HenriSoul blew my mind way before the song came out. First, It was “Gbagoroagbago,” featuring Kenny K’ore, then we heard “Sokutuyoyo” with female gospel rapper B.O.U.Q.U.I. When “Your Love” hit the airwaves and blogs, it was clear that this young Christian artiste was championing a new trend in the line of his predecessors such as Tim Godfrey, amongst others.
“Sacrifice” and “Blow My Mind” came out the same time with the latter produced by prolific producer and member of the gospel group Freeborn – TeekayWitty (Freeborn has a single titled “Kosere” which HenriSoul featured on currently). As if the singles were not trend setting enough, HenriSoul employed the service of renowned video director Clarence Peters for a one of a kind (probably, never seen before) video for “Blow my Mind”.
The video had so much download on the day of release that the site shut down the link due to traffic. While HenriSoul is still ruling the airwaves with his pacesetting Gospel tunes, SelahAfrik caught up with him (out of curiosity) to find out what makes him so unique. The “soft boss” as he is fondly called was not too offended by my probing mouth and hands (Lol)… Here’s what he shared.
SelahAfrik: Hello Henri, can we get to meet you? Let us know about your background, education, where you grew up and what it was like growing up.
HenriSoul: Yeah my name is Orji ifeanyi Henry, (ermm…) a student of Yabatech, growing up for me wasn’t all that easy but like I said in my song, (sings “Ggagoroagbago”) “even if the way gbagoroagbago and the journey dey wuru wuru one day e go ma sense” and it’s making sense right now.
SelahAfrik: You are one of the most prominent young gospel music artistes right now, what do you think makes you unique?
HenriSoul: I think it’s my style and fusion. I fuse different genres of music and that’s what makes me unique.SelahAfrik: You are a bit of a renegade with the lyrics and slangs in your music… Some Christians may even find the slangs offensive. Your parents – being pastors – What was their reaction the first time they heard your song?
HenriSoul: That’s true but I believe music is an art and an expression that comes from within. My parents were not cool with it when I started but that’s expected. When something new is introduced not everybody likes it immediately, so it didn’t bother me too much.
SelahAfrik: Your new video “Blow my Mind” just came out and we are all excited about it… Once again you have pushed the boundaries of gospel music with such a video shot by Clarence Peters, will you agree that you have become a trendsetter for gospel music in Nigeria?
HenriSoul: God is the pacesetter we are just following. He has release a fresh unction, “apostles in the market place,” we stand for the gospel any day anytime, don’t let the swag confuse you. Take a good listen to the lyrics, you will understand. Remember music is an art.
SelahAfrik: So now that we have this video, what next?
HenriSoul: Promotions, events and shows… more singles then the album. I don’t have an album yet, I only did a public presentation last year that led to all these we are seeing today.
SelahAfrik: I heard that your first ever single was ushered into the music scene by Kenny Ogungbe, how did that happened?
HenriSoul: Yeah it was divine, I just strolled into AIT when I finished the recording of the song “gbagoroagbago” and I met him, I gave him my promo CD, he told me he was ‘gonna’ play it if he likes it. So he listened and played it.
SelahAfrik: You also said you almost signed a deal that would have enslave your career, tell us more about that.
HenriSoul: Sorry but I don’t ‘wanna’ talk about that, it’s personal.
HenriSoul: We met in my church, I don’t want to go into details.
SelahAfrik: When can we have your album?
HenriSoul: My debut album is coming up soon, I can’t give you a date just yet.
SelahAfrik: You are a very stlylish gospel artiste… What informs your fashion?
HenriSoul: (Hmmm…) that’s a tricky one, I just go with what is trending.
SelahAfrik: Are you into tattoos and studs… Do you have any or are you planning to get?
HenriSoul: I’m not into that, that’s that.
SelahAfrik: What do you think about sagging?
HenriSoul: Sagging depends on the person doing it, I can’t judge if it’s bad or not, I just dress the way I feel is right.
SelahAfrik: A handsome gospel minister like yourself should know some female attention, How do you deal with it? What’s your advice to your other male counterparts concerning this view?
HenriSoul: Female fans are lovely people that should be appreciated without intentions of messing up with them. I see them as my sisters and I make sure there is a boundary, that’s all.
SelahAfrik: Let’s get into some of your preferences, Which do you prefer… Video game soccer or real soccer?
HenriSoul: I love the real soccer game.
SelahAfrik: Sport cars or jeep?
SelahAfrik: Blackberry phone or Android?
SelahAfrik: Pepper Soup or Nkwobi? (LoL)
SelahAfrik: Any upcoming show, concert, music, video, awards or nominations, charity work, etc that we should be aware of?
HenriSoul: Just keep your ears and eyes opened so you don’t miss any part of the fun when anything comes up.
SelahAfrik: Can you tell me your life’s conviction about Jesus?
HenriSoul: Jesus restored our kingdom rights which we lost when the first man Adam fell. Jesus is our link back to the heart of God.
Connect with @henrisoul on Twitter