Never has a Gospel music minister made event planning so effortless like Laureche does it. Equipped with a collection of heavenly sounds and an event platform with which she leverages for her concerts as well, Laureche has got all hands on deck and ready to flood the Mindustry with her music.
Born into a family of 8 children, she spent most of her early years in Port Harcourt but had to move to Anambra for her tertiary education and later, Benin for her youth corp. Her event company was formally launched in 2004 after working with an oil servicing company for 6 years. The company is the brain behind the successful Easter event “Excuse me Laugh” in its 9th year.
1st of December 2014, Laureche launched her debut album “More than Enough” that has produced singles and videos such as “You Reign”. “Izurukeme” and her forthcoming “I Win”. She has sang on different stages with other Gospel artistes such as Sinach, Eben, Buchi, Frank Edwards, Joe Praise, Chris Shalom and Samsong.
In this chat with Alex Amos, Laureche unveils her 2016 plans including upcoming singles, videos, concerts and more.
SelahAfrik: Can you tell us about your background, education, childhood and more?
Laureche: I come from a family of 8; 7 girls and a boy. I am the 3rd child. I grew up in a Christian home and this played a major role in my interest in the things of God and eventually getting born again at the early age of 14. Growing up, I had a complex because I was constantly teased about my ‘sun colored hair’ and the mole on my lip. A couple of helps that stayed with us would look for an opportunity to tell me they could cut off the mole (ouch!). It’s amazing the same mole is now referred to as a ‘beauty spot’ and ladies now artificially create one on their face! Haha! Anyway inspite of all the ‘childhood harassment’ (for want of better words), I knew there was something different about me and I remember once or twice telling my immediate elder sister to better treat me well because in future, she’ll be proud to have a sister like me. Haha!
Well I did my primary school in the Port Harcourt Rivers State; Secondary education in Calabar Cross River State, University at Awka, Anambra State and Masters back in UST Port Harcourt River state. I studied Metallurgical and Materials in school and did a Masters program on Engineering Management.
SelahAfrik: How did a Sales Engineer of an oil company become a music minister and an event planner?
Laureche: Haha! Well you know it is one thing to go to school and study a particular course but it is a totally different thing to discover your natural giftings and get an education in that area to enhance this gifting to the point where it begins to yield income for you. I guess that’s my story with studying Engineering and later veering into Events Planning and Music. I have always been involved with planning events of all scales right from time so even while I worked as a sales engineer, I still always made myself available to help out friends and family in planning whatever event there was to put together. It was a hubby. As for music, I would like to believe I came to the world ‘factory fitted’ with music. Haha! Actually my parents have ‘singing voices’; my mum was in the choir and I remember hearing her sing as she went about house chores while we were growing up. I guess I got some music from her too! So at the right time (that is after working in an oil firm for 6years) I finally decided to follow my passion and do something meaningful with all the creativity bubbling in me.
SelahAfrik: Has it been easy or challenging combining Event Planning and Music?
Laureche: Combining Events Planning and Music… let me put it this way… one has me ‘back stage’ while the other has me ‘on stage’. Haha! So yes it can be a bit of a challenge because by default, I love to be ‘back stage’ organizing and planning. But then when I have to minister in songs, I have to transform from the ‘Behind the scenes image’ to the one on stage! Now that can be quite a task but because Music is a calling for me; to bless lives and edify the body of Christ, I know it’s not a power and might thing so I totally yield to the Holy Spirit as a vessel and He simply expresses Himself through me. So in that sense, I can say it is easy… since the Spirit does the better part of the job. (Smile).
SelahAfrik: You recently released a beautiful video for the single “You Reign”, tell us what inspired the aesthetics as most Gospel music video do not reach such extent of creativity until recent times?
Laureche: Hmmmm… I must give God the biggest credit for the inspiration for that video but wouldn’t fail to mention the amazing creativity of the producer; Mr Ajayi (Scenelock Films) who interpreted the song so well that the video came out so beautifully; truly a picture speaks a thousand words! You can’t watch that video without getting inspired to worship our awesome God in the beauty of His majestic creation!
Laureche: Hahaha! That’s where the music officially started from you know? Back in my university days. It was made up of 4 friends and later 3 friends, who just loved to write and sing songs. We sang at every opportunity we had in the fellowship in school (Believers Loveworld). Of course the more outings we had, the better we got. I remember the time we had to sing in Lagos for one our camp meetings. That was a giant leap for us. From singing in front of about 80-100 people in the school fellowship, we had to minister in front of thousands of people who had come from all the Believers Loveworld campuses round the nation! Boy! We fasted. We prayed. We rehearsed like never before and when we got to Lagos for the camp meeting, we ministered so powerfully… like the bible says ‘men took notice of us that we had been with Jesus’ hahaha! That was the time I learnt that there is a huge difference between being a ‘singer’ and a ‘minister’. Without the influence of the Holy Spirit, you are just a regular singer; no lasting life impact in your songs. Phew!
SelahAfrik: As a pastor and a singer, you will tend to focus more on message than just ‘boxing around’, how do you draw the inspiration for your music?
Laureche: My inspiration when it comes to my music, stems from a consistent deep fellowship with the word which God graciously provides me through the ministry of my Pastor; Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, and the Spirit of God. I am guided, counseled and inspired from within.
SelahAfrik: Tell us about your most recent bible discovery
Laureche: Wow! You know I got this from our daily devotionals Rhapsody of Realities and I was stunned. I thought about it for a long time after I was done with my morning devotion. My Pastor (Pastor Chris Oyakhilome ) taught that we didn’t receive the Holy Spirit by swallowing any pills or whatever. Rather it was through believing the truth communicated in words. Same way he said when you believe a lie, you also open the door of your spirit to demons to come in and live in you. He wrapped up by saying we should learn to believe the truth as that gives access to God’s spirit to come in and live in us. In all my years as a christian, this truth never dawned on me like it did, two weeks ago, when I was meditating on the scripture for the day. John 17:17. Phew!
SelahAfrik: Tell us about your debut album “More than Enough” and your first video “Izurukeme”
Laureche: Haha. The album ‘More than Enough’ is a compilation of praise worship songs (By the way, I am a worship leader extraordinaire). I have actually been behind the scenes, leading choirs at different stages of my walk with God and when it was time for me to take my music ministry to the next level and go beyond the four walls of my church, I knew it had to be a Praise/worship project first. An album with eleven tracks. All the songs are awesome in themselves so picking the one to make the theme song was a tall order! Before picking “Izurukeme” for the first video shoot, I gave the audio CD to a couple of people to listen in and let me have their feedback on which song they would pick for a trailer video for the album. Guess what? Every single person came back with a different song! There was no consensus! Haha! At that point I went back to my prayer closet to get ‘thus says the lord’ on the matter. Haha! Well, “Izurukeme” meaning ‘more than enough’ came up tops and I embarked on shooting the video. I’m glad that we featured the producer of that particular song King Buskie in the video. I think He did a great job.
SelahAfrik: You have a new single dropping soon titled “I Win”, I have heard it and can tell anyone is worth the hype, tell us about the song and your expectations
Laureche: Yes… “I Win” is a single, dropping in a matter of days. I am particularly excited about this song because it’s more like declaration of who we are and our birthright in Christ. The world we live in now just seems to constantly spell gloom and doom so my expectation of this new release is that as many as play it and listen to it, the negative voices all around will be drowned as they join me to make those powerful declarations of who we are in Christ. Darkness cannot comprehend light so also no matter the situation we find ourselves in, we win! A happy danceable song that will just lift the saddest spirit once the beats start…haha!
SelahAfrik: As an Event Manager with huge achievements including “Excuse me Laugh”, what do you think are the challenges of event planning in Nigeria?
Laureche: Event Planning in Nigeria has come a long way though we still also have a long way to go. This however is in varying degrees depending on the state of Nation in which we are discussing Events planning. Some states seem to be well ahead of others when we talk about professional Events Management and Planning. In the western world, The profession is seen as something serious, the services of Event Planners are valued and paid for by those who appreciate the expertise involved. Here in Nigeria a lot of times, half the clients, say a bride getting married tells you things like ‘my aunty is taking care of the food’, my cousin is seeing to the drinks, my sister is baking the cake… and the list goes on. Then the D-day comes and we have so much dissonance because everyone is giving instructions and no one is really paying attention to what the bride really has in mind for her big day. Did you ever hear the phrase …too many cooks spoil the broth? Haha! Sometimes too, you have a caterer claim that she is an Events Planner simply because she has the contacts of other vendors and can reach them easily. She then goes along to take on the task of planning an event for an unsuspecting client. In times like that, things also get messed up, sadly. The effect of these kinds of happenings is that it then gives event planners a bad name because the offended client goes round to say things like ‘don’t mind all these so called event planners. They don’t know what they are about. Well, since we don’t get to show any form of certificates before taking on jobs, one may not really blame the offended client?
SelahAfrik: Compare event planning in Nigeria with what’s obtainable in the western world, will you say we are coming of age?
Laureche: Comparing the scenario to what is obtainable in the western world, I would say we still have a long way to go…but there is hope…haha!
SelahAfrik: You have an event coming up in March, tell us about that
Laureche: The upcoming concert is a worship miracle concert. Theme is #whenGodvisits. It’s a time of worship and miracles. Really when God visits, expect a divine intervention in your affairs. We will use music and worship to get the attention of heaven and when we do, it ushers us into a new and higher level of our lives. We are saying… come and lay whatever troubles you have struggled with at the feet of Jesus and simply worship. We have the assurance that God will visit us in an unusual way. Date is 28th of March 2016, time is 5pm and venue is Oasis Center. 12A, Psychiatric road. Port Harcourt. You can call 08097100692 and 08185602787.
SelahAfrik: As an event manager, presentation is supposed to mean a lot to you, tell us about the brand ‘Laureche’
Laureche: I would like to say this simply using our slogan. Laureche….we make things happen! In other words, we strive at all costs to make the desires of our clients come to pass. We are saying… Put your events in our competent hands and go to sleep only to wake to the outplay of a beautiful event, just like you dreamed and more!
SelahAfrik: When you are not handling event, ministry or music, what takes your time?
Laureche: Hmmmmm… I’m thinking… That would be my boys… If they are around. Otherwise, I go spend some time with friends.
SelahAfrik: What’s a regular Monday in your life like?
Laureche: I use Monday’s to plan my week. I get to work about 9/10am depending on what’s been scheduled. I check to see if I have any project at hand and see where we are at on the work schedule. I prefer to sit in on Mondays and do more of planning and strategizing for the week.
SelahAfrik: Define your fashion style
Laureche: Dress-Casual. That’s me. I do suits only when I have to . Otherwise I’m mostly ‘casually formal’. Ever heard of that? Haha!
SelahAfrik: Apart from the single “I Win”, what should we be expecting from Laureche in the near future?
Laureche: There’s a lot to expect from Laureche this year. I’m putting together another worship collection by reason of the March concert. I feel the need to make the new songs I’ll be doing at the concert available to the public beyond the concert. This will afford those that attend the opportunity to take the songs with them as they go home, in turn, this will help them relive the moments of worship and create the atmosphere of miracles each time they play the songs. Secondly those who may not be disposed to attend the concert can also get the CD and be a part of the worship and miracles. I also have a new video coming out soon. Actually I shot the video for one of the songs from the “More than Enough” album… watch out for that. It’s another good one. Trust me. Ha! Later part of the year, I’m planning the 9th edition of our annual family comedy show ‘Excuse Me Laugh’. I plan to host two more concerts before the end of the year and release at least 3 more singles. So you see Laureche is on the go! Haha!
SelahAfrik: Any last words?
Laureche: I’m glad I rep Christ. Any day. Any where. Any time. He’s the best thing that happened to me and I want to say it in all manner of songs from the mountain top! Haha!
Watch You Reign video below: