There is a flame about this man that is hard to put in words… Or in one word. There is a wild nature, so beautifully expressed that it is hard to ignore. Unconventional would be one word I might use, but even then I would not have done the man justice. Rich Mullins once said, “God is a wild man and I hope one day you’ll be able to encounter Him. But let me warn you: you better hold on for dear life, or let go for dear life, maybe it’s better.” If ever there was a man who in some way expressed the wild side of God, that would be Juliani. He speaks of his performance, convictions and his understanding of life.
Are there times you feel lost?
Yes. Well, every time after a performance, I go into an all new low. This is not unique to me; many artistes can tell you the same. There is an emptiness that comes as an aftermath of pouring oneself out. But I have learnt to just allow the process be. Some try to fill that void with drugs or alcohol or whatever else they consider would keep them in the high that comes when one is performing. But there really is no short cut. Allow yourself to feel what it is you are feeling, it will come, it will go. You will be filled again after a while. No substitute will shorten that process. Don’t make mistakes that might cost you later on. Just be okay with embracing that feeling for the while that will be. For me, prayer helps, but even as I pray, I know that I must give myself time for that void and sense of emptiness to be filled. Sometimes this takes a couple of days.
There is a brilliance about how you think and process life, where would you say that comes from?
Is there? Well, I think there is more to life. There has got to be. I challenge any general accepted way of viewing life. Who came up with that conclusion that I am meant to supposedly live by? Was it not men like me? I ask questions. I live life with the hunger of knowing that there is more to existence than what others have put out there. Why do I have to live my life based on someone else’s conclusion of life and success? There is more to it than just buying cars and houses to leave them to people who might not even appreciate the effort that went into acquiring such things. There’s more.
The reception you got during your “One Day” online concert was quite something, did you anticipate that?
After Nyash did his online concert, some people asked if I could consider working on an online live concert, so we (me and the team I was working with) worked on something. But it had to be different, we couldn’t do it just for the sake of putting something out there. It had to be excellent, the sound had to be just right. I think in part the excellence that went into it, made it different. All the people that were part of the team did an outstanding job. I believe in terms of performance, quality of sound and all other technical bits that went into putting it together, played a big role into making the concert a success.
How did you feel when Bob Collymore said you were his favourite artist?
Bob had good taste in music, generally speaking. Maybe he was biased when he said that, I don’t know, maybe he said it because we were friends. But yes, it was special that he would say that.
What has been the greatest part of your journey?
I live in the now. I appreciate the past but I always live for today. Having today and considering that as a gift, I live in tune with today, I don’t dwell on the past. I live in the moment. God is a God of today. The person who has inspired you the most in your journey …
In the different seasons of life, these have been different people. So, the answer to that would depend on the season in question. I have met many people who have enriched my life in one way or another; Kanji, my dad, Bob Collymore, just to mention. The only constant I have that transcends the different seasons is Christ, so, I endeavor to live in tune with God. If I pray consistently, it is to achieve this one end. My relationship with Jesus Christ means more to me now than it did before. He becomes more real as I walk this journey under the sun. In essence, I believe that God is the one person who truly has your back. He really does want the best for you at all times. He is the one who always has your best interest at heart. God’s perception of me is consistent; whether I do right or wrong. It does not waver based on my good behavior or lack thereof. He is constant. His thoughts towards me are constant. That is the sure ground upon which to live out my seasons of life.
What do you consider to be your calling?
Calling? I don’t think I have any special calling. I think the only thing that makes us special as human beings is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. If I live life from a perspective of the enjoyment of God then that is enough. However He chooses to find expression through me on different days may vary, but how I choose to live out life based on my relationship with God will be my expression of love to Him. In essence, the things we do are meant to be our expressions of affection to Him, just like when we do things for people we are dating in an attempt to make them feel special or make them know that we appreciate them.
When you think about the love of God what comes to mind?
I don’t think it is possible for anyone to fully fathom the love of God. I believe however that we often misunderstand the love of God in trying to earn it, going for endless fasts and trying to act right. God loved each of us before we could pull any of those ‘moral or spirituality’ cards. He made a way for us to experience His love without our pitiful attempts. We experience that love by simply surrendering to what He has made available through Jesus Christ.
He will always leave the 99 to go find the 1. His compassion is infinite.
How do you define life?
I just know now. I live in the now. If I contemplate the future, it is because God has allowed me to have a glimpse of it. Otherwise, God gives us our “daily bread.” Meaning he gives us what we need for each day and we need not concern ourselves too much with anything beyond now.
What is your safe place?
I’m an indoor person, as long as I’m able to pray, I’m good. God is my safe place. I interpret the pressures of life as God entrusting me with something more, he cannot allow things to come my way beyond the capacity he has given me to handle them. Increase in pressure means increase in capacity to hold more. Leadership as I see it has more to do with more responsibilities; it has little to do with fame, money, attention and all other such fleeting things. I believe, if you focus on God, he will give you the strength you need. Sometimes, the projects I help run have felt a bit much, the pressure of it all has at times left me asking, “why I’m I even doing this?” because at times people can be so ungrateful of the sacrifices one makes for them. If God was and is not my answer to that question, then I would have stopped doing some of these things a long time ago.
You seem to have a deep conviction of God’s love for you, how do you build that? What investments do you make to remain aware of that?
Investment, that word comes with the connotation of sacrifice. So, I prefer not to interpret my relationship with God in the context of such a term… Unless I look at it from the perspective of His investment, not mine. God is the one who invests in loving me and I just enter and bask in His presence, in what He has made available. I bask in His presence and hang out with people who have a relationship with God. Simple.
What misconception do you think people have of you?
People tend to interpret God only through their own experiences. And with that they think they have understood fully who God is and how He works, so when He (God) expresses Himself differently from the conclusions they have made, they say that that cannot possibly be God. I have been accused of having joined the illuminati movement and all manner of crazy things simply because some could not understand my journey with God. God is bigger than anyone man’s understanding of Him.