INTRODUCING one of the most exciting new voices in Gospel – GENI
Based in Cameroon, but singing to the world, Geni is about to release her brand new single –‘Be Thou Glorified.’ This single is her first new music since her debut album Devoted.
Her debut album, Devoted, a 6 track album, combined great music with heartfelt lyrics for an unforgettable worship experience unto God the Father and gave her the platform to follow her dreams and showcase herself to the world.
Tell us about Geni, describe yourself and your vision in one sentence?
I am just a simple girl who wants to tell the World about Jesus Christ through the songs I sing.
What is the greatest achievement of your life?
It is seeing the youths I have had the privilege to mentor excel in life so far and there are many of them.
Your Single Be Thou Glorified is out now – tell us the inspiration behind this single?
The inspiration behind this song is totally God. I helped put together a church concert for the kids in my mentoring program, so that they could showcase their musical talent. And they requested that I feature in the concert. I declined for two reasons; I did not have a new song I could sing (considering the fact that I prefer to sing the songs I write) and I did not want to take the spotlight off of them (it was supposed to be their day). Well they insisted that they wanted me to sing and even had my picture on the poster for the concert. One day while helping them to prepare for the concert during rehearsals, I just started singing the chorus to the song and I reached for my phone to record it lest I forget. When I got home, I later just sort of sang out the verse. I really cannot take any credit for it because I literally sang the song out of the blue. I know it was the Holy Spirited who made me hear the song.
Describe a day in the life of Geni?
I usually wake up at 5am or sometimes earlier. My day begins with me reading at least a chapter of the Bible. I then meditate on what I have read and think of a simple outline or quote about the scripture to later develop during the day and post on facebook. I will then pray, wake up my nephew and prepare him for school while I also prepare myself for work.
After we have breakfast, I will walk him to school and then take a taxi to work. I work full time as a Finance Officer and my office hours are from 7.30am to 5pm daily. Some days after work, I would go to Church to teach the Bible Study class or to just sit in the Bible study class and learn from whoever is teaching. On other days, I would go home after work to eat a bite, check on my nephew and either work on polishing a song I have written or go to the recording studio to get some work done on a song I am recording. I would usually be in the recording studio from 7pm to 9 or 10pm before returning home. At this time I am usually very exhausted and ready to turn in for the night. That is the simplest summary of what a typical day in my life looks like, but it is usually a lot more going on.
What is the Cameroon music scene like – are there are a lot of success stories?
Cameroon is a country with a lot of talented musicians and the musical arena here is very competitive. With these many talents here, it usually does not take too long for a new artist to realize that it is going to take more than a very good voice and a great song to have a breakthrough as an artist in Cameroon. You see, because there is no organized music industry or even distribution channels, most artists end up spending a lot of resources to produce their music but with limited avenues to distribute and market their songs. It can be very discouraging to many artists; sometimes it feels like the system itself is against us.
The typical Cameroonian loves good music and Cameroon has a lot of those. However because we lack a structure for our music industry, most people can only get our songs for free off You Tube and would share with each other through social media.
There is also the language challenge. If you sing in French, there is a higher chance being known as an artist here since 80% of Cameroonians speak French. And although that would be advantageous with you getting more fans and gaining more popularity, it still would not do much for you where sales are concerned because there’s just no music distribution structure.
In spite of all of this, I do enjoy singing, writing and making music.
You are inspired by Miss Parton – What is your favourire Dolly Parton song, and why?
I can never decide which one of her songs is my favourite but these are at the top of my list: To Daddy, Coat of Many Colours, Just Because I’m A Woman, He’s Alive, Rockin Years’, Eagle When She Flies, I Will Always Love You and Hello God.
What can we expect from Geni in the next few months?
Definitely more songs, I have recorded quite a few and I know that I am ready for the World to hear them.
What do you love about living in Africa and would you ever think of leaving if your music took you elsewhere?
I love the simplicity of life in Africa, things are really more laid back here in Cameroon and I love that I can hear the birds sing, feel the breeze through the trees and the community style of living.
Yes, I would definitely travel if my music required that I do.