I was about to be initiated into occultism but God saved me says Preye

Nigerian gospel music is really making waves in Ghana and one question I ask myself is “are they taking over the gospel music industry in Ghana? You go to churches and people are singing songs from artist like Frank Edwards, Joe Praise, Ada, Preye, among others.

Why does Nigerian Gospel music penetrate the Ghana market so easily? A lot comes into mind when such question is asked. Is it the inspiration, preparation, voice or prayer? Why will my two-year old daughter sing ‘ Ebezina’ from start to end but can’t sing any Ghanaian gospel song?

I chanced upon Preye Odede during the Yuletide when he came to Kumasi, a city he described as hospitable. His song – ‘ Ebezina’ – is on the lips of every Ghanaian.

After doing his sound check for his maiden event in the Garden City, dubbed “Joyous Praise 2015”, Preye joined me in the studios of Luv99.5 Fm for the popular Sunday evening gospel show, ‘Gospel Link’.

Kofi Afrifa: My brother good evening and welcome to Ghana

Preye: Good evening “Akwaaba”
Kofi Afrifa: You have not eating fufu yet so after the interview I will get you fufu. How are you feeling in Kumasi?

Preye: Hahaha… It’s been amazing, I don’t know if it’s everywhere but I think Ghanaians are hospitable. Hospitable is still a little word, you guys are so cool.

Kofi Afrifa: How old are you Preye?
Preye: I could say that to you off air but not on air

Kofi Afrifa: Are you married?
Preye: nooo
Kofi Afrifa: Tell us about yourself
Preye: I am from the Niger Delta part of Nigeria (Bayelsa State). I am a very lanky with little flesh, my favourite food is Eba and Afam soup. I am the third out of seven siblings with six boys and one girl.

Kofi Afrifa: Tell us about education, music etc.
Preye: I started music when I didn’t know. For me music is like a life. It’s just like someone ask you who is your dad, how long have you known your dad. I have known my dad ever since I was born. That’s how music is like to me. Not like a professional setting but when you wake up, you just want to do music. I was from a polygamous home. I dropped out of school when I was in JHS 3.

Kofi Afrifa: Tell us about your hit and popular song Ebezina ?

Preye: Ebezina is just like the story I am sharing. At a point in time, my dad was entangled with something else. The Bible talks about “woe unto he that wants to entangle himself with the affairs of man”. At that point, the person I knew as a dad wasn’t there. At a point we were homeless, for about nine to eleven years.

Kofi Afrifa: Homeless, where were you sleeping?
Preye: Somehow we were not able to pay for our rent; my dad was nowhere to be found, a lady offered her kiosk for us to sleep. So she does the selling in the morning and we sleep there in the night. When she wants to open her shop in the morning, we will wake up as early as possible and go out to hustle. And there was this man who had a small wooden building and lucky for us he was transferred and we occupied that room. I met some friends in church, so I went back to school but there was no sponsor so I struggled. My mum use to sell plantain and fish by the roadside. She felt ill so many times because there was direct contact of heat on her chest.

Kofi Afrifa: Is mummy still alive?
Preye: Oh yea, she is doing good and prayed for me before I came to Ghana for this event. Through hustling and mum’s sacrifices, I later pulled through to the University to graduate as a Microbiologist. But I would have been an occultist.

Kofi Afrifa: You would have been an occult?
Preye: Yes, because of the whole stress and challenges. You know when the devil wants to give you anything, he beautifies it. The fact that it is good doesn’t mean it is God, but everything that is good and perfect it’s God. The Bible says “every good and perfect gift comes from Him”. All that glitter is not gold, I was on the verge of falling. I was supposed to be initiated and somehow God delivered me. I was in church but not in touch with the spirit of God. I was missing it even though I was in church so that day I went to the alter and told God I want to be in touch. The church is not the building but the church is you. The bible says “your body is the temple and the spirit of God dwells in you”, so told God I am tired and gave everything up. I went through a lot of temptation that nearly broke me down. I studied microbiology in school and when I came out of school, the wooden structure that we were living in had to be brought down because the location was illegal. Out of my hustling, I had some money so I took my family back to the village and a lady offered us a room where they store fish. I was ministering in church and someone asked what I do for living and I said nothing. That was how I got a job at a place I had no experience. When God calls you, he qualifies you; it’s never about your qualification. So God qualified me and gave a job and just after, He gave me this song “Ebezina” … tell me why you giving up on God, hold on change is on the way… (he sung)

Kofi Afrifa: Did u ever envisage that this song will penetrate in Ghana?

Preye: I never knew this song was going to touch somebody in Ghana. I thought the song was just for me. But before Ebezina, I had my first song Biko .

Kofi Afrifa: What inspired you to write Biko ?
Preye: This song means “Please”. I was telling God “Please don’t let me fall”. I have been crying for long , the pain is so strong, Lord I can’t hold on any more, the road is so rough, last night I couldn’t sleep, tonight I am also scared, Lord I need your hands to raise me you. You know sometimes we can take drugs to go to bed but we don’t take drugs to wake up. We are just at the mercies of God.

Kofi Afrifa: How do you get or compose your music?
Preye: I think God gives me songs for His people. My only source of inspiration in writing songs is the Holy Ghost.

Kofi Afrifa: How many songs do you have on the “My Script” album?

Preye: Thirteen

Kofi Afrifa: Tell me the reason why you sing

Preye: This is the gospel and the only way I can preach for people around the world is through music.

Kofi Afrifa: Tell us about the song “Bullie”

Preye: It’s my new song and it talks about returning everything back to God. It means lift Him up. It’s about praising God

Kofi Afrifa: How did you feel when you heard your music is all over Ghana?

Preye: I didn’t believe it but all thanks to you Kofi and also Fiifi in Accra. I think I owe you guys so much.

Kofi Afrifa: Finally what do you have for us?
Preye: There is nothing impossible for God to do. If He has said it, He will do it. God bless you.

After spending few hour with Preye, I realised he is a man after God’s own heart because he is a true worshipper and carries the presence of God when ministering.

No matter what you are going through, i will encourage you to get Preye Odede’s song and your life will never be the same. God bless you.

Kofi Afrifa is host of Gospel Link on Luv99.5FM

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