PMJ: Can we meet you?
ELOHIM CREW: We are simply Elohim Crew. Elohim Crew is made up of three vibrant brothers: Odofin Oluwafunso, Emmanuel Cyril and Ejike Stephen with the stage names, Funshy, M-Cyril and E-Steve respectively. Funshy and M-Cyril rap and compose songs while E-Steve is a soloist.
PMJ: ‘Elohim Crew’ sounds somehow sacred or religious. Can you tell us more about the name?
ELOHIM CREW: Elohim Crew is a group of talented young people with drive and passion for arts. The name of the group came from an inspiration while trying to trace our gifts and talents back to God, the creator. Elohim means internal creator. And we see God as not just the creator of heaven and earth but also the giver of all gifts and talents.
PMJ: It is like this interview is getting spiritual. How and when did you guys start?
ELOHIM CREW: Like we said earlier, Elohim Crew started as a group of talented young people with similar passion for arts; geared towards glorifying God. When we started way back then, it wasn’t known as Elohim Crew. Then we called ourselves the Elohim Family. And the group was a large one, then with sixteen members comprising different performers from artistes, dancers, to dramatists. And we moved from one church to another for different kinds of ministration like gospel hip-hop, drama, dance etc. In 2006, we had our first album released (a six track album). It enjoyed air-play for a few period but many challenges that confronted the crew could neither let us sustain the success of releasing an album or keeping the group together for long thereafter.
PMJ: If I may ask, what kind of challenges are we talking about here?
ELOHIM CREW: Well, we faced many challenges, but the major one was the financial back up. This made many of us to lose interest. Some of us left the country to places like United States of America, Malaysia, etc for greener pasture. And the few of us in Nigeria could not come together to continue the project. So, for a long period, Elohim Family was disbanded.
PMJ: So what brought about the re-union?
ELOHIM CREW: Hmmm. God did it.
ELOHIM CREW: Yeah! After the wind of life blew everybody away, one day, we just saw ourselves talking about starting all over again. Actually, while we were all still together as Elohim Family, the foundation of the group had been the three of us. So, there was enough motivation to bring back the almost forgotten dream. We started recording our new songs and composing new songs. When it was time for us to choose a name for the new group, we decided to leverage on our former name; still recognizing God as the internal creator and the giver of gifts. So, eventually, we finally came up with Elohim Crew.
PMJ: From your names, it is obvious that you guys are not from the same tribe. How do you cope with language barrier?
ELOHIM CREW: We don’t see any barrier at all. We are like a family. There is a strong union between us. In Christendom, we speak different languages but the language that binds us together is God.
PMJ: M-Cyril, it seems you and Funshy play virtually the same role in the group. Don’t you think one day you may come with the idea of teaming up with E-Steve who is a soloist and a brother from your tribe?
M-CYRIL: I don’t think so. It can’t happen. If it will, it would have happened when the group dismissed. Everyone in the group is important and has a role to play. Besides, Funshy and E-Steve are in-laws. Funshy’s brother got married to E-Steve’s sister. And again, they went to the same secondary school.
PMJ: E-Steve, how do you feel being a soloist in the midst of 2 rappers?
E-STEVE: I bless God for everything. You know, it takes two to tango. Being in the group is God’s blessing as I said. It’s just like what the scripture says, ‘one body, many parts’.
PMJ: ‘Eledumare’ is the title of your song that was the top nominated for last month (September 2012). Has the song been on radio or television?
ELOHIM CREW: No, it has not enjoyed any real media promotion apart from it being on playmyjamz.
PMJ: Considering the popular notion of financial success in the music industry today, do you see yourself switching to secular music in the next few years?
ELOHIM CREW: With God being on our side, although we know that money plays a vital role in everything we do. The bible says we should build our castle in heaven, not on earth. What will be the purpose of gaining the world and losing our souls? Our primary purpose of ministering the gospel through music is to win souls for God, nothing more.
PMJ: Do you guys perform in churches? If yes, do you charge for your performance or do you just do it for Christ sake?
ELOHIM CREW: We need to clarify here that we don’t perform; we minister the gospel of Christ through music. Actually, before now, we have ministered in many churches. In fact, we have lost count of them. Then, we never charged for our ministration because we see it as the work of God. We only demanded for honorarium. But now, things have changed. We have realized that if we do not put a value on ourselves, people will take us for granted. For now, our value is reasonable and nothing changes our primary purpose.
PMJ: Who would you consider as your role model?
ELOHIM CREW: As a group, we love Mid-Night Crew and Infinity. But as individuals, Funshy admires Frank Edward, M-Cyril goes for Cohbams Asukwo while E-Steve is a fan of R-Kelly.
PMJ: Which other artiste would you give your YES on www.playmyjamz.com (irrespective of the genre of music)?
ELOHIM CREW: We all love Morrison and H.Y.E.S.H.A.
PMJ: What is your opinion about playmyjamz?
ELOHIM CREW: WOW! playmyjamz is the best thing that will ever happen to the Nigerian entertainment industry. You guys are the hope of millions of upcoming artistes out there.
You can listen and download Elohim Crew’s Eledumare via this link: http://www.playmyjamz.com/artist/elohim-crew