Starting from today, as part of our schedule, we will be bringing you up, close and personal with A-list musicians from different genres in what we captioned, “Musician of the Month”. It is our goal that our musicians of the month would inspire the younger generation to aspire for greatness in their music career.
For this month, our team had the rear opportunity with no other than the highly celebrated and rated music director, coach, singer, songwriter, Psalmist, CEO of Hemedy Music City. Our musician of the month is Tommy Tush.
Lets meet you. Your name and background (education, family, and career)
“My name is Tommy Emmanuel-Tush. I’m Nigerian, grew up in the city of Ibadan. Raised by a single mum who did a fine job. Had my primary school education at Oritamefa Baptist School moved then to Methodist Grammar School for higher learning and then graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture in the University of Ibadan. Yes, I guess you’re wondering what the connection between Agric and Music is. Well, let’s just thank God I found my right path on time. After school and NYSC, I worked a few months with an educational NGO in Abuja before taking up a bank job which I did for 12 months before a merger happened and I was part of those asked to leave. I was in the process of switching from banking to HR Management when I felt God called me to face music fully.”
What genre of music do you do and why?
“I do all genres of music. I think that’s what I was born to do. As a songwriter, arranger, Music Director, I got exposed to all styles of music. This helped me develop along all genres. And it shows up in my writing and performance. I can’t say this is my genre of music. You will find me do different things at different things. I see myself as a Psalmist. A divine conduit for songs that will bless the world. I see myself as a messenger who doesn’t decide what the message is but just delivers what he is given. So if its Hip Hop, I drop it. If its Apala, I drop it. If its RnB, I’m there.”
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
“I’ve never had to face any problem. And I’m not being spooky or trying to sound deep. What I’ve faced are growth opportunities and launching pads for bigger achievements. Problem? No. In the line of doing music, I don’t see anything as a problem. I see it as what was part of the package and its meant to grow me or show me or show me something.”
What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate most?
“I enjoy building other musicians. I believe my main assignment in life is to raise music giants and global players. It took me effort to align to that assignment because I felt I needed to personally achieve some things before I could step into those shoes. But when God says to do something you don’t ask why? So I enjoy coaching others and bringing out the best in them. I love to see people come into my space raw and after encounters with me, they leave knowing better, singing better and playing better. I also enjoy creating music masterpieces. Oh, how I love songwriting, arranging and live productions. I love to see people get lost and overwhelmed at songs I write or arrange or at events and concerts I’m in charge of. I love the impact that my music and my music teachings have on others. When I hear the testimonies and it gives me a sense of purpose. I’ve had people tell me, everything I’ve been posting on music online has been helping them. People tell me they save it somewhere, others use as manual for their Choir- that’s living for me. That’s impact and influence. What else is there to live for if not impact?
What i hat about music? nothing
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
“I am territorial in thinking. I think take over. The global music industry is been run by people who don’t share my moral and religious views. I see too much vulgarism in the music, too much toxic messages, too much lewdness. That’s one thing I’ll love to change. In the Nigerian music industry I’ll love to see better structure. The industry at the moment is not structured at all. Let’s be truthful. We’re just running it as we see fit. We still don’t have best global practices.”
What drew you to the music industry? Your motivation.
“My motivation to doing music was- 1. To impact the world with my own creativity and to share a message via music which I believe God put in me. Secondly, I wanted to change the face of Choir music in my country. I believe also one of my main assignments in life is to revamp music teams. They are the bedrock of many artists and unfortunately, many music teams in Nigeria are struggling. I believe I was born to help them. I also want to see my songs go global and my voice heard all over the world. The desire is strong in me. I believe I have many things my generation and those to come need. I have a dream to have the biggest music city ever. HEMEDY Music City is loading.”
Who are you inspired by?
“I was inspired by Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker and John P. Kee. Those who follow me online know I keep mentioning these names. These were the ones I listened to and watched and made me feel I wanted to do music. Kirk stirred up the songwriter, director and performer in me. Hezekiah made me love choir. John P. Kee gave me something I can’t describe. He was everything. I practically studied his materials. I wanted a band like his, songs like his. I’m glad these people still inspire till date. Kirk is still a legend. Bishop Walker is still on fire. Pastor Kee is still at the forefront.”
What’s an average day like for you?
“I spend most days teaching music online, writing and arranging songs, having a rehearsal here or there, watching movies, writing articles and books, playing with my family, building my music empire HEMEDY Music City.”
What is your biggest achievement so far and what do you hope to achieve in the nearest future?
“Being able to raise my choir in Ibadan to where it is now is major for me. I know where the choir was before I took over, now that I’m not in charge, seeing what God has used me to build in about 7/8 years of directing gives me joy. I see people who have improved, my choir has become notable for excellent music that’s exportable. That’s a major achievement. Plus my successor is doing an awesome job and nothing gives a leader greater joy than seeing the work get better and grow stronger after he is not in that office. Secondly seeing my music school take shape is huge. In 6 months we’ve had almost 1000 students pass through the class running over 40 courses. My fame as a Music coach has gone wild so also is the impact. I bless God for that as I look forward to impacting Africa and other continents with my music teachings, my songs and my directing Grace. I believe I’m called to reach more than my environment.”
How do you balance ministry and career as a gospel musician and minster?
“For me I’m first of all a Christian before being a Musician. Every other thing stems from my faith. So balancing isn’t an issue. My faith takes precedence and affects all my decisions. I understand the business side of music. And I follow it. I place proper value on my gifts and products. I make my money and I’m still a Christian.”
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans
“I always loved people sending me mails or chatting me up on social media and going straight to the point. Once I get what someone wants, I respond as soon I see it. If I can’t solve it, I refer them. I respond to calls as well and comments on social media
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?
My favourite part about doing music is the vast impact and influence it gives me to change culture and people. But also music puts your life on the open and sometimes you just want to he private. “
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
“Yes I have. First thing I do is to pray. Second thing is to rehearse. Then I make sure I don’t try to outshine anyone. We get anxious on stage if we don’t do enough regular rehearsals and build capacity or when we try to compare ourselves to others. I don’t try to do what others do. I’ve been at concerts where artists before went a particular route which looked like what the audience wanted. But I stuck to my style which always pays off.. I also pray in tongues a lot to deal with any form of fright. I do what I was sent to do without looking at anyone’s face.”
Have you ever had to deal with failure?
“Yes. Seeming failure is part of the deal. I once recorded a song and I’ve announced the release date only for the Producer to tell me a night before release that he doesn’t feel I should release the song. He was still working on the song till that night. He said he doesn’t think music was meant for me. I also later released 2 other songs which was like no one downloaded it except me. I’ve had many down times in directing when it felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. When after doing all, choir still messed up on stage, issues on the team to deal with. But I always learnt from them and they make me better and strong”
Tell me about your favorite performance venues
“Madison Square Garden. That’s a place I’ve been dreaming of performing in. It hasn’t happened yet but IT WILL. My church HarvestHouse Ibadan is one of my great venues. Eko Hotel is dope as well. I love the hall and ambience.”
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
“If you want to follow my footsteps, first be sure you’re called to do this because music is WORK. There will be times you will feel like quitting and you will have to go back go why you’re doing this to keep you moving. Secondly, build yourself. Get trained, go for courses, listen to and study music, get experience. Don’t just jump in because of talent. Coaching and directing needs a lot of backlog experience. All I went through and learnt is now paying off. It now makes sense. Take responsibility. Whenever work shows up, don’t back off from challenges. The challenges I’ve dealt with in music gave me the wisdom I have now.. Always pray. There’s nothing can achieve without God. The industry is wild. You need God. Make sure you have mentors as well. Others have gone ahead of you successfully. Find them and learn from them. Be planted in a church. Have a pastor and a covering. You need it to draw strength and to grow personally.”
If this has inspired you or you have a thought regarding this article, kindly drop your comment below.