Gospel Digest - July 4, 2012

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TO abe769_CITY_E1 INLSA Urban Brew's Abe Sibiya, CEO of One Gospel. Photo: Chris Collingridge

If there’s an animal that is jealous of the multi-talented Abe Sibiya, then it has to be a cat. They say cats have nine lives, but Sibiya must have a whole lot more. Seriously, if not how do you explain his diary?

If he is not an executive chairperson of One Gospel then he is the head of the new gospel channel 1GKNI. If he’s not busy with that then he is the man in charge of the advertising entity Mtommbo. When he is off those duties then he is chairing Urf Music Publishing. Then comes the music, books, DVD seminars – we could do this all day if you’d like.

Abe has it all figured out so you can imagine how lucky we were when we were granted some time to interview him. The subject in question was his latest musical endeavour which includes the One Gospel Inspired Collection – Vol 1 all-star album and an upcoming solo effort.

“I think people don’t sleep. I just think they put their bodies to rest, but their minds are still working like clockwork,” he said, explaining how he has enough time to do all the things he does.

“I must say, I have a great team behind me who keep me grounded on the things that should get my attention. Being an executive producer is scary, but we plan things strategically. After all is said and done, I am a musician at heart,” said the multi-talented man.

Over the years Sibiya has been writing songs for everyone in the industry including Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the Soweto Gospel Singers and the Soweto Gospel Choir, among others.

“I would like to think I have an ‘A’ piece band in my head. When I am writing a song I can hear every instrument playing in my head. And because I can play just about any instrument out there, I record the song to feel the way I want it to,” he said, trying hard not to sound like he was bragging.

And that’s one thing you will like about Abe Sibiya, the humility that resides in his core existence. His humility plus his soft spoken nature may come across as him being shy, but his infectious smile and sure way around the guitar say otherwise.

While he is proud of the now available One Gospel Inspired Collection – Vol 1 album which features various local gospel artists, Sibiya has a lot of stuff coming up this year.

“The One Gospel Inspired Collection – Vol 1 album is a tribute to the four years that One Gospel has been operational. Right now we sit at number two as the most watched channel on DStv’s music bouquets so the album is to celebrate that success,” he said in a proud but controlled voice.

“Gospel music is huge and this album shows the market what is popular. We wanted to look for something that was inspirational, yet something that also worked for the whole of Africa,” he added.

He then shifted his attention to his upcoming solo effort, Songs Of The Cross, due to be released next summer.

“Watch this space,” he started with a hinting smile while strumming another random but impressive tune on his guitar.

“We are looking at giving the fans something they have never heard before. The songs are already done, but we are mixing them properly to time the release in sync with the establishment of our new radio station, 1GKNI this summer,” he said.

He applauded his relationship with Electromode, saying that they think digital is the medium that will secure the future of the music he is making.

Believe it or not, but when he is not working Sibiya is a canon priest for Zoe Bible church which has more than 30 branches in this country alone.

“I run a church and we are planning to move to bigger premises in Midrand. When I am at home I am just a preacher with a congregation to lead. That said, I remain a musician at heart,” he said.

One Gospel Inspired Collection – Vol 1 CD is now available on the market.


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