Singer, lawyer, worship leader, and a plethora of other things, one can confidently say that Glowreeyah Braimah is well versed in the art of life! Joyful regardless of what life throws at her, she is simply a beauty to behold, and is definitely the kind of singer you would want to encourage you in your ‘low seeming’ situations. Her warmth is breath taking! But what I find most outstanding about her is her beautiful spoken voice; like magic, as Chimamanda described Olanna’s voice in Half of a Yellow Sun!
With regard to music, Glowreeyah, without question knows her onions, as she has worked with the best hands in the industry. Her first single ‘To My Knees’ was produced by the Sensational Cobhams Asuquo, while her third effort was created by the awesome Mosa! She also served as a back up vocalist for Ty Bello on the Jesus Jesu (Sweetest Name) masterpiece and is a lead vocalist at The Rock Catheral! And …wait for it…she performed her song ‘Turn Around’ and sang the National Anthem at The Experience 2013!
In this interview, Glowreeyah explains how she started music, shedding light on her rich musical background; She also defines who she is and what she stands for.
It was sheer pleasure interviewing her and I believe you’ll have even more fun reading. #Checckit!
- Tell me about yourself
Glowreeyah is a kaleidoscope of colours; one lady with a mix of many expressions. Passionate, Vivacious, Warm. Etc too. I understand legacy; I embrace the nouveau. I am an adult and yet a child!
- How did you discover your passion for music?
I can hardly pin it down to one particular moment in time. Through Kindergarten, I remember being a part of several musical initiatives that my late Mum and her friends organized .I still sing some songs I learnt ways back right now. In boarding school (my old friends can acknowledge), I always had music magazines/paraphernalia, a Walkman, stereo set and a ready act for anyone who needed to be entertained. My tape and cd collection were my greatest investments. In University, I joined a campus choir and several choral groups when on holiday at home. I still serve as a Lead Vocalist in my current church. It’s been quite a journey on that discovery route. Music has been an inevitable part of my life.
- Who/What are your musical influences?
Just too many to mention in one go. A very varied influence ranging from Jazz, Folk, Hip-Hop, Classical, Soul etc. However, I respect artistes who keep the faith and whose lives are a reflection of such.
- Tell me about your relationship with God and how your music communicates it.
I’m an extremely expressive person. My Lord and I have quite a unique one. He understands me perfectly and I’m mighty glad that He does. If one person could sum up the entirety of what EVERYTHING represents, that’s who He is to me! Sometimes, I look up in the sky to speak to Him, smile at Him or to express how I really feel. Sometimes, I imagine Him looking at me (after I’ve done or said something that even amazes me) and just shaking his Omnipotent head as he mutters….’This child of mine; this Glowreeyah child of mine’! Through the roller-coaster ride of my life, He’s carried me through fires; lifted me above storms and rescued me from hell-holes of loss, rejection, devastation, humiliation and mind-numbing pain etc. Who else have I got in heaven or on earth? I consider it an absolute privilege to give back to Him and the rest of the world what He has freely given me…life and abundant life. Every song I have ever written signifies a memorial of the touch-points of who He is, what He means to me, what He does and a testimony of triumph and the victories won through it all!
- You have a quirky way of spelling your name, as well as other words on social media. Is there a reason for that?
Hahahahaha!I have been asked that question a lot in recent times. Believe it or not, I have done this ‘quirky-spellie’ all my life; evident in my doodle-books, journals, letters and even text messages through the years. I love words. I’m blessed with an avid imagination and can see words as pictures coming alive in technicolour. Words are like play-dough! With a great degree of responsibility, you can make them want you want them to be. As a self-appointed Wordsmith, I have assumed the jurisdiction of word-bending and creative inflections as I deem fit *slam the gavel!* ‘Fanque yeu’! ‘Blesh yeu’!
- Some people say that gospel ministers are not entertainers. Would you say that it is absolutely impossible to minister to and entertain people at the same time?
A merry heart doeth good like medicine. Entertainment has its place but there is a work that only core Ministry can do through the spirit of God. There is a need to laugh, to dance, to break loose of the shackles of formality etc. There is also a need for healing beyond what the human eye can see; for repairing the brokenness that make-up and outward appearances have concealed; for a restoration that only heaven can give etc. The spirit of God cannot be contained or boxed in the expression of how he chooses to manifest but where He is given pre-eminence, He is able and can do what no man can do! The underlying factor for any Entertainer/Minister to consider is, whether divine impact is being made, whether the kingdom of Our Lord and of His Christ is the focal point etc.
- From your ‘Turn Around’ video I could guess that you are sanguine. Am I correct?
I am simply Glowreeyah!
- I noticed that the songs ‘Turn Around’, ’To my knees’ and ‘God Alone’ were ‘written amidst tears’. Can you tell me more about those experiences?
Are you calling me a cry-baby or something?*wink* In summary, ’Turn-Around’ was written while a sermon was being preached in my local church. I was at the time going through a ‘Calvary’ moment. I was hung high and stretched low. The sermon gave me hope and helped to re-affirm my purpose, rather than succumb to the claws of pain. ‘To my knees’ was written literally on my knees in a room where I was hiding away trying to figure out the essence of my life during that same ‘Calvary’ era and ’God Alone’ was written in a living room when I was wondering how to navigate the path of an extremely difficult situation. To answer your question, yes! I cried before and during the song-writing process for all 3. I have some very happy songs coming up though!
- Do all your songs come inspired, or do you sometimes have to dig out the lyrics from your core?
I get inspirations for songs like fruits hanging low on a tree. Sometimes, they come as one-liners but I can often hear the whole orchestration in the background of my mind. My phone recorder and writing tablet follow me everywhere I go. Prayers could be going on at a vigil and inspiration drops. I could be speaking with a friend and wham-bam…inspiration drops! Just like that! I endeavor to give background information per song written so that the true essence of what it actually conveys or what transpired before-hand doesn’t get lost in the final expression of it. It’s like making a sandwich. As important as the filling is, I like to let you have a sizeable munch of the bread as well.
10. How do you manage law and music?
In Corporate practice, my forte is mainly of a Regulatory nature. My colleagues and management are the most supportive and the best crop of people ever. In the balance it all, I have been a recipient of pure grace and extreme favour.
11. Does the legal profession inhibit your music career in any way?
Presently, not at all.
12. Tell me about your family background and how it shaped your love for music
I come from a large multi-ethnic family. There was always a lot of music around me, as a child. My Dad had several musical instruments in his study and played the organ every Sunday in church. I was often drawn to his side while he sang or practiced on the piano after work on some evenings. My late Mum would often belt out an appropriate French, Spanish or Ibo folk-tune depending on her mood (cheery or blurry) as she sauntered around the house. My older siblings also listened to a variety of sounds. My siblings and cousins would often organize costume parties and mock-concerts to entertain our families. We made up goofy songs and I remember such simple days with such a warm glow in my heart!
13. What is your favourite genre of music?
Hmmm…..my musical tastes are as eclectic as ever.
14.What would fulfillment mean to you in terms of music?
There are still songs to be written. There are still hearts to connect with. There are still dreams to be birthed. There is an unending supply of joy, hope, peace and life that has to flow. Fulfillment is like putting a plug in all of that. As long as I have breath and beyond these shores, this is my assignment. When I see my Master face to face, may He say ‘Well Done’!
Savour Glowreeyah’s latest piece produced by Mosa
Written and edited by: Ose Binitie