By Christopher Oji
For US-based Cameroonian gospel singer, Saint D, his passion for music was fueled at the University of Buea in Cameroon.
The musician, however, started his professional career on a high note when he started collaborating with renowned artists like Adele Clarice, Mary-Sol, Benson Enowben Bass, Corine la Star, Hans Ngafor and the late Achalle.
In this interview, Saint D, who is a member of Loveworld Singers, USA, shares how he touches lives with his music and his message of hope.
Why did you dove into gospel music?
It all started while I was in school. Besides being a serious student, I also sang in cabarets and later joined the Presbyterian Church choir as a conductor.
I came into contact with gospel artists and was born again through the gospel music of ministers like Frank Edwards, Chris Shalom and T-Sharp in 2011. God prepared me for five years through prayers, meditation, intercession and soul winning actions. In June 2016 I wrote my first gospel song, He restores my soul after receiving a revelation from God at midnight. From there I experienced ministries in conferences, conventions, concerts and outreach with national and international pastors and music ministers like Tru South, Mr. Noble, Tb1, Chris Shalom, Martin PK, Peeyuu, G4, Prosper Menko, Herve Ngombi and many more. .
What is your motivation as a gospel singer?
Truly, it is my engagement with the works of God. After seeing my commitment to his work, God moved me from Africa to the United States as a permanent base, to enable me to reach souls around the world. In the United States, I did tremendous feats as I was reserved from one event to another – weddings, baby showers, birthdays, concerts – and took the opportunity to create a Christ consciousness at the people.
So far, what have you achieved with your stay in the United States?
I am an African American gospel artist based in California. I released a hit music video titled, Blossoming activist, which won me an award at the Maranatha Awards Africa. I won another award last September as Best Male Global Uprising Minister of the Year at the Maranatha Awards held in Washington DC.
How would you describe your music?
My songs are complete tools for winning souls and glorifying Jesus Christ as King of kings. Every unbeliever who listens to my songs automatically makes the prayer of salvation. I just released an album, First flight: the abduction. The album consists of a variety of different demographic praise to win souls from continent to continent. I also posted a cartoon video on November 12 of the First flight: the abduction album, with a song titled First flight: the abduction. It’s about expressing the message in a visual form. This music video is what you want to watch, download and share with your family and loved ones. My songs also got me nominated for the Rhema Global Awards which took place in Texas on December 12, 2021.
Why do you prefer gospel to secular music?
I chose the gospel because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I also chose gospel music because the word of God is true, and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the doorway to salvation. Gospel music is the word of God in songs. To sing gospel music is to preach the word through music. Gospel music offers people a way to maintain balance in their lives.
How many albums have you released so far?
I have two albums: born again, launched in June 2017, and First flight: the abduction launched in September 2021. First flight: the abduction features songs like First Flight: The Rapture, Praise The Lord, Beautiful Creator, Perfect Love, Makossa Of God, Grace Of God, Amen, You Deserve It All, I Sing For You, Jesus, Love, Yeshua, Dance For The Lord, Sweet Jesus , and born again remix featuring G4.
What inspires your lyrics?
My lyrics are inspired by the word of God, through the teachings of my mentor, Reverend Chris Oyakhilome. My entire album touches the book from Genesis to Revelation.
How do you attract audiences?
I don’t do gospel music for the money or the fame. My goal is to win souls. I despair of spreading the gospel to the four corners of the earth. In doing so, I need funds. So that poses a bit of a challenge for me, because sessions in that part of the world are expensive.
Why did you leave your country, Cameroon?
I left Cameroon to sing in the Diaspora by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. Also, Matthew 24:12 told me that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Are white audiences really accepting your kind of music?
I realized that most of my R&B and hip-hop songs were over the top in most music stores. So, I face a demographic challenge due to the fact that most of my songs are afro-pop. In the United States, my song ratings are generally higher in black populated areas like Texas and Maryland.
I don’t really see a problem of racial discrimination around me. Maybe they are afraid of the greatest that lives in me. Besides being a music minister, I am a street gospel preacher. Also, I think racial discrimination in the United States is just the mindset of most black people. America is a land of freedom where you can get whatever you want. No matter what job you do, just go to school and you will get there.
What were your main challenges?
The pandemic deprived me of outings, concerts and recording sessions. One of the biggest challenges I face doing gospel music in the US is lack of time. There, you have a lot of bills to pay, and my primary goal is to win souls, not to make a profit. I face a big challenge with time management, as I measure things between my music career and my other jobs. Also, as an independent gospel artist, I have a bit of a challenge with producing music there compared to producing in Africa. Producing two songs in America is like producing an entire album in Africa.
What is your projection for 2022?
My projection for 2022 is to focus on music videos. I just released a 14 track album and that’s a lot of songs to shoot videos for. I know very well that God supported me in my musical journey.