Hello to the world and all good people out there doing the best they can. Before I begin I just want to send a prayer for my Auntie who is battling cancer and I pray that she can one day find peace and a release from her pain, love you! An article I read last week in the LA Times said, “Apple executives contend that on-demand music services have begun to cannibalize download sales, and its representatives are demanding the labels create a period reserved for digital purchasing.” I still love to download and pay per song as I like to know all my music is ready and in the cloud when I want it. I do see how others might prefer $10-$15 per month for a huge buffet of music though. In other news, Kobalt Music Group, the leading independent music publisher and music services company, announced that an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm for Michael S. Dell and his family, has made a significant growth capital investment in the business. When I hear news like this I smile as it reminds me the music industry is truly alive & a solid investment opportunity. In life we are exposed to so much negativity & sin. It never used to bother me until I got older and had chilren. When I hear music that I not only enjoy but that has a positive even spiritual message, I get excited. My guest today goes by the name Juochi and she is the epitome of this. Juochi not only has music that pulls you in but she has a life story and an unbreakable bond with her faith. Join us this week as Juochi speaks on life growing up in Nigeria, how did The Holy Spirit bring her to music, staying motivated to constantly write & record music, and so much more!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and how are you coping with this long & cold winter?
I am talking from Ontario Canada; it is —16 degrees today, very cold. This year has been exceptionally cold, can’t wait for spring.
Stoli: You have an amazing story. What was life like growing up in Nigeria and was music a big part of your family life?
Yes indeed, I have an amazing story, I had a beautiful childhood in Nigeria, and having come from a large family of seven children; being second to the last was a lot of fun. I will say to some extent music was a major part of my childhood. I always look forward to Sunday schools because that’s where we did most of the singing and dancing. It was such a beautiful time in my life. At home I sang and danced very often with neighborhood children. It was fun. I never knew there was a reason behind my great desire to sing and dance as a child.
Stoli: You are not only a musician but a software engineer. How would you say that your engineering education has helped advance your music career, if at all?
My engineering education has helped me a lot in my music career, not only in the financial aspect of recording the songs and promotion but also in the areas of visualization, music arrangement, and the actual production of each song.
Stoli: You are a very religious and spiritual person & musician. How did The Holy Spirit help you see that you had a talent for music and to pursue that as well?
Well, I didn’t have a clue that I can write gospel songs talk less of singing. Didn’t have a clue at all. I remember sometime in the 90’s, the Holy Spirit started ministering to me continuously about singing through a gentle man at a Church that I use to attend. But I paid little attention to the gentle man. Singing wasn’t number one priority in my life at the time. I sang as a child as part of Sunday school requirement and for fun. It was in 2009, that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me in my dream, with some of His angels who started singing praises to Him because of me and amazingly, I understood clearly what they were singing and I woke up with the music. It was such an unexplainable pleasant experience that is beyond human words in terms of explanation. Still didn’t have a clue what was going on with me and why there was so much gospel songs coming to me through dreams and I actually heard these songs as the angels were singing majority of them. I started recording the songs on my cell phone but I quickly ran out of room so I had to buy recorders. Even though I knew that something seriously extra ordinary has happened in my life, I was still in denial that it can’t be true that the Lord has called me into the ministry of gospel songs. The Holy Spirit stepped in and clearly ministered to me my calling as a musician and most importantly, He made me to understand that He “The Holy Spirit” is the artist living inside of me and He is the one doing all the work so I should not be afraid.
Stoli: There is so much sin in mainstream music. What do you you think when you see & hear that and what effect does that have on the children?
No doubt it affects children in very negative ways. Because children do not have the capability to discern evil from good, that’s why we as grown ups should monitor what our children listens to and watches on media channels. It is so terrible how these songs controls the mainstream music yet over and over again it has caused many teens their lives. My prayer is that the Lord will reach out to our children and youth and arrest them while they are very young to serve Him before they are hooked on mainstream music.
Stoli: You have released three albums independently. What keeps you inspired to write & record music at such an aggressive pace?
Music to me is a gift from God and when it is a gift, it comes as a divine flow and you don’t have to do so much or sweat so hard to come up with the right lyrics and rhythms. You just have to tap into the divine flow and the music will flow into your life like a river. I have so many songs ready to be recorded.
Stoli: I love your song “Holy Is The Lord.” When did you write that song and how did you come up with the concept for the video?
Thank you! I wrote the song “Holy Is The Lord” some time last year. The Lord gave me that song through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit early one morning in 2013, can’t remember the exact month but I know the year. “2013”.
“In The Presence Of The Lord”:
Stoli: How does it feel that your music is embraced all over the world from Nigeria to Canada?
It feels wonderful, I mean as a musician that’s your goal, to reach and touch lives all over the world through the messages in your songs especially when the songs are from the Lord. It makes a world of difference.
Stoli: How do you juggle your work and music and what other hobbies do you enjoy on your time off?
It is tough, it is a rough world out there but I have learned how to incorporate other activities outside work to achieve my goals. It is a lot of work but when the Lord is on your side, it is victory all the way. I enjoy swimming on my off times.
Stoli: How much time per week is devoted to your music and social media?
My music means a lot to me, I am very passionate about doing God’s work more than any other thing on this planet earth. So I allocate quality time to accomplish my daily goals, at least three hours a day, that number varies, it could be more, depending on my full work week.
Stoli: How has spirituality & music changed your life as a musician and as a person?
What we listen to has profound effects in our lives, particularly music. While I was in college, I started listening to gospel music in my car. I listen to any gospel music that sounds very good that touches my heart. I didn’t know that God was actually training and preparing me for something bigger through those songs. At the same time, the Lord started drawing me closer to him through fellowshipping with other believers and by daily devotion through bible reading and prayers. The Lord continuously but gradually changed a lot of things in my life as I fellowship with Him through bible study, worship and fellowshipping with other believers. Without my continuous and constant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be hard if not impossible journey to be a gospel artist.
Stoli: There is so much evil in the world and so much pain & struggle happening to good people. How do you interpret this and how can people use spirituality to help cope and persevere?
Jesus the Son of God had to go through worst pains, and eventually paid the ultimate price with His blood on the cross for our sins. If God did not spare His only begotten son Jesus Christ who is Lord Himself…how much more man. According to the bible, Jesus said we would go through trials and temptations; we have to be tried by fire. It is part of life’s journey here on earth, the good news is that if you hold on to Jesus, he will make a way of escape for us. So our hope is in the Lord and people should realize that God is the only answer to all our problems. He has made a way through the blood of Jesus. Best thing is to seek for answers in His word and through prayers and follow that lead. There will always be pain and struggle as long as we are here on earth but we already have victory in Christ Jesus.
Stoli: What is coming up for Juochi and where can we follow you online?
Fantastic praise and worship songs coming soon; Ps Stay tuned at.