. I had a transit flight, returning to Nigeria.
I had to stop in Casablanca for 2hours. It just occurred to me that I felt blessed because 15years back, nobody would ever believe that I would be traveling the world the way I am now. I felt very privileged sitting down there at the airport even though it was for 2hours. I started appreciating what God has done in my life by writing that song and telling Him that I am tripping for Him. Not because of what He did for me but because of who He is to me. That was how I felt at that point in time and I translated my feeling into a song. Basically, these two singles are the first set of singles from my next album
How will you like to be described musically?
I would love to be seen as a very good songwriter. I write songs for people, but here in Nigeria, people don’t want to buy songs. Everybody wants to sing his/her own songs. I am a songwriter and a performer as well. There are people blessed with more than one talent. I do lots of things at the same time and I do them well. Song writing is in my family and I believe I was born with it.
After these two singles, we would be looking out for your next album?
I am still recording with I.D Cabasa because we are working on the album together under his Coded Tunes label. I will be releasing more singles as they come before even releasing the album but basically, Cabasa who is the CEO of Coded Tunes decides what to release and what not to release, but for me, I will keep recording, writing songs and making people happy. I haven’t changed much but I have improved. ID Cabasa is a very good producer I must say. I have always loved to work with producers who help to bring out the best in me.
Are you signed to Coded Tunes?
I won’t want to use the word signed but we are working together. Officially, I am an artiste under Coded Tunes. I have always being an independent artiste before now but it is not so good for an artiste to be independent, no matter how much money you make. It is always good to work with other people that have the music business experience. Before now, I was my own manager, producer, director and all. I was doing all the work by myself. That can’t take you far if you don’t look for the professionals who are specialist in their field to look into your work and give you the best that they can. Now I am very happy to have a team of people working with me to achieve some other objectives.
Do you still have plans to take up more movie roles?
Movie is time consuming. The issue I have had so far is basically finding one that falls with the period that I am available but nevertheless, there are some directors that want to feature me in their forth-coming movie and I will work with them.
Apart from music and movie, what else are you working on?
Yes, I have a project that I want to work on this year. I am still battling with the vision and finding good people that I am going to work with. I want to make impacts on many people’s lives and help them achieve their dreams.
As an artiste, how much controversial can you become?
I don’t believe in controversy. Controversy sells but as a person, I am just I. I know that people who will like me will definitely like me for who I am and not from a controversial issue.
Why did you prefer gospel music to the circular one?
For me, it’s because of my relationship with God and I always like to give appreciation for who He is and for what He has done. Also to encourage people that whatever they are going through, things will definitely get better. I sing gospel music because of my love for God. I also believe that I am called to change the face of gospel music.
What’s the way forward for Charles?
I usually let God lead and I follow the directions He shows me. But I will say I see myself being the one that makes good gospel music that will impact on people’s lives. I pray that God will lead me, help me and make my kind of music an appealing music to Nigerians, Africans and the rest of the world.