I write songs in Lagos traffic –Elwoma, gospel singer

By Tosin Ajirire

Ewomaoghene Luther-Abegunde a.k.a Elwoma is a blend of grace and gifts. The singer, songwriter and movie marketing executive is the voice behind several popular songs including Unforgiveness and A King Is Born, which recently earned her nominations in two categories in BAGMA, an international gospel music award.

Elwoma’s recent releases such as Oseme, More than Christmas and Jehovah Bankable are being played and downloaded daily on global streaming platforms like Spotify, Boomplay, iTunes, Audiomack and Pandora.

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In this chat, the mother of three opens up on why she’s been regarded as the voice of hope and inspiration to her world. Please enjoy it.

What motivated you to be a gospel singer?

I would like to state that I wasn’t motivated to be a gospel singer; rather being a gospel singer is part of fulfilling my God-given purpose here on earth. Being a gospel singer is my expression of love to God, and an extension of sharing this love with the world. When you are in love with someone, you don’t need any motivation to express or show off that love.

Your new single, Beautiful is Your Name, is highly rhythmic and powerfully rendered. What inspired it?

Beautiful is Your Name was borne out of an experience in 2020. I host a weekly Instagram programme called ‘Fun/True Facts Behind the Songs We Sing’. On this programme, I interview gospel artistes across the globe and they talk about the inspiration behind their songs, their walk with God and people, challenges faced and the likes. On one of those days, I interviewed Bukola Bekes, and the presence of God was so strong and tangible that after we logged off, I went straight to my bedroom, knelt down and started weeping in worship before God. All I kept muttering was ‘beautiful is your name’, ‘beautiful is your name’. Then it became a song and I kept singing those words. Two years later, here we are with the song being recorded and now ready for release. I am just in awe of God’s goodness.

When are you dropping the song and on which label or streaming platform?

The audio has been released on February 25 on all digital platforms – Boomplay, iTunes, Audiomack, Spotify and Pandora etc. And this will be followed by the song’s video, which will premiere on my YouTube channel @elwoma

How does music come to you?

There is no one way music comes to me. I could be listening to the sound of the piano and inspiration would come. It could come in the place of studying the Bible or praying or during rehearsal with the choir in my home church.

I remember when my dad died last year; I wrote some of the songs that would be released in my sophomore album. During that grieving time, I needed the comfort that only God could give, and the songs kept coming. Also, I wrote Living Water

, another song in my upcoming album while in Lagos traffic, jingling my house keys. Beautiful is Your Name and Jehovah Bankable, which I released last year, came out of an Instagram live experience. And at other times, I deliberately sit down to write songs. For example, when my friends want me to sing at their wedding ceremonies, I have to compose songs for them. And I also do collaborate with other songwriters.

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What do you think is unique about you or your music?

I am an inspiring human being on a mission to impact the world, with all that God has inhaled in me. I am a wife and mother of three amazing children, and I serve my generation as a hope merchant.

How do you combine music with your job at Silverbird Film Distribution?

It is a matter of creating the balance. For example, for two consecutive years, I sang the national anthem at my company’s event, ‘Silverbird Man of The Year Award’. So, they are aware I sing. When it is time to do my official work, I give it my best shot; and when it is time to do my music, I also give it my all. It is a matter of knowing what to do at the appropriate time.

Given the opportunity, would you consider pursuing music professionally?

That’s a very tricky question; but I can tell you that professionally, I am currently doing music.

Who are your mentors in gospel music both locally and internationally?

My mentors are Sinach, Yolanda Adams and Cece Winnas. I love African American singers; they inspire my style of singing.

What’s next after Beautiful Is Your Name?

Beautiful Is Your Name is off my sophomore album. By the grace of God, I will be releasing more songs from the album this year, until the full work is ready. So, expect more music as we make Jesus global, giving hope to our world.

As a gospel singer, where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years, I see myself bringing home the Grammys, with more music, more albums. I see myself carrying out pet projects that inspire lives in the city, rural areas, and also doing lots of collaboration that will impact lives whilst carrying out God’s kingdom assignment across the globe, beginning from Nigeria.