My God provides for me - Coopy
Posted Sunday, December 8 2013 at 02:00
Emmanuel Edwin Kusasira also known as Coopy Bly is one of Uganda’s urban gospel artistes. He has released hits such as Nyweza, Sidda Mukyalo and a most recent one, I do. Sunday Monitor’s Joseph Lagen met with the Dancehall Reggae artiste to talk about his faith and passion for music.
Judging by your appearance (the long dreadlocks), one could mistake you for a Rastafarian. What do you think?
(Coopy smiles) I have three reasons for my appearance. My dreadlocks are part of my style. I was raised by strict Christian parents. And, I used to be naughty but got born again in 2002.
The bible says in Jeremiah 20:12 that God sees the heart of man and not his outer appearances. Many may wear suits and keep short hair but live are not as good. Jesus picked his disciples not from the temple, but from the street and landing sites. He picked up “hustlers” like me. I want to show my fellow youths that serving God does not mean wearing a suit and carrying around a big bible.
Some people consider reggae dancehall as that genre of people who do drugs and other wicked things. Is it true?
I would like to inform people that in all I do, I put Jah (read God Almighty) first. The idea that reggae is only for secular people is wrong. God made everything, music inclusive.
It is the devil that corrupted music hence false perception about reggae music, as being secular. The devil does not own anything. Even the hell he lives in is not his, God made it to keep him there. So it is my vision to take back what the devil has stolen by force just like Jesus did. In Matthew 9:12, Jesus told those that condemned him for eating with sinners, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but those that are sick.”
So I am reaching out to the young generation through music they can understand and identify with.
What is your take on abstinence before marriage?
Just like I sang it in my new single, I do. I believe in abstinence and I am waiting for the day I walk down the aisle to lose my virginity. It is a noble thing to save yourself for your spouse. Marriage is so sacred.
We have been told that gospel music does not sel. Is this true? Does it affect you?
I’m not into gospel music for money although I earn from it. Sometimes gospel artistes used to perform and go unpaid. Sometimes we perform free of charge to minister to people. My case is different; gospel music is my passion, not my profession. That is why I’m studying Industrial Fine Art at Makerere University. Music brings fulfillment to my soul. However, we have our prices and are paid by those who use our services.
Have you ever been tempted to go secular?
I believe that it is God who provides for me. Even before I was an established artiste, I never lacked because of Him. So, with or without pay, even amid temptations to go secular for the money, I will die a gospel artiste.
Who is that one person on your memory?
Mac Elvis, a fellow gospel artiste who passed on. He was like a brother to me. I walked with him from radio station to another begging for airplay of our music in 2007. He was sociable. That Saturday night when he passed on, I had just got off stage and I received a text from Levixone (another gospel artiste who had travelled with the late to Tanzania that day) about the incident. I could not help it but breakdown in public. Fans that were coming for pictures were shocked to find me soaked in tears but I told them what was wrong. I believe he is with God. I dedicate my performance at Phatfest 2013 to him. I miss him but I know one day we will meet in heaven.