She set the rule even before the commencement of the interview. Looking quite robust, relaxed and remarkably attractive than few years ago when she was battling with emotional trauma caused by her broken marriage, gospel act, Kenny St Brown insists she would not take any question relating to her crashed marriage. Holed up in her cosy, sparsely furnished Lagos apartment for sometime now, the sultry gospel sensation appears determined to rid her once heavy heart of thoughts regarding her failed marriage with fellow musician, Eddy Montana.

Yet she savours the exciting company of her two lovely kids, whose framed picture on the center table smiles at you as you wait in her sitting room. “We can talk about anything, but please don’t ask me about my marriage,” she warned as she sat gently on a plastic chair under a mango tree directly opposite her apartment.

But more importantly, she would love to speak about her latest album, ‘Turn Around’, especially the significant impact it made in the music career of the late hip hop star, Dagrin, who featured in one of the twelve songs in the album.

According to her, Dagrin’s meteoric rise to fame before and after his death was largely influenced by the song. “Turn Around is a connection of powerful prayer points from A to Z. It was produced at the time Dagrin was looking for prominence and all his prayers in that song were answered. In the song, he asked God for fame, he asked for money and wanted to be a widely celebrated rapper.
”All his requests were granted as he soon had money and became a celebrated rapper. Unfortunately, he did not ask for long life, he did not ask God for safety. If he did, I believe he would have lived longer. After his death God revealed this to me and I went back to the song and realised it was true.”

Love life
It is not what I would like to talk about. Right now, I’m in love with my career. I don’t even think about it. It doesn’t even come up in my prayer points. Maybe because of what I suffered in the past. It wasn’t funny. I found my career totally threatened. Even my church that was supposed to be my succour compounded my problem. They removed me from the list of artists and told members to stop inviting me to events. I went to events and found my name totally absent and when I asked the people in charge, they would say it was the church that asked them to do so. It was so bad that at a point I considered going into business. But God spoke to me. He said, ‘I’m the one who called you to church from the world. If the church has rejected you, the radio and TV will accept you.’ Gradually, I started putting myself together and I thank God who has given me a turn around.

Shift to club, party songs
I have rebranded from doing the typical church praise and worship gospel songs to more contemporary club compliant, party acceptable songs. It is like a total revolution for me. It is a rebranding in terms of content, style and target audience. You don’t expect me to do ‘you are worthy worthy’ I did 11 years ago because it can no longer satisfy the audience of today. It is necessary to do this in order to meet the current demands of the Nigeria music market.

Delay album release
It took time for me to release the last album because my own kind of music is very peculiar. I deal with real life situations, real experiences, real circumstances and all that. I’m not like some artists that will find somebody to write for them and then use their image to present it to the world. My work is a creative work in which I am conditioned to meet strict conditions in terms of content theme and messages that must be delivered the way music is being delivered now. There is a compelling need to create content for radio and TV where, at a time, there was no representation for the gospel so there is a vacuum to be filled with contemporary gospel songs. So, all this is responsible for the delay because if you look at Turn Around, you will agree with me that there is flow, emotional connection and fluidity from the first track to the last.

Actually it was Sheyma, the producer of ‘Turn Around’ that brought us together. But I would say it was destiny that brought us together. Though the first time I encountered him was two years earlier when I conducted a talent hunt, in which he made a semi final. But destiny later broug us together because it was at the time I wanted a turn around in my career and he too was looking for prominence. At that time he was always with Sheyma to feature in the albums of some of the notable artists he was producing then. At first I was wondering what contribution would someone like Dagrin make to my kind of music. But I was shocked when he started delivering his songs. He even had more prayer points than me. It was then I knew that the boy really believed in God. He believed that it was only God who could do it for him and God answered all his prayers. Turn Around video came out before he released Pon Pon. It was all his wishes in Turn Around that were eventually granted even though he had a death wish hanging on him which reflects in his ‘If I die’. But he touched more lives after death than when he was alive.

Family influence
My elder brother, Keke is into entertainment journalism while I’m a gospel singer. We all have our individual calling within entertainment. I would say my music talent comes from my mother’s lineage because I can remember my mum’s elder brother was a DJ back in Ago Iwoye, our home town. He was always busy from Monday to Monday and we were following him to naming, wedding and burial ceremonies in Ago Iwoye in the 60s, 70s till 80s. My mother has a very strong voice. My sister Moji Dokpesi has a good soprano voice. My father was an educationist and an evangelist. So I would say the gospel part of me is from my father.

Advice to single ladies
Don’t get too desperate for marriage no matter the situation you find yourself because it can make men take you for granted. You don’t even have to make it prominent on your prayer points because the more you do so, the more desperate you become and this can put men off. Just be calm and always make yourself attractive to men in terms of character, physical appearance and your general conducts. It is better for a man to get desperate that for a woman to get desperate.