I have not given myself up to a lot of Influences - Daniel Oni


NNI: Can we meet you?
Guest: I am Daniel Oni, a photographer and music artiste. I'm a graduate of English Language and a native of Ekiti State. There's a lot I can say but I'll like to keep it short.


NNI: How and when did your music career start?
Guest: I got engaged into music as a career in 2015. It all started out as a dream. It came gradually as I yearned to create something. Something I gave myself courage on. I believed I could do it. Then I thought of it and then created it.

NNI: What's your inspiration?
Guest: My inspiration is from within - the Holy Spirit. He takes me through my past to bring to the fore lessons to share with others. For instance when you listen to my song 'Make A Way', in an orderly manner I expressed simple words in songs telling listeners they needn't have to worry about a thing, Matthew 6:25-34 expounds on that.

NNI: Who or what influences your music?
Guest: This is a bit tricky because I have not given myself up to a lot of influences, one tends to be carried away. Instead, I tried to understand my voice knowing my very strengths and weaknesses. Talking about vocals, I let Praiz have a great deal of influence on my vocals as we have the same type of voice texture. But talking about content people like Lawrence flowers, cohbams, Nathaniel Bassey,  and few others. Basically, I listen to content to determine and accept what will influence me.

NNI: You started in 2015? How has the journey been for you ever since?
Guest: These creations are my achievements. I mean the songs I have released to the world not to mention the ones that have been penned down. I may not have received plaques or awards but it's a work in progress, just as I am being honoured with this interview, I know it will all come into reality. The testimonies received as well are my little great achievements. 


NNI: How often and for how long do you practice?
Guest: I practice everyday, from stage movement, to crowd syncing and crowd control, to picking the right note... I don't usually spend a lot of time. In the past I spent a lot of time but after I gained some helpful music tip I had to trim it down to about 15 - 20 minutes.


NNI: Could you please share some of the tips with us?
Guest: First, it's advisable to go easy with the voice. Once you do a little more than the voice can contain, one risks voice being cracked. And there's a limit to everyone's voice as this is determined by voice texture. One you understand this, you mature and grow in it. And a lot of lip-rolling, this makes me look stupid in front of people around me. But I've given myself to this cause. Either I'm seen as stupid or...  I have to do what I have to do to achieve that vocal mastery.



NNI: What do you think of a Christian record label?
Guest: A Christian record label is a great leap. This music thing is so broad, I am beginning to understand it. I must say this is a pretty difficult one. What's label? I believe it's something to identify something by. And it being a Christian label is on another plain. Frank Edwards, in his autobiography video that went viral a while ago. He stated that there was this label that offered him a spot and all he had to do was to change the Jesus in his lyrics/songs to God. Now what label would reject Jesus and claim to accept God? Jesus is the one who leads us to the father. A Christian label that accepts Christ is the label I'll call a Christian label. Come to think of it, Jesus is the Goodnews, He is the gospel I sing about. A Christian record label is a great leap.

NNI: How do you balance your music with other obligations-- career, etc?
Guest: What's life? Life is living. People get entangled by obligations, career, lifestyles... Instead you should become a master of them. Recently, there was this job offer I accepted because my institution permits such flexible perk, it took me far from everything I desired, and that's my music! I had to quit the job because it made me so unhappy. Quitting made me realize I have developed a lot of vocal loopholes. I'm happy it's all coming back. It's a tough and at the same time not tough. One has to decide the balance either by drawing up schedules, living... Truth is, when it comes to music I give my 100% dedication. When it comes to photography, I give my 100% dedication. When it comes to education, I give my 100% dedication.


NNI: What is your greatest challenge as a musician?
Guest: My greatest challenge is finding dedicated instrumentalists, backup singers, rehearsal venues and a great director. Just a handful. Financing basically. It all revolves around money. So far how I have been able to reach this extent is nothing more or less than God's mercy. I run a photography brand, looking towards expanding some day. The proceeds I make from this foot the bills. I must include that I started out photography just about the same time as music.
 

NNI: Where do you see yourself in next five years?
Guest: Words can't express what I see. But in words I will express them. I see myself up top at my own prepared place of greatness doing really inspiring gospel songs with great content and winning souls to him. What matters most is where God is taking me, encouraging others, those who are weak, frail, lost, shattered, discouraged and disappointed.  I just remembered Kenny K'ore. We met at his Burned Brass Album presentation. We shook hands, took pictures. He's a solid personality with great insights into the word of God. He propelled and expanded my music notion. He's raw for the gospel. Didn't know why I forgot this initially. As I was looking for a picture to send, I stumbled upon ours.

 
NNI: What would you love to say to your supporters and to inspire other musicians?
Guest: First of all I'll make a moment to thank everyone of my music family. Without their constructive criticism, review, comment and even commendation maybe I would have called music a quit. And for those inspiring me with good music content and advice, may the source flourish and may we prosper in this work we do. For as many musicians out there I'll say 'we didn't come this far to get this far', let's all just work harder with prayer and we'll be great! Greatness!! I actually feel great already.


NNI: Thank you for your time sir
Guest: My gratitude. You guys are amazing. Thank you!

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