By SAM EYOBOKA
Steve Crown Uche Okolo, a fast-rising Nigerian gospel minister, presently, shares the stage with many great gospel artists, singing in concerts, crusades and serves as a music director in several choirs and singing groups.
Steve Crown has a diploma in law from the University of Abuja and went further to the Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda in Zamfara State where he read Office Technology and Management with the hope of taking more courses in the near future.
In this interview with SAM EYOBOKA, the 27-year old fair complexioned instant superstar after the monster hit, spoke on how he deals with female fans, and shares some of his visions for the gospel music industry…Excerpts.
How long have you been doing this?
Professionally, a little over two years but I have been into music since I was a kid. I grew up to see my parents in the music world. I was born into an orthodox family, and we go to church where we do all the sofa notes—Do-Re-Mi-Fa Hu-Ha-Ha—and I got to learn from mum. Every morning we all do the devotion where we sing together, worshipping God and since then it became a lifestyle for me, not knowing that this is where it will lead me to because I was not looking forward to a career in music. This is how God arrests someone and chooses a path and it has been exciting and I am grateful to God.
I am into music full time. I have my studio, Lakelight Entertainment which is my record label. It’s actually more than a record label because we are looking at doing a lot of things. Lakelight Entertainment is with a vision and mission to discover talents, listen and help create a platform that will help them create positive impact in the society.
We have started a foundation which is giving birth to ‘Nations Will Rise And Sing Concert’ billed to hold on October 22, 2017 in Abuja. It’s actually a very big vision which is going across the world already that will see the gathering of people of God from all tribes and races from all over the world and it’s derived from Psalm 86:9-10.
When you went to the studios were you expecting this instant success?
I did not see it coming. Let’s say the truth. In church, I have always worshipped and have always been involved in the things of God. I just wanted to worship God in the choir and after just take my bag and go back home. I just wanted God’s presence and I wasn’t looking to become famous or doing a song that will go everywhere or any such thing. I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but what God does is allow you do your thing, but when He’s ready to use you He intervenes.
How many tracks were in your debut album?
Six tracks; You are great, We wait on You, Imela, Ejiro, Sunan Sa and Egbe Jesu Ga. I do virtually different songs because I just want to reach out to a lot of people with their languages and all that. I hope to do songs in Spanish, French and any other language because my goal is just to spread God’s love to people and let them know about His sovereignty.
Where did you get the inspiration to write those songs?
From the Holy Spirit. I could be in the gym or in a dream where I am leading a choir and the lines will begin to drop, when I wake up and I pen them down. Some come through personal and other people’s experiences. That’s how God has been giving me lyrics.
Now that you have become a celebrity, has your lifestyle changed?
Very well, things I want to do, I can’t do them anymore. Sometimes, I cannot be free to do certain things. I like to eat corn on the road. But there are things people won’t expect you to do anymore. I am very careful what I do now. At the same time, it has given me a good life. God has really blessed me because I am not who I used to be. I thank God for recognition because when you are recognised in your society as someone making impact, it makes you live longer. You have less to worry though it imposes some pressure, but all the same, it’s for good. So that’s the most important thing.
You’re very handsome, how do you cope with female fans?
I take myself as an image of God. Of course, when God blesses you, whether you are fine or not, you become attractive to a lot of people. Everybody is created beautiful. But there’s something about God putting something special in you which makes you a centre of focus. It’s something you cannot run away from. For me, dealing with female fans take personal discipline and grace of God. But at the same time, I just see them as people who admire God in me. I don’t take it as if I am one street fine boy somewhere that everybody is dying for. No! Take away God from me, I am nothing. That’s just the truth. So, I deal with them not as one superstar. I deal with them as people who crave for God in me. So, I don’t have any reason to feel like one big boy or feel like somebody someone is chasing. I see myself as somebody people want to attract themselves to because of the grace I carry.
After your debut, what next?
Only God knows where I am going next, but ‘Nations Will Rise And Sing Concert’ is a very big burden that I see God trying to bare through me, and I am hoping that it goes round the world because it’s huge and bigger than me. I know if a vision is not bigger than you, then it’s not a vision. I need a lot of support in different dimensions because it’s a movement that will sensitize our youths. We will be running workshops and all that. It’s going to be a great time.
What’s your dressing like?
I love white because it’s heavenly, it’s mature, it’s acceptable, it’s pure, and it’s modest. White brightens up every situation. I like to appear in corporate wears and I also love to appear in Nigerian attires. When I first came out with my first album, people didn’t think I was a Nigerian because my lyrics are quite deep. Some people felt; can Nigerians really sing like this? Yes, there are lots of Nigerians who do much more. I am a Nigerian and I like to represent Nigeria and African blood.
Who are your role models?
My first role model is my father, he is a very peaceful man who loves to pursue things and get them done and I have learnt a lot from him. I have learnt to take life as it comes and I have also learnt to love God because he is a very strong believer. My mum is a role model to me too. She has really done a lot for me. She has pushed me through hard labour and a lot more. In the outside world, I see other great people as my role models. I don’t want to mention names because I have quite a lot of them. In one way or the other they have influenced my life. Several great men of God; Pastor Mike Nwanegbo, Pastor Joshua Talena, Pastor Benny Hinn, Don Moen, all gospel music ministers in Nigeria. They are also doing great. I have learnt a lot from them.