Home Lifestyle ENTERTAINMENT 10 QUESTIONS: DJ Gosperella


Meet DJ Gosperella, The Royal Dee Jay 

He used to be DJ Alfred Campbell but today, he’s DJ Gosperella. Prince Afojeare Ikhialose-Igbauma, aka DJ Gosperella, the host of Gospel Zone every Sunday on Beat FM, was born for music so to say. He pioneered playing gospel music on radio. He is Nigeria’s first Gospel DJ. He has made Nigerian gospel music a Sunday staple on radio.  Every sentence spoken by Gosperella is punctuated by parables, even from telling you his name, Afojeare Ikhialose-Igbauma, to explaining its meaning, all is laced with parables. Hear him: “My names literally mean, the prince that walks in righteous paths to wealth in foreign lands. Afojeare means Prince; Ikhialose means he who walks in righteous paths; and Igbauma means he who prospers in foreign lands.” 
A prince from the royal household of His Royal Highness, Oba Igbauma Idehai, Ovie of Otuo Owan East LGA of Edo State, Afojeare saw it all in the secular world before he moved to propagating gospel music…

Going by your Beat FM profile, you pioneered strictly gospel musicdeejaying, how did you get into being a gospel DJ?

DJ Gosperella was not always DJ Gosperella. My DJ name originally was DJ Alfred Campbell. DJ Alfred Campbell has been in the DJ business for 30 years running now. 17 of those years were spent in the secular, I mean playing secular music. Well, we were in nightclub doing our thing when God called. I had become born again at a point in my life but I was still in the nightclub business. I was deejayingfor a nightclub, doing parties, that is how we made our money. But this particular day, after a Friday night, Saturday morning I went to a particular corner in the club. I called it prayer corner. It was a Saturday morning I was praying and God said to me I have trained you long enough but the purpose for which I created you, I want you to go and do the same thing in my house. I was like your house, in church, I mean, (laughs). Anyway I took it to be picture, so I didn’t take it serious because I didn’t believe that it could be done.
Gospel music as at that time was nothing to write home about, the Nigeria gospel music arena was the zigzag thing. I had been a DJ all my life playing funky music and all that, what was I going to do playing gospel or in the Church? So, I didn’t take it serious for the whole three years, I was on the run from God. I discovered that when God calls you into a purpose excepting that he doesn’t want you to do it, because the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there of and the heart of Kings is in his hand and he puts there whither-so-ever he wants. Like the ways of the sea according to the scripture, if God want you he will get you. I was running but I didn’t even know if I ran to the deepest part of the earth where darkness is, His eyes were there. So for three years, I ran from 2000 to 2003, until everything I had as a DJ dried out. I didn’t have love for secular music any more; I left the clubs
because if you don’t like your music you can’t be a DJ. I tried to do business because I had some money, running between Nigeria and Ghana, thank God because I was going by sea that he didn’t do to me what he did to Jonah (laughs).  You know, that also dried out and then I didn’t have money any more. Likely with every other human being, when you are in big trouble that is when you remember that there is God.
So God called you into gospel music?
I went back to him praying, asking for help and then he said to me I have given you all the help that you need, I told you to do something and you refused it.  I am the only child of my mother in a polygamous home, my father has so many wives and so many children, but from my mum, I am the only child. So, I didn’t have any kind of mentors or somebody I could run to in my family or outside of the family to say, please help me with money so that I can use to take care of myself, and my family at home. So, I had to turn to God, who was and is
still the only friend I have. So he told me I sent you on an errand, if you don’t do it sorry I don’t have any business with you. So finally, I said, “yes sir let go”. Then I didn’t have any money to buy the equipment that I needed, to do what I needed to do. I went back to Him and said, “ok am ready let go” and He said, “go ahead”. I said, “where is the money to buy things that I need” and he said to me, “what do you have in your hand”, just like he told Moses. What I had in my hand then, was one Toyota Corolla car that I had bought while I was still in the secular world. It was the only valuable thing that I had from the secular world to take along with me, and that car was there I refused to sell it because it was the only thing I had, that I called my own. Something valuable that if they are asking you who are you, ‘am soso person, that’s my car. It was kind of my pride and I didn’t drive it everyday because I didn’t have money to buy fuel. (laughs) I was too proud to do taxi, to be a taxi driver. So at the end of the day, the car was just there, people were even yabbing me. So I said to God, “that car, No o, it is the only thing that I have I will not sell it”, then he left me, God will not argue with you. Now when I look back, ‘am grateful to God that it was me he wanted to use for this purpose if not he would have called someone else. There are always people waiting. Like Elijah said, he was the only prophet that was left in Israel, God said, ‘for where, there are 300 hundred others somewhere. God can turn stone into a human being to praise him if people refuse. So ‘am happy that he penciled me, I mean, he didn’t use a pencil, he used an indelible ink to write my name to blaze this trail. I believe that is why he stayed put with me while I was been stubborn with him. At the end of the day, I had to sell that car because I needed to pay for the equipment, which I had ordered, which were in the country. The person selling was telling me as at that time, that if I did’t pay in two weeke he was going to sell it to somebody else, and I didn’t have money. God has said what is in your hand and the truth is when I sold the car the money was not even enough to pay for those things (equipment) but at the point that I obeyed God and said ok Sir. I sold that car for 50 thousand naira, I was in need of 150 thousand naira or thereabouts. Till tomorrow, how the rest of the money came in, I can’t tell you. But I want to thank God that I sold that car in obedience because ‘am driving bigger cars now. I sowed that seed since then I have been driving at least three good cars. All I have to say is when God calls you be obedient and do what he wants you to do. 

How did you come across the name Gosperalla?

Its like Jacob, when God wanted to start working with Jacob, he changed his name from the ‘supplanter,’ which is Jacob, to ‘father of many,’ which is Israel. When I finally agreed that I was going to do what God says I should do, he said to me that I was going to change your name and I was like “haa na wa o”.  Everything about Gosperalla is God; I don’t take glory for any little thing that comes. The name didn’t come in one day, it was about two or three days, it came in bits, so Gosperalla is actually an acronym for Gospel Reel Out, which means the source of good  news. He said ‘I am changing your name from Alfred Campbell to Gospel,’ so when He called you they will know who you represent and what you represent. So he gave me Gospel, and then Reel and then Out, and ‘am like how. It was miraculous, he was whispering these things into my ears and I was writing them down. In three days, the completion came, Gospel Reel Out, source of good news, acronymised to
Gosperalla. The name stuck when you say DJ Gosperalla, you don’t argue, instantly you think gospel. That is how the name came out, Gospel Reel Out. 

So, you have worked as deejay for secular music before. What are the major differences between secular and gospel music?

First and foremost, music is music, but they all speak a universal language. Music is rhythmical. It first gives the feeling of elation, before you get the lyrics. The truth is as far as this entity called Gosperalla is concerned; there are only two types of music, its either secular or gospel. Yes, under gospel you have hip pop, R$B, inspirational, sentimental, jazz and all that, just the same way you have in the secular world. Now the difference between the two genres of music is, one is with God, it is good news and the other one is without God. Secular means without God, while gospel means good news, which is God; that is the difference. Aside that, every other thing is the same principles, I keep telling people that when you want to do your gospel music, go to the best producers, it is not the rhythm that is gospel. What makes your music gospel is the lyrics, what you say. What makes their music secular is the lyrics, what they are saying, so get good rhythms from good producer and sort it with good news and that’s gospel 

Do you listen to secular music at all?
Well, the truth of the matter is personally in my house you can’t find anything secular music, but the truth is everyday you can’t run away from hearing secular music. Either on your way out or you go to a friend’s house, secular music is all over the place. If I say I don’t listen to it then I will be lying and I don’t like to lie. I listen to it not been played with my own hand, but ‘am forced to listen to it. Because I see I am in this world and the places I visit if I hear them playing secular music I can’t tell them to turn it off because Gosperalla is around. No, it’s not my place but on a personal basis no way, I can’t use my equipment to play secular music. Even if I want to play, it will not play because I have a covenant with God that am not going to use it for secular music and secular music will no go through it and we have that agreement 

Gospel music is not out there as secular music, how do you materials for deejaying?
Hmmm, I don’t agree with you that gospel music is out there at present, many of our young artistes now sing their songs like secular music. When you listen to some gospel music you will first think that it is secular until you listen to the lyric before you know that it is a gospel song, so getting my material for deejaying is not hard for me. The material for my job is too many; in my library I have over 10,000 songs, all gospel.

Gospel music industry, where is it right now? 
An industry, we can’t call it an industry because everybody wants to come to an industry but we are getting there little by little. Gosporella’s passion for the Nigerian gospel music industry is beyond comparison. I have a reserved place in my heart for the artistes I love like Rooftop MCs, Lara George, Bouqui, Nicki Laoye and Sammie Okposo. Sammie is my brother who knows how to do his thing. Nigeria industry in gospel we are getting there very soon because most Christians will now listen to gospel music everyday because we are going into radio stations to enhance people that you can be a Christian 24/7 because it will be all gospel music. So it’s moving up little by little, some artistes are going into real gospel all through gospel. But I thank God for his mercy. 

What are the challenges in the gospel industry? 

About the challenges in the industry, I am not happy when Christians and corporate organisations owned by Christians refuse to sponsor Christian shows, claiming there’s no gain in it. “It is all about money but must it always be?” I ask emphatically.

The future and the plan you see for gospel music?

I see gospel artistes lifting up gospel music and entertainment in high level they are building houses, buying cars, they are living fine. I know that secular songs are more we might never overcome them but I believe that we are going to beat the secular song down very soon or we should be side by side. I know that we are going to be at the top (oga at the top). Gospel music has a very bright future, for me gospel music is just 10years old. God has made us what we want, the future is going to be smooth. My plans for the Nigerian gospel industry, a lot was revealed by Gosporella. “We have over 100 Nigerian gospel artistes. By November, Gosporella’s hit-list will be out. It’s going to be a promo CD that will bring out new names in the gospel arena, with a few already known names. Everything happening now, the radio station, the music being hyped up, the Christian club, are all planned. 

What will you say to our young ones about gospel?

The youths think faster than we do. So if we keep singing ‘holy holy’, they will look at their mates in the secular. That’s why we are redefining gospel music in this age for those who are Christians but want to boogie.”
My advice to them is to listen to gospel music all the time because of eternity, Jesus is coming back, leave the secular world and come to real life world which is gospel.

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