Rema, the Nigerian singer, says poverty was the reason he stopped working for Christ Embassy church and ventured into secular music.

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The singer, whose real name is Divine Ikubor, spoke in a chat with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu on Channels TV’s Rubbin’ Minds, on Sunday.

The 21-year-old said contrary to popular belief, he became a secular singer before he got signed to Mavin Records.

He said he was singing at Christ Embassy, the church founded by Chris Oyakhilome, for several years before the pangs of poverty made him switch to secular music.

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“Church made me decide that I would do music. It started from the Christ Embassy Benin City,” he said.

“Transitioning from singing and serving in church was weird for me and I believe it was weird for them (my people). I didn’t really ask much or how they felt about it. It was weird and most importantly to my mom because she was well known in the church.

“It’s just where life has drawn me towards and I have to take the opportunity. I was still in Benin when that switch happened. A lot of people felt that it was when I got signed.

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“Actually, life was tough. In Benin, I’m not that guy to ask those in church to pay me because I’m doing God’s work.

“But right then in Benin, I started going to competitions, bars, lounges, political rallies. Just trying to get on the stage or hold a microphone. To at least get sprayed some money to get back home and feed my family.

“Because we were going through tough times and I lost my dad and brother. I needed to come through for my family. At that point in time, I felt like that was where I started spacing out.”

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