Friday, June 9, 2017

Conversation with Duane Moody

Duane Moody is an Associate Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music, Boston MA, is a principal artist with the "Three Mo' Tenors", is a professional vocal musician, among other accomplishments. Below is my conversation with him.

Great to have this conversation with you. There’s so much I want to cover, so let’s just dive into it. Have you always wanted to be an opera singer? Would you call yourself an opera singer?

No, I have not always wanted to be an opera singer, but when I started to take voice lessons at the age of 13, I understood what opera was all about and grew to realize that I had the chops to try and obtain success in that genre of music. I would call myself a professional vocalist who specializes in many different genres of music.

"You understood what opera is all about". For us newbies, what is opera about?

Opera is life. The difference, is that opera is delivered through the art form of music and lyrics combined in a way that takes you on a journey. All of that depends on whether or not the production is any good as well. You can have an elaborate Zeffirelli production or a minimalist approach to the same opera and have the same effect, because the message truly is in the music of the art form of opera. Opera is fantasy. You can take yourself on a journey through whimsical lands that you've possibly only read in books. Opera is history. There are several operas that are written based on an historical context. If one allows themselves to open up to the inclusion of the European style of classical music, combined with other genres of music that have yet to be infused into the operatic realm, opera in itself, can take on a new life of it's own. But, of course, for anything to be sold to the masses, they must be educated on the basics, and with music being on the bottom of the totem pole in our public education, I fear that art forms like opera will soon die out.

How did you become an opera singer?

I became an opera singer through my training and eventually through me getting hired by different companies to perform that style. I just happened to step into this style. I was raised on Motown, Funk, House Music, Gospel and R&B, so for me to think that I could become an opera singer was truly a dream because there was nothing in my upbringing that inspired me to become an opera singer.

As a kid, I was so impressed with watching Handel’s Messiah being done by some choir on tv, and was amazed the human voice could sound so other worldly! What do you find amazing about being an opera singer?

The strength. The beauty. The agility. The costumes. The orchestra. The chorus. The stagehands. The Production Crew. I mean what is there that is not amazing when one speaks of opera? {smile} But in all honesty if I had to narrow this question down to one answer, I would have to say the music. The music is what gives the voice the life. Without the music, I would be obsolete. Without the music the term opera would be null, along with many other varieties of music that we enjoy today. So yeah, the music. And the ability of the music to tell the story and with me being the vessel that carries the words, I had to learn how to become a part of that musical style that was not really a part of my spirit. That, for me, a kid from the ‘hood, was a bit difficult to grasp, but I figured that out {laughs}.

Speaking of music, are you a musician? What instruments do you play?

As a vocalist I'm a musician. Never understood this discussion that vocalists aren't musicians and that musicians are only instrumentalists. But hey, an educational moment. I do play other instruments though, as a musician. I play the piano. I used to play the trombone, the french horn and the baritone horn. Those instruments were played in middle school. Singing took over when I went to high school. Mainly b/c I felt more of a  passion from the vocal music educators than the band educator

Other singers of other genre of music feel just as passionate about their genre. Out of all the genre of music, why does opera connect with you so much?

Why not opera? I get that from the Black community all the time, especially in my family. “Why opera? Why not an R&B album or Gospel album?” (yes, album) {laughing}. Now, I understand why that question would pop up which can be stemmed from the latter part of my answer above. Opera is not a part of who I am as a Black American/Descendant of a slave, in my experience growing up. But see, my Mother always wanted a vast educational/life experience for me and my sister’s lives. My Father was just along for the ride {snickers}, but he learned too. But anyway, opera was something I stumbled on because I took voice lessons. I just wanted to learn how to sing better, because I knew I could sing, but I also knew that I wanted to learn the fundamentals. Getting the fundamentals meant learning the “proper” way to sing. Well, as I learned how to produce that European Classical traditional sound, I fell in love with how I was producing that sound. Little did I know what kind of competition I was going to be up against in this genre not dominated by Black American influence. Looking back, I should have gone the route of my culture. But hey, I’ve had a great career as a classical singer.

Hahaha! Yeah, you are in a field that doesn't really have a lot of African Americans in it. Tough choice! LOL!!
As a trained singer, do you do other genres? I remember seeing a video of you killing a Bob Marley song. You were amazing!

Thanks. I appreciate that. And yes, I sing so many different genres it’ll make your head spin. That’s the fortunate instance in learning how to sing well. Even though I had to learn how to produce that European Traditional Classical sound, I learned how to take that technique and apply that technique to the many other styles of singing that I grew up with and was always around in high school, i.e., R&B, Gospel, Soul, Funk & House Music. Little did I know that me applying that technique would be a benefit to my career when I was asked to be a part of the ‘Three Mo’ Tenors’. We sang at least 8 to 10 different genres of music every time we sang. We were ferocious.

I know! You guys were awesome! How long were you with them?

I'm still with them. Albeit we haven't had a solid performance for almost 2 years, I'm still, technically, a member of Three Mo' Tenors. So It's been 10 years now.

I listened to your CD on iTunes, and I believe that’s what drew me to reach out to you. What can you tell us about that CD?

Check out his CD on iTunes

Well, ‘Sur Mon Voyage’ is definitely a labor of love. Self-produced and self-marketed, this is just one of the many projects that I intend on releasing. I just wish I had more resources to get the word out in regard to getting people to purchase the project. And with that I thank you for giving me this outlet to promote my project. This particular project is done in collaboration with Dr. R. Timothy McReynolds, who is one of the pre-eminent pianists here in the Baltimore/Washington, DC Metropolitan area. The pieces that we are doing span many centuries in regard to different styles of classical music (yes we actually have different styles of music in classical, similar to different styles of gospel). We start with Mozart then go on down the line to Franz Liszt then turn into the period of Verdi then into early 20th century with Richard Strauss (late romantic/Modern era) and ending with an homage to the Negro Spiritual (The Black American Art Song) entitled The Carter Cantata (late 20th century). Now that piece (The Carter Cantata) has never been recorded with full orchestra, from what I understand. I hope to submit that opportunity to an orchestra and hope they bite.

What gravitated you to these particular songs for your labor of love project?

The beauty of Strauss. The difficulty of Mozart. The familiarity of The Carter Cantata. Personal choice. Uuum, most of those songs have been in my repertoire for over 20 years, but as I grow as a vocal musician I begin to interpret the music differently as I mature. Even now, those songs that I have on that CD are sung much better almost 2 years later. 

I noticed that you have several collaborations on iTunes. What helps you decide which artist to collab with?

Normally whomever is paying the bills is the one who decides who collaborates with whom (laughing). The only project that I've had sole control over is my classical recording 'Sur Mon Voyage...' and in choosing the collaborator for that, Dr. Reynolds and I have worked together on many different concerts together, as well as many recitals in the past, so he was one of my first choices. I do plan on doing future productions with other musicians that I've worked with in the past. Usually I collaborate with people that I've worked with in the past and have enjoyed working with. Let's just say I haven't worked with most people that I've worked with in the past (laughing)... Hell, they don't wanna work with me anyway...I've tried to get into their productions to no avail. The trials of someone who has always been honest with the people I confront... I've created a lot of silent/smiling frenemies.

Rofl! That's a trip! Opera drama of making frenemies. Hahaha!
So although I don’t consider myself eloquent in classical and opera music genre, Luciano Pavarotti was someone I was into. He was a beast with his singing. And the incomparable Jessye Norman is one I have even purchased her music. Who helped inspire, shape and define your musical identity as a singer?

I would have to say that my teachers, the good and the one bad, who helped to shape the identity of my sound. From Mr. Samuel Lee Bonds, who taught me how to breathe, to Ms. Beatrice Krebs, who taught me what not to do (may she rest in peace), to Mr. Wayne Conner who taught me how to get that tenor squeal in my sound and to the great Phyllis Curtin (may she rest in peace) who taught me the mental aspect of singing that I didn’t realize until 10 years after I stopped studying with her. I’ve had many coaches that I’ve worked with who have been instrumental with developing my sound, but especially Dr. Mark Markham who really helped me to bring everything together with the voice you hear today at 46. I’m still working on my sound as we give this interview today. I never stop learning. Now as far as inspirations, I would have to say, for me, Leontyne Price. I saw her on television doing a commercial for The United Negro College Fund in the 80’s and that helped me to realize that perhaps I could do this for a living. Of course I have sung with many greats on many great stages around the world, and many of them, some of whom have passed on, are truly inspirations to me, especially Samuel Clark Stevenson and Jerris Cates.

Speaking of singing with greats, lets get superficial for a minute. Are there any celebrity opera singers or musicians you would love to work with?

Unfortunately, no. The art form has become such a joke. Everything just seems to be so affected and put on. No one takes risks. All they rely on is gimmickry. Even the singers who actually have voices. Just because one is able to take their shirt off doesn’t mean they can sing the art form of opera well. Unfortunately, we live in a very visual society and the appreciation of the art form is fleeting and all too many care about is celebrity. Celebrity helps marketability which helps capitalism (people buying things they don’t need). {smile} Honestly, I would love to work with Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Anne Nesby (who opened for me when I was singing with 3 Mo’ Tenors), Maureen McGovern, etc….  And if I had to choose an opera singer who is “famous”…..the more I think about that, I know all I need to do is call on my colleagues. They are some of the best non-famous singers in the business of opera.

As with almost other genre of music - some of the best singers are the non-famous ones.
As a black man singing opera, where do you see yourself?

Working. Thankfully, I am employed at Berklee College of Music as an Associate Professor of Voice. I’ve been there for 10 years. Me working there has not infringed on my performing schedule, thankfully, but this opportunity does allow me the flexibility to come back to DC and look after my Mom, who is a stroke survivor. I plan on releasing some more projects in the future. A jazz project with a trio, and hopefully a project with full orchestra. Again, these projects cost and are not inexpensive. And no, I’m not a GoFundMe kind of person {laughs}.

That's a very noble thing you are doing, looking after your mom. My regards to her, and here's hoping the best for her.
Hold up! No GoFundMe for you? Not even if a bunch of us are ready to give towards your project? Lol

If that were the case I'd have project after project released by now. Look...I know a few millionaires, and I've been introduced to people who supposedly have the ability to make me a star. I'm not sure what the deal is, maybe my mouth is just too damn big, but no one is  knocking down my door to promote me or any of my projects. I'm in this thing on my own. I've sent former producers, Facebook friends and the like (all millionaires or people who know them) my screenplays and my ideas for shows and...nothing. Not even after my debut with The Boston Pops would anyone touch me. I even had a well-established talent agency tell me that things looked pretty good in regard to my career...(blank stare) I had one instance where a producer in the UK asked me what type of singing "gives me joy". When I wrote back and said that singing gives me joy, give me a song from any genre and I'll sing that song...I never heard from the man again.  BS I tell you...  Pure bull#@*t. When you realize that you're really on your own, financially, unless you support a certain ideology of capitalism or play this simple a#* game, you begin to look at life and how you market yourself differently. I know I don't have the wealth to market myself to make myself famous. I'm comfortable with that. I understand my lineage as a descendant of a slave as a Black American. Unfortunately, as I used to, too many spend too much time striving for something that one in a million only get (and that number is probably generous). And usually that one 'lucky' person does everything not to teach Black America (the ones that are left behind still struggling, surviving, hoping and praying) about how this system really works or doing anything to build community wealth.

You have said a mouthful right there, Professor. And you may be right, as you said in your own words, you may have a "big mouth". But that's what makes you your authentic self.

What do you love most about being a Professor of Voice at one of the world's premier college for music?

The time that I have with my students. I learn so much from them. I learn so much about our broken society. And in learning these things and all these people from different walks of life throughout the world, I become a better person in how I pass on my knowledge to future musicians. I love the fact that I am surrounded by an enormous amount of talent in our students. This pushes me to become a better educator. To give to my students that something more that I didn't have in my education. And baby, that's a lot, because I received a fierce education from my humble beginnings in SE, Washington, DC through the public school system (Simon Elementary, Hart Middle School and F. W. Ballou SHS), to my three degrees from The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University and The Boston University. I got some of the best tutelage. All I can do now is educate people to know that just because you get educated doesn't mean you have to forget who you are. You just have to learn how to work your show in adapting to all types of cultures and environments throughout this world while staying true to ones ideology. That's what's missing in our educational system today. Access to know that there is a whole world outside of ones neighborhood, environment and culture.

That reminds me. I’m supposed to have at least a session with you to get some professional pointers in singing. What made you become a voice teacher?

I was asked. I was working on Broadway doing Three Mo’ Tenors and I was called by the great Elisabeth Withers-Mendes (Tony Award Nominated actress for the original ‘The Color Purple: The Musical”) who asked me if I would be interested in teaching at Berklee. I was like, ‘why not?’ And the rest is history. Thanks to Jan Shapiro (now retired professor) who hired me and for Berklee for keeping me employed. I am having a ball, especially when I have students who WORK!!!

How do you usually go about with your voice lessons?

I always ask my students how they are doing. What’s going on in their lives. Make sure there isn’t any drama that I’m going to have to contend with during the lesson. If there is, then the lesson immediately turns into a talking lesson {laughing}. But if things go well, I always start with a review of the last lesson and then we go down the line. Breathing exercises, vocal warm-ups and then going over music. As the lesson goes on, the student can ask as many questions as he/she wants. That’s really how you learn. Asking questions.

What makes you a good teacher?

The best teachers are those who have experience as well as academic knowledge. The problem we have now with teachers is that many are just great performers or great technicians, but you don’t have many, like myself, who are great performers and great technicians. That’s what’s missing in our educational institutions. Professors who are technically proficient but know how to apply that technique to every day performance life.  

For readers who would like some development and guidance in singing, how do they go about getting help from you?

Getting help from me? Well, you can reach out to me through Facebook  or Twitter, or go to my website, and send me an email, or reach out to me through Berklee College of Music (See his profile page on the college website)

I follow you on social media, and I thought I was opinionated, but you sometimes really lay down the hammer. Lol. What would you like readers to know about you beyond what is perceived via social media?

I am all about putting money back into the hands of Black Americans/Descendants of Slaves. Unfortunately, because I have decided to take this on, my career will suffer. I believe in going against the status quo of capitalism (buying things that we don’t need). Many of our Black celebrities have become over the top wealthy by exploiting our poverty and not teaching us about Black Politics. Black Americans only own 2.6% of the richest country in the world’s wealth. A country mind you, that was built off of the backs of our ancestors who gave their lives with no compensation. This has nothing to do with our spending habits, but with the FACT that we own NOTHING. Income is not wealth. Please check out on YouTube every Monday and Wednesday from 9pm to 11pm. Very informative and full of DATA. Not just opinion, but opinion based off of DATA. Be informed and try to support Black business when and if you can.

Any last sage words to share to readers?

I am the song struggling to be heard. Now, I may be struggling, but I’m not tired. Work on trying to start from the bottom to get to the top. OWN EVERYTHING!!!

Thank you for your time, Duane.

Thank you Kenneth and you’re quite welcome. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Post-Oscar Conversation with Calvin

 Award season has been over for a minute, so I decided to have a quick chat with Calvin Bonds.....excuse me, Dr Calvin Bonds, who happens to be very active during award season

I decided to have this conversation with you, as I know you are actively involved with the activities of award season. Is it safe to say things have slowed down now that The Oscars are over?

Well as far as the entertainment events go, the cycle begins again. Films will begin being submitted to festivals and people will begin to petition voting members of the academy to check out their projects in hopes for an eventual nomination.

For those who don’t know, how exactly are you involved in the activities of the award season?

I am a U.S. Rep for the PR Firm, London Flair PRWe had two films nominated for the Oscars this year: Sing by Kristof Deak, which actually won the Oscar and Timecode by Juanjo Gimenez. I had the pleasure of being with them throughout their journey during certain Oscar festivities.

Describe a typical day in what you do in this regard?

A typical day consists of me preparing for a red carpet event.  First and foremost I have to make sure that I have all of the information and passes for the event. I also will make sure the client is prepared and will arrive at the event on time to do the Step and Repeat (Red Carpet). Once I arrive at the event, I will check in, get the red carpet passes and meet the client on the carpet. We will then proceed on the Step and Repeat. I will announce him or her and the movies or television shows they have been in. I will also secure interviews for them with reporters. After we have finished the red carpet, we would proceed to the event where I will initiate introductions/ conversations between my client and Hollywood producers, directors, actors, executive producers and other prominent people in the room.

That sounds pretty exciting in the grand scheme of things.  Have you ever had an A list client you were really impressed over (not suggesting your other clients are any less impressive)? Can you name drop, or that's pushing it?

*Laughs Out Loud*
Yes, but I think they all are A-listers in their own way in my book. I'm impressed with all of them indeed. It's my job to meet them where they are (which are on different levels) and challenge them to go further in their ability to get their names out there. I have to admit I have a pretty good list of clients.

Fair enough, my friend.....fair enough. So how long have you been doing this?

I have been dong this for a total of close to 10 years now, so since I was 11 years old (Laughs out loud).

Aww, you cute baby. Momma put you to work early, huh? LOL. So how many award shows did you participate in, including the lunches or dinning leading up to it?

Lol…aw man I don’t know. I usually just go to as many as I can during Oscars season. I will say that I have attended enough to continue my gym membership. The food is amazing! lol

I can imagine. That's world class cuisine and fancy eating. Get you eat on, bruh! So  what leads up to The Oscars?

Well there are submissions of films to festivals. There are petitions for films to be voted on by voting members of The Academy. There are a lot of promotion going on as well. It takes a lot for a film to make it to Oscar level.

I saw some pictures that you shared. What can you tell us about those experiences?

I have pictures posted of an Oscar Luncheon with some of the Best Picture and Lead Actor nominees. I also have pictures on the red carpet being  interviewed on the night of the Oscars. I must say this whole experience is nothing short of a blessing and I am humbled and thankful to be a part.

Thank you Calvin for taking the time to do a quick catch up with our readers!

Thank you for doing this awesome interview with me. It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Conversation with a DC Police Officer

The below Conversation is with a Washington DC Police Officer. We did this interview anonymously because I didn't want to jeopardize his employment. Somewhere along the line the line, he got cold feet of sorts, and declined answering supplementary questions I had for him. I was going to delete the preliminary interview we had done, but decided I might as well publish it anyhow. So here goes

This should be an interesting conversation between us. Like I told you when I found out you’re a cop, I’m not a big fan of the DC police but I’m ready to keep my mind open.
 How long have you been a patrol officer?
10 years
What was it about being a police officer that you admired?
The way you can help anyone from the youngest to the oldest. Unlike other occupations, being a police officer you have so many different hats to wear (a friend, counselor, protector, a comforter)
As a young man, what were your dreams and passions for life?
As a young man my dream was to make it to see the age of 21. Growing up where I did and in my environment there were a lot of killings, and I lost most of my friends between the ages of 12 to 19 so I just wanted to see my 21st birthday.
How did you get to join the police force?
I was newly married and had a child on the way so I needed a job with benefits, and the MPD was hiring.
Growing up in the environment you did and seeing what you saw, what was your impression of the police? Were they your enemy or your friend, and why?


What was the reaction of your family and friends when you informed them you were joining the police force?
There were mixed emotions. A lot of my family members were excited for me to become a police officer. However a few really hated the idea. My only brother hated it and didn’t talk to me for several years after I became one.
Why do you think they hated the idea? In your opinion, what was the impression your neighborhood had of the police?
How long was the training program, and what did it involve?
Training at the academy took 8 to 9 months and it involved all the DC and Federal Laws, physical training and weapons training.
What do you love most about being a police officer in the Capital city? What brings you pride and accomplishment about it?
I love being a police officer in DC because I can help people that I grew up with and help the city that I was born and raised in.
In your opinion, why do you think there is a disconnect between us the people and the police? I know there are worthy officers of repute and integrity, yet somehow it always seems the #%@% up ones are the ones more people encounter
The reason there is such a disconnect is because some officers and citizens don't want to understand what the other side goes through. A lot of citizens don’t understand the stress and craziness that we have to go through everyday, and all of the problems we have to deal with. Also a lot of officers don’t know what people have to go through everyday living in DC. A lot of officers don’t care about the citizens. They look at being a police officer as a job, but it’s much more than that.
But officers are everyday people, so they KNOW what citizens experience daily. Obviously wearing the uniform mentally alienates an officer, but does the culture in the police force encourage alienation and separation from the citizens (to enable you enforce the law)? And why?
I love the TV show Blue Bloods. Would you say it is an accurate depiction of the brotherhood you officers share?
I like that show as well and parts of it is true. You also have to understand that it is show so it has to add exaggerated excitement to it.
I know you cant speak for officers who give the good ones a bad rep, but lets just assume you can. What do you think makes some officers see us the public as the enemy, rather than the ones they should protect?
Because some officer don’t treat citizens as individuals. A lot feel that if one person does it that all are going to do it and that’s not the case.
Power intoxicates. How would you describe the power and authority you feel when you wear your uniform, and know most people will do anything you tell them? Be honest now
I know you, and you have been nothing but an upright and exemplary man I’m proud and honored to call a friend, which is why I was shocked to find out you’re not just a police officer, but a DC police officer. Obviously my perception is flawed. How would you suggest I begin to repair my flaw, and learn to celebrate you guys like you deserve?
Understand that the officers that you had a bad encounter with don’t represent every police officer that is out here. Treat officers off the experience that you have with them instead of past experiences. 99 percent of officers are great people and care about their community; don’t let that 1 percent have a negative effect on you .
I hear you. As a force (and an insider in the force) do a majority of you guys feel like you want to repair the flawed image we have of you, or it really isn’t something you guys stress over collectively?
What’s the big mistake we as the public should never make when you stop us to question us?
Dont make the mistake that all of us are bad officer. There are some bad officers but not all of us.
If we feel a police officer is bullying or abusing us, what should be our appropriate response?
Call for a higher ranking official to respond whereever you are and talk to them. If you fight with the police you are going to lose. We as a people need to go about the right way to get where we want to go.
How do I call for a higher ranking officer when I am stuck in my car at 9pm with a crooked, shady and shiesty officer trying to strip me of any dignity and self worth I have as a human being?
You know we cant have this conversation without addressing the increasing deaths of black men encountering white officers. When you hear of these incidences, where does your loyalty gravitate to? To your brothers in blue, or your human brothers….and why?
Do you personally know any racist fellow brother in blue? Lets keep it real now
In your opinion as an insider, do you think the police brotherhood culture is trying to actively stand against these senseless incidents, or you guys are just giving us a public image, and behind closed doors, you’re standing with and supporting your blue brothers, regardless if they are guilty?
How prevalent is racism and corruption in the force?
If your son said he wanted to join the police force, would you support and encourage him? Why?
If we want to support or volunteer to help the police force in any way, what can we do?
Go to your local police station and ask what you can do to help.
I’m sure you have faced some pretty risky situations in your service. How will you convince an aspiring youth who wants to join the force?
Just to follow your heart and don’t let the bad experience you had change that.
Any last words of advice you have for us, Officer?


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Conversation with Joshua

Finally, we get a chance to have this conversation. How are you doing with yourself?

I'm doing great, blessed and highly favored to Gods glory

For readers who don’t know you, how would you describe who you are and what you are fervent about?

I am Joshua Adeleke Miracles, called and chosen by Jesus Christ with the commission to "go and make humanity realize their authority as gods, so as to rule over the devil, for the devil is a slave to the regenerated man." This is the commission that has been graced on me to operate in the Apostolic/Prophetic office by God, with great signs, wonders and undeniable miracles of healing via the power of the Holy Ghost confirming the preaching and deep teaching of Gods word.

Wow! That's a lot of boldness, but praise God for his grace. Did you always know you would be doing what you’re doing now?

I have always known that I was different from my peers ever since I was a child, because of the way I saw angels and the way I saw things in life from as early as one year old. However, I desired and worked towards becoming an engineer. That changed, and my divine mandate took over at the age of twelve - and I have been on that journey for 23 years now and still growing stronger

You saw angels as a child? Can you tell us  more about that?

This happened when I was 2 years old. I entered my mother's goldsmith work shop and saw a bottle of chemical she used to wash gold. I climbed on a stool, took the bottle, opened it and garbed it all up. This started eating up my internal organ and I was rushed to Sokoto teaching hospital in the northern part of Nigeria. They battled to save my life by using all known methods to heal me, but none seemed to be working. It soon became trial and error as all the doctors had giving up and concluded I was going to die. However, God miraculously healed me as I saw angels singing  "my head, my shoulder, my knee, my tole, they all belong to Jesus." this brought my instant healing and all the doctors and nurses in that hospital gave their life to Jesus Christ and started attending the church my parent were attending. 

From the moment the idea or thought was conceived in you regarding what you’re doing now, to when you actually found yourself living it out…..was it easy to transition into, or did you have to process yourself into it?

It was not easy. I felt too different from others at a point that I wanted to run from the call. However, just like prophet Jeremiah, I discovered I can't run or change my divine destiny, for it is like fire shut up in my bones.

What’s the name of your church/ministry, and what’s unique or especial about fellowshipping with you (this would be a fine time to upsell your ministry….without going overboard. Hahaha!)

Hahaha! The name of my ministry is Rain of Favour Ministries Int'l, we operate in itinerant and media. Currently, I am helping to grow my friends church when ever I am not having ministrations, conferences or crusades in or out of South Africa. The church is 2 years hold now and we have a stable membership of 150 to 185 every Sunday

So how did a young man like you, relocate to Johannesburg, and start up a church that’s thriving so quickly?

One major lesson the Holy Ghost taught me is to always get clear instructions from the headquarter on the 5W/1H questions before moving to any place of divine assignment Daddy God sends me too. The 5W/1H questions are: What, Why, Where, Who, When and How. I can explain this 5W/1H questions better in teachings and preachings as I do for ministers/leaders of churches and ministries around the world. These questions are very important because they help you have clarity of purpose in the assignment God sends any minister and the GREAT GRACE of God guaranties you heavens backing to meet people and achieve incredible results in the place you are sent to. This is my secret for winning in this 1st land of South Africa God has sent me too.   

That's very well said, Preacher man! 
Every preacher has one core message that seems to maneuver through their message. For Joseph Prince, it is Grace, for Joel Osteen, it is sharing testimonies about the goodness of God. What would you say your core message is?

For me, it is knowing one's identity and operating in one's divine authority ( Psalm 82:5-7; John 10:34-35). The commission for my life came at the early age of 14 years, after I had already started preaching at age 12. God took the needed time to prepare me for 23 years for this great mandate on my life to the world. So I say to all, 'Preparation is key and very important, before manifestation in our journey to life and ministry exploit'

How did you get the commission from God at 14?

After I turned 12, the Lord Jesus Christ always appeared to me on my birthdays. At 14 years, Jesus came to me and showed me Psalm 82:1,5-7 and John 10:34-35, then he said this words to me,"GO AND MAKE MY PEOPLE REALIZE THEIR AUTHORITY AS gods, TO RULE OVER THE devil, FOR the devil IS A SLAVE TO MAN" This is my heavenly commission backed up with the above scriptures.

You’re a published author. What books have your published, and what would you say each book’s resounding truth is?

To the glory of God, I have published three books titled:
A. OVERCOMERS MENTALITY( Wisdom for Overcoming the Pains of a Warped Self-Image)
Have you ever been haunted by your past? Do you feel like life is not worth living, because of your bad experiences? Do you feel like giving up on life for almost all have giving up on you? or that you can never attain the big dreams and promises from your childhood anymore?
Trust me, i have been there and out by God's great grace. Overcomers Mentality is the book you need to read, for it gives you
* The power to break free from the pains of your past flaws and failures.
*Helps you to see yourself the way God positively sees you.
*Show you how your perception of your image affects your relationship with God and men, and how to heal it.

B. YOU CAN DO IT. This book quotes helps you every day of the week to step out and achieve more than you could have ever achieved. it pushes out the best in you.

C. POWER TO BECOME. The bible says: " To those who believe in Him, He gave them power to become..." This is a 120 daily quote book that birth the supernatural achieving power of God in you out and empowers you to destroy the yokes and hold of every accusers against. 

Would it be safe to assume you’re working on another book in the possible nearest future?

Oh yes sir! Lots of books to be published. I already have about twenty Holy Ghost inspired book titles that will be out as heaven instructs me when to release them for the benefit of God's people

Some people have really jaw dropping testimonies of their salvation experience, while others have a regular and seamless transition. Do you have anything to share regarding your salvation experience and transition?

In humility and all glory to God, I was preached to at age 11 in the boarding school I attended and at age 12, Jesus appeared to me in a class as we all gathered to pray and called me into the ministry by wearing me a white robe and putting in my right hand a staff and in my left hand a big jingle bell, then He told me to look outside the class and I saw billions of sheep in different colours and sizes. Jesus then said to me that I would lead them all with the staff and the big bell he placed in my hands. He also said to me that as from that day on, he would honor me and do all that I say out of my mouth, for my words would be His words and I would only say what he instructs and permits me to say, for my words would always carry his power and authority to accomplish all that is desired.  He finally told me, never to be moved by what I see, hear, or feel, but only be moved by His word. That I should make all words of men secondary, but His word (the Bible and divine instruction from the Holy Ghost) the primary words that guide my life and destiny. This is the testimony of my salvation and my calling into the Apostolic/ Prophetic Healing ministry

Wow! Indeed, very extraordinary and maybe even daunting!
So if I zoom into the distant future, what would you want your renown to be of?

A global preacher called and chosen to preach the true word of God for salvation, healing the sick and raising the dead physically, financially, maritally and spiritually to God's glory alone

By the way, in the midst of being a busy preacher, you're also a lecturer. Tell me more about this. What do you lecture, and where, and how did you start this?

I lecture Mathematics, Life Sciences (physics and chemistry) and Life Orientation at a technical school called Northward Technical College (a high school for American readers). I teach Grade 12 and matric re-write students; I started this earlier this year, and it came about when a friend of mine was contacted by the school as they were in an urgent need for a math and science teacher. My friend told me about their need, and the Lord gave me the go ahead to help them out. It has been a great blessing to me and the school since I took up the offer

Any words of encouragement to share with that person dealing with issues or character flaws that just don’t seem to be aligning with who they are destined to be?

Any work God has commissioned you to carry out on earth, once you get the clarity of the 5w/1h (i.e the What, Where, When, Why, to Who and How) just go ahead and do it against all odds. Faithful is He who has called you and I,  and who also will do the work through you as He is doing it through me. God bless you.

Thanks for the chat.
Below are videos of Joshua in a TV interview