Multi-talented artiste, Ewoma Luther-Abegunde, can simply be described as a purpose-driven woman with a multi-dimensional grace. With a vivacious personality and soul-lifting voice, she is a figure to behold in the gospel music genre. Also a movie distributor, she believes that with necessary support, and the right tools in place, Hollywood will be coming to Nollywood for collaboration. She shares her thoughts with Chinedu Ibeabuchi
From Cinema management to music, what’s the drive?
Very beautiful question. The truth, during the time when I was very active in cinema management/film distribution, I was moonlighting even though it wasn’t easy managing both. But when the time came, I knew it was time to face my music squarely. I can’t keep juggling both and expect to get a rewarding satisfaction in terms of fulfilling purpose. So what was the drive? Fulfilling purpose was the drive.
Are you still into cinema business? What challenges do cinema investors face in the country?
Yes, in the sense that I am open to doing soundtrack/musical scores for movies. Years ago, doing vocals for movie soundtrack was one of the ways we kept body and soul in university. I also do independent marketing for movies that I see have strong potential and the producers are ready to do the work to push the movie. One major challenge cinema investors face in the country is lack of enough exhibiting centers and cinema going culture in Nigeria is still developing. But we are definitely not where we used to be.
Most Nigerian films don’t compete favourable with Hollywood movies in our cinemas. How can this be improved?
That’s a perception because today our movies are favourably competing with Hollywood. Go check the box office figures. But in terms of technicalities, yes they are still way ahead of us; all that is gradually changing , judging from the new kids on the block with their innovative approach to making movies. I must say if we have all the necessary support, and the right tools in place, Hollywood will be coming to Nollywood for collaboration. Now with the age of digitalisation, the gap is gradually getting thinner as everyone now has the opportunity to play on a global space and Nollywood is not slowing down.
When did your interest in music begin?
I grew up in a musical home. Apart from their main profession, my dad was a keyboardist and my mum is a superb singer. In short, it was a music family. So the interest for music was from a very tender age and I did my first recording in our home studio set up by my dad.
At the age of 6-7 years, I led my first major praise session during the children’s day celebration at church. And as junior student in secondary school, I already had a band made of children in the block of flat where we lived. We were known as the Angelic Voices. It’s been a journey and I am totally grateful to God whom I call Oseme (My Father).
Why gospel music? Are you not concerned that it’s not financially rewarding as secular music?
Growing up, I had people approaching me to come do secular music but I knew on my inside that’s not the path cut out for me. As for it not being financially rewarding, for me, it is a perception. It depends on the pendulum from which you are swinging and seeing things from. Besides, being a gospel artiste doesn’t stop you from knowing the business side of music. I think our generation is beginning to see that aspect and are leveraging on it.
Also, God who has called you into this ministry has a way of taking care of His own.
What inspires your music mood?
I am a creative butterfly and anything ranging from the sound of keys bouncing on your hand, down to reading the word of God, up to seeing the beauty in nature and just hearing a melodious sound coming from the keyboard, guitar or any musical instruments can inspire me. Even sad situations can inspire. One of my favourite songs was written in the kitchen as I was asking God for answers. And He whispered ‘ You are all I need’. My inspiration is not limited as long as I have the Holy Spirit with me.
As an enthusiast of gospel music, what’s the state of this genre in Nigeria?
It is getting better, brighter and more impactful. And the acceptance is cutting across all tribes, culture and nations. So far the gospel of Jesus is spreading.
What impact do you seek to make with your music?
I desire to impact nations with the message of hope and inspiration. It is my mission to ensure that when people listen to my music, watch it on TV, YouTube or whatever platform, the seed of hope in God will be birth in you. So when I hear testimony of ‘how your leading worship stopped me from committing suicide’ or ‘your music gave me hope’, I am happy that Jesus is touching and changing lives for good. I bear a message of hope.
How many releases so far?
An album titled Possibility and 7 singles. And our next project is in the pipeline. More updates shall be communicated when the time comes by His grace.
What or who inspires your music mood?
It varies from people, memories, places and divinity. I have the privilege to be mentored by Sinach and that was and is still an amazing journey for me. I also get inspired by the works of people like Ada Ehi, with her avant-garde style for Jesus, Nathaniel Bassey with the prophetic sound, Maranda Curtis, Yolanda Adams, I really love black American singers and there are some cool young dudes in the gospel scene that I really like their vibes and genre of music (rap in our local dialect). We keep learning everyday, we never stop. I sincerely celebrate every gospel artiste out there who is making JESUS proud.
What challenges do gospel artistes face in Nigeria?
Well, I can’t speak for everyone. Hence, I will give a generic answer. Finance is one. To have a world-class musical production, that is, total the package from PR, down to branding, marketing, etc. This requires a lot of money. Secondly, support from our media houses in terms of playing our songs daily and not just on weekends, mainly on Sunday morning radio rotation. These are the two major things I would like to highlight here.
Tell us about your family life?
I am blessed and happy because I am married to my childhood friend turned best friend. We both are very passionate about fulfilling our God given purpose. We are blessed with three wonderful children.
Where do we see Ewoma in the next few years?
Ewoma will be using the various platforms God has given to her to give hope, inspire lives both locally and on the global sphere. She would have won a Grammy Award, touring round the nations with the message of hope and making God proud.
Apart from Music and Movies distribution, what else do you do?
I run an online TV platform called Getinspiredtv and our mission is to inspire people to live their best life with the numerous content that we share. I also run a clothing line with my daughter called Rara Clothing.