American Gospel artist Tyra Archie, musically known as Adura, has revealed that the gospel music genre is not popular in the United States of America. In this conversation with Vanguard, she expressed her desire to feature Nathaniel Bassey in a song someday and also spoke about her admiration for Nigerian names and gospel music, amongst other interesting things.
Who is Adura?
I am Tyra Archie, a worship leader, a singer and a songwriter. I have been leading worship for over 15 years. Four years ago, my husband and I, along with another associate Pastor from our previous church, planted (the) Life Change Church in Houston, TX in the United States. Here I serve as the senior worship leader and I also support my husband as co-pastor. In January 2022, the Lord began to press upon my heart to start publishing and producing music that he has given me over the years. So, I started connecting with a network of musicians and producers to begin my journey as a Christian worship artist. I was blessed to meet Grammy award-winning Nigerian native music producer, Femi Ojetunde and together we have started the first single project for Adura worship!
The name Adura means “prayer” in Yoruba, a Nigerian language, are you aware of that?
Yes! I am very aware of the meaning of the name and that is the reason I was drawn to it.
So what inspired you to choose Adura as your brand name?
I wanted a name that not only displayed a representation of Christ, I also wanted something that I could always measure myself up against for accountability. You see, I believe there is power in a name. All of the names of God deliver power and hope to the one who receives him as that name, and that is what I wanted to have for myself. A name that challenges me to pray in hard times, pray in the good times and pray always. So what better name than Adura? When I think of that name and how I represent it, I want to live up to the name. It’s also a beautiful word.
How long have you been doing music?
I have been a worship leader for over 15 years. I have been a background vocalist and lead singer in the church participated in singing competitions in the United States and opened for major events such as the Taste of Chicago in Chicago, IL and several banquets, funerals, weddings and other events and ceremonies. It has only been since January 2022 that I have dedicated myself to the publishing and production of the original music God has given me.
Why did you choose to do Gospel music?
I would have it no other way. I was reared in the church so the seed has always been a part of my life. As I grew up I never lost my love for God and giving him back the gift he so graciously gave me. God has done so much for me and I love Him. I count it an honour and very humbling to be able to bring forth praises to him and lead his sheep in worship weekly. I am looking forward to sharing this gift with the world!
How well known as a Gospel musician are you?
I don’t consider myself very well-known at all. I have been dedicated to my local church most of my life, so amongst my church family, I am pretty popular (laughs). When it comes to the greater church and the world, I’m just getting started.
How receptive are Americans to Gospel music? And to your music?
Gospel music has its place in America, but I do not believe it is popular or appreciated as it is in other countries. My music is just getting on the scene, so we’ll see how Americans enjoy it.
Do you have any hit Gospel tracks?
Not yet! I’m feeling really good about the single, so I anticipate at some point I will by the grace of God.
Are you a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or do you just do Gospel music?
I am a minister and teacher of the Gospel. I love to teach God’s word whenever I am afforded the opportunity. In my opinion, it’s hard to separate the two if an artist is truly committed to publishing God-centered music. You have to use so much of his word to be most impactful, that it only makes sense that Christian songwriters have some ability to deliver God’s Word.
Do you listen to African Gospel artists?
Yes, I do. I love Nathaniel Bassey and Sinach and I have just been introduced to a new artist, Called ‘Out Music’.
Do you have any favourite Nigerian Gospel songs?
My favourite song is Yahweh, Yahweh done by Nathaniel Bassey & Sinach.
Have you ever been to Africa for a concert?
No, I have not, but I would love to one day.
So what do you have cooking for music lovers around the globe?
Femi and I have something special coming out. I am very proud of the single. The song truly ministers to the hope that is in Christ Jesus and the beautiful life that comes from living for him. I can’t wait for you all to hear it!
Would you like to feature any Nigerian or African Gospel artist in your future works?
I would be open to that! I would love to do a song with Nathaniel Bassey one day.