In this interview with OnBecomingAMan.com, award-winning Afro-fusion artiste, Akinade Ibuoye, a.k.a GAISE, shares about his music career, being a Christian in entertainment industry, life as a family man, and much more. Enjoy!
Please tell us about yourself – education, growing, career, family, etc.
I was born in the mid-80s to a family of nine; 7 children. I am youngest of the 7 and the only guy. I was born in Ile-Ife and attended First Foundation Primary school, before my family moved to Lagos. I attended Kings College, Lagos, and returned to Ile-Ife to study Economics at the Obafemi Awolowo University. That’s as far as I have gone with academics. Right after the mandatory National Youth Service Corps programme, I went straight into professional music. I got signed to a label and here I am today.
I am a musician, an Afro-fusion artiste, with an album and couple of singles to my credit. I’m married to Funto Ibuoye and blessed with a son – Adegbolabo
What’s the meaning/story behind the pseudonym/acronym “GAISE”? Please share more about how your singing career began.
GAISE is an acronym for my initials, Gboluwaga Akinade Ibuoye Samuel. The “E” is cosmetic; just to make the pronunciation of the “GAISE” more obvious. Music as a profession for me started after NYSC; however, I had been writing and singing for about 6 years before this point; that was in 2003/4. I started to perform at small gatherings in 2004. I got into OAU, Ife in 2004 and started to perform in OAU in 2005. I organised my first concert in Uni in 2006 and the second in 2008. Those were all the steps I had been taking before it was time to launch out professionally and take seriously as a career. My music career officially started after Youth Service when I was signed on to Sanctified Records.
You graduated with a 2.1 degree in Economics from OAU; one would think you’d have pursued that career path. Why did you deviate from economics as a possible career path?
I did for two reasons: firstly, I really wanted to do music. I was passionate about it then and I still am. Secondly, the opportunity to be signed to a label right after youth service – that was the opportunity I had to pursue music. I had found out from my own individual attempts that music is capital-intensive, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to pursue it on my own. So when my path crossed with someone who was willing to take a chance with a Christian artiste and invest in him, I took the chance and just moved on.
We have listened to your songs and can’t help, but chuckle and marvel at the witty style of delivery. Why do you choose to sing the way you do?
I’m not sure that it’s like I choose to. That’s how it comes. That’s how I write. I am a playful person when I’m in my elements and I think that’s what shines through when I’m writing.
With your experience in the industry, what are the challenges you faced and those you still encounter? Has there been any improvement?
Well, maybe because my music is rather more conscious and message-driven, not so much in line with pop culture, it hasn’t been as easy to push as the more mainstream or pedestrian content that gets to ride more easily. For the first 5 years, that was the major challenge. That push, that publicity, that promotion for it .
I’ll say we probably didn’t have the best know-how and the best strategies and all of that; which is something I’m improving on at this moment.
The improvement has been more internal, within my setup. It is yet to be revealed on the outside. But I’m fully persuaded that in 2017, these improvements will manifest without and outside for the fans to see.
How have you been able to keep your faith vibrant in such an industry as yours?
I don’t forsake the gathering and fellowship of the believers; that’s the best way to put it and, by that I don’t just mean going to church, I mean …the friends that I keep, the acquaintances that I have; going to church regularly where you keep receiving the light of God’s word weekly. Then, you have your own personal time with God through his Word and prayer; all these basic Christian principles are the same things I believe have kept me.
You are married and blessed with a son. How did you meet your wife and what were some of the most notable experiences you had whilst in courtship?
I went to a conference, a business of your talent conference. I was an attendee at the event and she was at the registration table as a volunteer …she caught my eye, we exchanged numbers, more like BB pins, that day. We got chatting after that day.
Memorable experiences while in courtship: oh, we broke up once! We broke up on a day, and made up the next day. I think that’s notable. We met October 20, 2012, and we were married in November 2014, which was about two years and one month after we met. We started dating/courting in July 2013 and by November the following year we were married. We had a quick work in holiness…or judgment and that is notable I think… It was quite quick.
At the time we were dating, my wife was making five times what I was earning. I had come clean from the beginning before we started so there were no grey areas; it was clear from the start and all through that period she was understanding and supportive. It was during that period that I registered GAISE as a trademark. My wife supported with the funds I used to register GAISE because at the time I didn’t have it; that’s one thing that she did that I will always remember. I guess that passes for a notable experience as well.
How do you manage being a celebrity, a husband, and a father? Has anything changed about you since you became a father?
Oh yeah, I’m calmer, more balanced, and more mature. I think through my decisions more, because now there are two lives that I am responsible for, and that I’ll have to answer for. There is a higher sense of responsibility that comes with that.
How do I manage being a celebrity? I don’t think I can answer that question. I’m just me. I don’t act different because I am a celebrity, or think I am a celebrity, if I am a celebrity. I’m just myself. I speak with everyone I can. I still go to the market occasionally. I gist with people, my barber, my friends that are there. At the end of the day, I’m just me Akinade Ibuoye. GAISE is my career; GAISE is my work; GAISE is purpose. I just try to keep it as real as I can.
What are your thoughts concerning the role of the man in the home and in the body of Christ? Are men standing up to the task, or do we have a major problem at hand in that regard; if yes, how can this be solved?
In the body of Christ, my thoughts are there are no gender specific roles, as the Bible says there’s neither Jew nor Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.
In the home however, I think the man ought to be the Priest, Provider and Protector. Give his utmost best to ensure his wife and children are leading good lives and are in the center of God’s will for their lives. To be a husband and father is indeed a high call. This, in the home, is where we as men need to do better, much better, and the entire society will be better for it. You can’t be a responsible man at home and be irresponsible outside, or raise kids who will be irresponsible outside!
Do you currently support any men-focused ministry or initiative? How would you describe the importance of raising young men as disciples of Christ in the 21-st century?
As a body or organisation, no I don’t. At least not at the moment. But I am in a small group of married friends, men, who meet as often as we can to pray, play, interact and as well encourage and learn from one another.
Raising young men as disciples of Christ in the 21st century isn’t just important, it’s urgent! Young men who are truly consecrated and committed to God, yet have a practical understanding of the times and can speak the language of this generation. There are agendas of different kingdoms all over the place gaining ground and capturing the minds and hearts of the next generation. There must be a young and vibrant crop of Christian youth who go carry God agenda for head, and boldly, yet strategically, advance the cause of His kingdom!
Some believe that a career in music isn’t financially sustainable. Do you face the same challenge? How do you overcome it?
I have faced it in times past. Things are much better now, but things can still be a lot a better, so we are working towards ensuring that things get a lot better. We are working towards being financially sustainable and financially buoyant. Music, right now, not just abroad, is bringing some cool “cheese” the way of many people and music is a very profitable thing to get into. One needs to play the cards right. One needs to know the strategy to employ and the people to engage so as to get into the centre of things.
Please share some tips and advice for young men who are interested in pursuing a career in music?
Keep writing and every opportunity you get to perform, perform and, for more info, follow me on social media so We Can Talk More; the handle is @gaisebaba everywhere.
What book(s) are you currently reading? How about your favourite bible verse?
Truth and Transformation by Vishal Mangalwadi. I am also reading A Practical Guide to Prayer by Olubi Johnson. I read it to learn more about prayer – it’s a workbook. My favourite Bible verse is Isaiah 49:6, ” …I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Any other thing you would like to talk about – new projects, etc.
I’m recording a song right now that will help kick-start a movement by God’s grace; a movement of kingdom minded artistes going mainstream to influence/define culture through entertainment. That’s what this year will be about… It’s time to take our LIGHT OUT!
Thank you so much for your time, GAISE! We are glad you could make out time to share with us!