Ada Ehi is a talented gospel musician who is passionate about God. In this Interview SAMUEL ABULUDE and ROSELYN AYAM, the mother of two speaks on her musical journey and her commitment to God.
What have you been up to?
I’ve been into music, gospel music, soul lifting and life changing music.
What inspired your ‘Cheta’?
It’s a song of reassurance. Cheta means ‘Remember’. There are certain times in our lives where your faith is put to test especially on things that has to do with life issues, it’s like life poses a question to you: Who are you? What do you believe in? What are you doing here? What next? Is there any hope for you? Is this the end? Will you ever be better than this? But then, the song says ‘Remember’. God is singing in the first person, “I am God and I will never fail you, I’m the God of yesterday, today and forever, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He has a history of success so remember I Am God I will never fail you”.
How do you get inspired to write your songs?
These songs comes in your spirit especially when God calls you and He has a message for people and when you are in tune, sometimes it could be in times of prayer, church, studio when you hear certain sounds and sometimes He lays a thought in your heart when you are thinking about persecution or you are going through something and you are exercising your faith for a miracle and when it comes, it becomes a story then a song where you can say ‘It’s only you Jesus’.
You said ‘Cheta was a song born from the spirit man because God was singing in the first person and ‘Only You Jesus’ was a breakthrough song…..
It was a victory song, a warfare song. My husband and I were going through a situation at one point and it looked very difficult so the song came forth including.
Since you released the song, what has been the story?
The songs stocked to people in their heart and even nations at a time. That’s a testimony to the fact that God birthed these songs for the testimonies of the people. The testimonies have been amazing. There was a testimony of a woman who was in labour and she passed on, on the table. The doctors had left her and her husband. Her husband was shouting. The woman said she was somewhere and was hearing voices like angelic voices singing ‘Only you can do what no man can do’ so she joined them in singing and that’s how she came to life. Upon seeing her, the husband ran off, came back and called the doctors. There are several testimonies!
How come you did eighteen tracks, was that your debut album?
Well, I have a lot of songs and they were all ready for the album, I had even more but these were the most ready and each of them has a unique message. My debut album was released in 2010 titled ‘Undenied’. They are in the market. They ran out so we are currently reproducing more. I think it is seventeen tracks I’m not sure. My new album, Future Now’ was released 16th of October 2017.
Since you released the album, what were your challenges trying to record?
Just like I was talking about Cheta, you go through a process. There are many things that will question your faith and your resolve. So it’s up to you and your purpose and understanding of what you do that keeps you. There are lots of challenges, sometimes you receive a song. For those of us that receive songs in our spirit man, we hear it and then try to translate what you have heard. I worked with quite a number of producers on the album. Some of them are very good in the coordination of time and interpreting the lyrics. We put out some singles before they were produced like Cheta, I testify, Jesus and In Your Name. We put them online for free distribution but we had people who commercialized it and put it on sale. People sold it online because when you put a song out as a single, people tend to do all sorts of things. It was meant for free until the album came out. It’s just the problem of piracy generally so even when the album came out, twenty four hours into the release within four to five hours of release, it was number one on iTunes and before we knew it, it was all over the internet with several free uploads on the album.
Do you mean there is no right in this part of the land?
Oh! There is. Enforcing it is just the challenge we have.
So, are you fulfilled now or you think there are still some songs you should impact?
I’m still working. The ministry is continuous. You are constantly and continuously bringing messages to God’s people.
Why did you decide to shoot a shot film out of Cheta?
The concept that I received, the story of Joseph like a modern story so we decided to make it a short film to further express the message.
How many years have you been recording professionally?
Eight years professionally 2009/2010. And it has been amazing.
Why did you decide to go into music?
I have the gift of music. I studied chemical engineering at Lagos state University LASU.
So you worked for a while?
No, I never worked. I just knew I was going into music.
Is it true you did back up for Tosin Jegede?
Yes but as a child. We went to the same primary school, CBN Primary School.
So do you mean the gift has been there for you to do back up?
Yes, the gift and the desire has been there and at some point, you experience the ministry of the Holy spirit then you understand what it is that God wants you to do.
So is the music gift from either of your parents?
I think both. They have the gift of music.
What plans do you have for the future or are you planning to release an album this year?
Of course to keep doing more and more. We are not releasing any album this year but we are working on something. Hopefully, we should be able to have one or two concerts in Nigeria but we are still working on it.
How did you gravitate your genre of music?
I think from childhood, my parent had and still have a very good selection of music. I was exposed to virtually all contemporary and soft rock. I listened to a lot of classical maybe that is why.
How did you cope with the attention by the time ‘Only You’ brought you into lime light?
You just keep being yourself. Keep doing what you have been doing. Still keep on singing and doing what you can and everything has to be according to your purpose. You don’t get carried away because more people know you. You are running a course so stay focused on the course you are running. Of course, you can’t accept every invitation to programs, you choose the ones that goes in line with your purpose and ministry.
What is your life philosophy?
The love of God. It is the bedrock of everything, love for God and people.
Can you share a bit of your salvation story?
While I was a child, I attended crusades. We grew up in the church. My parents are professionals. My mum is a nutritionist and my father is an engineer but they had a passion for the gospel. I’m the second child of four children.
Who is Ada Ehi outside music?
Firstly, Ada is a Christian, a lady led by an extraordinary life by the steadfast Lord. She’s a wife, a mother, a sister and a daughter. I was signed on LoveWorld Records. That was where my debut album was released in 2010.
If LoveWorld Records didn’t sign you, do you think you would have come this far?
Yes. Just like when God gives you a vision, He aligns people and when one is not enough, He provides another. My new record label is Free Nation.
Are you still part of the LoveWorld Records?
Nobody leaves the Record. We are all still part of the record label. LoveWorld is not into artistes anymore but more into ministry music. Not that they were into artistes before, they were just a stepping stone for them.
Among the eighteen tracks, which is your favorite?
All of them. I don’t have a favorite track. I could have certain of them ministering to me but I don’t have a favorite track.
While growing up as a musician, who of the musicians were you attracted to their music?
When I listen to myself, I don’t really sound like anybody because I love music so there are quite a number of them. I listened to Mary Marquis, Orchestra music, The king and I, My fair lady- it has a lot of musicals. I watched Sound of Music, gospel albums like Maranatha, Ori Okoro, Integrity Music, of course Sinach and host of other artistes.
Outside music, what do you do to relax?
Making music still and being with my family. My life revolves around music.
How did you meet your husband?
I met him in church in Christ Embassy.
Was it love at first sight?
No it wasn’t love at first sight.
How do you develop the voice of the spirit, how do you hear from God?
It’s in the place of prayer, giving yourself to prayers and the Word of God. The Christian life is a life of the spirit, you must acknowledge the Holy Ghost, you must be conscious of Him and you must be expectant of His guidance and ministry. You just can’t wake up and act like He’s not there, then when you need Him you start praying. It’s a life that you live, you wake up, you dwell on His word, think about scriptures and let them minister to you. So you just can’t leave and expect God to speak to you. You must recognize that God lives, acknowledge that He is the Lord of your life.
You are nine years in the music industry, what has improved in the industry?
Gospel music has improved just like every other industry. There are more people, more talents, and more expression of thoughts coming into the ministry. So it’s growing.
Having been in the gospel music industry for years now, what do you want changed?
You must first understand that this is spiritual. There is nobody that says it is an industry and government is running it. So we are the ones going to improve it. It is my calling so, I will effect the change in my life and ministry and as I grow people will be affected and inspired. So there is nobody running it. The government doesn’t run the industry, we run it, we are the ministers, we are the change, we grow, we run, we are the expression!