Christian singer-songwriter Blessing Offor refuses to allow his blindness to stop him. The Nigerian-born artist says he wants to share his talents with the world in a way that helps listeners hope for brighter daysahead.
Offor released his debut EP Brighter Days last month, and the seven-song collection is a snapshot of his character as he takes his life experiences and turns them into messages to inspire his audience.
Born blind in one eye, Offer's parents and his uncle migrated to the United States when he was 6 years old. His parents were hopeful that by coming to the U.S., where their son would have access to the most advanced medical technology and better healthcare, his vision might be restored. But by age 10, he lost his sight in both eyes. Yet, he was undeterred.
Before he lost his sight in both eyes, the musician had already learned to play the piano. And much like music legends Stevie Wonder and Sam Cook, he composes all of his songs on his piano.
"Our baseline attitude should be gratitude," said Offer in an interview with The Christian Post. "Not to be cliche, but we all got to wake up today. That did not have to happen. Life in context should only leave you grateful.”
"I lost a bunch of my vision when I was a kid, right? But I'm here, right? I get to play music for a living. I'm living the dream. That is the same for millions of people right now,” the multitalented artist testified.
Offer's attitude of gratitude has made a difference in his life, and he credits his family and upbringing for teaching him to cultivate a positive perspective on life.
"I don't want anybody else's life but mine," he said. "Because whatever they're going through, it's not for you. So we all find ourselves exactly right where God wants us to be and equipped for the thing He wants us to be doing."
Though his father took a great risk by being the first person in his Muslim family to convert to Christianity, Offor said he went on his own faith journey in college and was led back to Christ because of the Gospel message.
"I really think Christianity thrives under pressure," he said. "There's a kind of beauty, there's an extra kind of humility that you walk around with when you're in a situation where you are not in power. It reminds you that earthly power isn't the point. In the New Testament, the Church was never in power, but yet man did that thing grow."
"If you look at the New Testament, those guys were very, very persecuted. In Nigeria, Christians could tell you what persecution means,” Offor declared.
He encouraged Christians today to not get caught up in the controversies of the day or get swept up into thinking that everyone will become a Christian. The Bible does not promise that, he said. Instead, believers are to be a light in the darkness.
"Everything happening is meant to happen, and we have to continue to rely on what we know to be true and not freak out when the world acts crazy because the world is crazy,” he said.
"I don't think I'm the traditional Christian artist. I think of myself as an artist that is a Christian," said Offor, whose thought-provoking lyrics and catchy melodies aren't overtly religious in their message.
"I grew up with all the music in the world — Motown and jazz — and all of these things," he said. "And I have always felt really deeply that Christians go through heartbreak, Christians go through loss, Christians go through the same emotions that everybody goes through. Why does being a Christian mean all of a sudden we don't live human lives?” he asked, noting that it never made sense to him that when his friends were done worshiping that they had to go to secular artists to find a song that they can relate to for their relationship issues.
“So my mindset with making this record was just to be human,” he asserted.
“'Tin Roof,' 'Believe,' these are songs where it's me wrestling with faith or dealing with faith," he continued. "'Brighter Days' is a hopeful song. 'Love something' is just a song about loss.
"So I guess my whole thing is, I wanted to make a record that was full of human emotions, all the different kinds of emotions. Because being a Christian still contains within it being a person. I'm trying to bridge that gap. I can't make music my dad can't listen to. I can't record songs that I couldn't play in front of my dad because my dad's just the sweetest, kindest, most God-loving man in the world. But that leaves a lot of freedom.”
The Belmont University alumnus concluded the interview with CP by encouraging Christians to think outside the cultural norms.
"I think sometimes we get stuck in our own bubbles," he added. "I wrestled, growing up. I was like, 'I love Jesus, but I don't think I'm like a worship leader, per se. And I don't think I'm a gospel artist because, man, all these Motown songs, these songs are wonderfully worshipful in their own way.' Back to being honest, I have to just be myself here, so that's kind of what the EP is, Blessing Offor trying to be honest about Blessing Offor."
The EP Brighter Days is now available via Chris Tomlin’s Bowyer & Bow imprint in partnership with Universal/Capitol Christian Music Group. For more information, click here.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic