"How I created the StonePraise Technique"- Andrews Stopfords
In line with CreativeNaija's vision to promote and encourage creativity, we present to you Andrew Stopfords, the ingenious bass guitarist who developed a technique of his own. Unassuming and down to earth, inventive and a master of his art, what follows is Andrew's story. Enjoy...
CN: Kindly tell us more about yourself
I am Andrews Osei-Asibey Stopfords. I am from Besease in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. I was born and bred in the wonderful country called Nigeria, to Mr G.P.E Stopfords, an Ornithologist. (An ornithologist is a person who studies birds - a branch of Zoology.) I grew up with my dad, who is a single parent. I lost my mum when i was only 1 year old and so i do not know her very much. I grew up close to the wild and had the privilege of interacting with beautiful plants, animals and nature as a whole.
I have two beautiful sisters (Rundel Stopfords, now Rundel Omotayo Fawi, Georgina Stopfords, now Georgina Christian Madu) and a lovely brother, Noble Stopfords. Noble introduced me to music at the age of 12, when he had the privilege of being the studio engineer and store custodian of the Church instruments @ Living Faith World Outreach a.k.a Winners Chapel, Maiduguri.
My elder sister Rundel, took care of me and stands as a mother to me today. She was about 13 years old when we lost our darling mum and so she was able to care for me. My other sister, Georgina is my very close friend and we always went everywhere together.
I grew up in New-Bussa, Niger State, Nigeria. I attended NIFFR Staff School for my primary education and then moved to Maiduguri, Borno State for my secondary education @ HIMMA (Private Secondary School). I later moved on to University of Ilorin for further studies.
CN: What is the Stone Praise technique all about?
Stone Praise Technique is a method of making speech-like sounds, using slurs on the guitar. I was in Calabar on holidays with my Dad in 2005 when one night, i was singing songs, praising God, listening to music earlier that day, i had become worried about my inability to make proper slurs with the bass guitar before the commencement of a song, when i was required to do so. I was praying and believing God to inspire me and help me perfect that skill. It then occurred to me that slurs sounded like the human voice and could be used to mimmick the human voice. Like many other scientists in the past who had discovered something new, i was amazed!!!
That was the origin of 'Stone Praise Technique'. Details of this would soon be made available to the world in my new book, 'The 1940 theory (inspired by Luke 19 vs 40) - Stone Praise Technique in perspective!
CN: What has been the response thus far and please tell us more about the accolades you've received on its account:
Hmn, i am grateful to God for that night when it occurred to me that slurs sounded like the human voice. I did not have much faith in the technique until December,2010 when i performed it at a Christmas carol (African Theatre - mini campus, University of Ilorin), with my friend Seyi omolorun - known as Seyi Jazz! People loved it very much and it encouraged me to continue using it.
I recorded them for the first time in Ghana, 2011. I put them up on youtube and sent the videos via mail to prominent music schools and musicians around the globe. i wanted to know if it was an already existing technique, and i also wanted to know what professionals thought about it. I got a response from Don Moen and friends (Nashville Tennessee, USA), encouraging me to keep using it in praise of Jesus Christ, ad that mail changed everything! I was motivated to follow it through. I uploaded my videos on an international bass guitar network, with over 1,700 members from every continent around the World (Basshive.net) and i was rated No. 1 Bassist on basshive for the months of August, September and November and part of December, 2012.
I also got many friends from many nations of the earth, especially musicians, politicians and everything royalty (Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Lords, Barons, Baronesses, Sheikhs and Sheikhas) and Ambassadors around the globe on facebook who i sent my video to, became my friends and loved as well as commented on my videos.
I have also got very many professional musicians on my linkedin network, including The Digital Guy - Bruce Nazarian! Bassists have also watched and commented on my videos at the group, International Society of Bassists!I have been denied a record at the Guinness World Records until now because i have not been able to produce another bassist to compete for a record on this technique. I have sent requests to bassists around the World for this and have not gotten one to compete so i would get the record. I am still appealing to bassists around the World to join in the competition for 'Stone Praise Technique'. What they said they could do would be to open a new record holding i n the future for 'Stone Praise Technique'. I am still waiting and i believe that if you are a bassist out there, you could help me achieve this by coming up for a competition. God will bless you if you do that, amen.
CN: What has been your lowest point in life thus far and how were you able to overcome the challenge?
I have had a lot of health challenges in my life, from Malaria to Tuberculosis to depression to filariasis to jaundice to upper limbs fracture (during childhood) and all these affected my career in many ways. In fact, i would pour all of these into my book, watch out for it!
I have always prayed to God for healing and from personal experiences, i am a living testimony that God still heals. Nowadays i go through the whole year with just common cold and sometimes one malaria attack. halleluyah! God helped me to compose a lot of songs in my trying times and m,ost people do not know that i have written over 1,500 songs. I will be coming up with them as time goes by. i want to use this forum to encourage you look up to God in your trying times for good things have a way of coming your way when you trust in God and wait for Him to save you! Be encouraged!!! Today, i appreciate all i went through, one day you will appreciate all what you are going through at the moment. I will say, never, never, never give up!
CN: So what are you up to at the moment?
I am in the Bible school at the moment for a certificate in Theology. I want to appreciate the Bible i tell others about. This will help me talk about it better and enhance my future project, 'Stone Praise e- Bible' - i would make quality videos, this time with copywrite on the whole Bible!!! You should expect that this project will talk a large chunk of my lifetime - keep praying for me.
I will tell you about my concerts soon (Stone Praise Festival of Praise and Worship). I will be touring and will definitely get to Nigeria (By God's grace when i start). More to come, keep in touch!
CN: How can followers of your works connect with you?
You can reach me on Facebook via- Andrews Stopfords, Twitter - stonepraise, Reverbnation - Stone Praise Entertainment, Youtube - Andrew Stopfords, Email - email@example.com, linkedin.com - http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=203917116&trk=nav_responsive_tab... (Andrew Stopfords - stonepraise) and follow me on CreativeNaija (My username is Stonepraise)
You can watch some of my videos via these links:
CN: Any Parting words?
Jesus Christ gave us an assignment when He was leaving, it is found in the Book of Mark 16 (The great Commission) - he will ask us about it someday! God bless you!!! Thanks so much for having me.