Holderness Ulong, popularly called Harmlex is a young, vibrant and dynamic gospel singer with a passion for reaching the world through his talent. He was a secular artiste before he became born again and decided to use his talent to glorify God only. He recently released a single titled “Spirit in My Soul”. In this interview, he spoke about his life, his family, and his music. Read the excerpt below.
Can we meet Harmlex?
My name is Holderness Harmlex I’m a gospel artist, songwriter and the CEO of the Batchbayz Entertainment group. I love building up things for the benefit of others.
What was growing up like?
I grew up in an area called Abredang, Abayong Biase Local Govt Area in Cross River State where I got my First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) at St Anthony Central School Abayong and secondary education at Comprehensive High school Abayong. Growing up was somehow a challenge but I learned so much I learn so much from my parents Mr. and Mrs. Ulong Unyah.
The biggest challenge was that my mom was the only one concerned about our education and adding to my dad’s lackadaisical behavior, I started leaving independently, this made me begin to pursue my dreams that got me to where I am today
How long have you been doing music?
Hmm! I started doing music from the age of 10. When one of my cousins saw the musical passion in me back then, he asked me to join one of the music groups in my locality and because of the love I have for music, I decided to take it professionally but I started with secular music, not gospel.
What prompted you to go into gospel music?
Well to me it was like a miracle because back then when I was a kid, I so much love secular music that I don’t even have time to listen to gospel music and in my family, everyone was living a normal worldly life as most are living today. But I so much thank God for his mercy and love being demonstrated in my family, in fact, it is a great testimony.
What were your concerned when you decided to go into gospel music? Were you afraid you may not make enough money?
[Smiles] Well, I have to say my switching from secular music to gospel in the first place was not even my own doing. It wasn’t my choice to be a gospel singer, I never dreamt that I may one day become a gospel artist but its all about the divine transformation through the power of God that took me into gospel.
So doing gospel right now to me is a privilege. I feel privileged working in the vineyard of God and I enjoy doing it even though there is no money in itfor me right now. So money is so far from it.
Is ‘Spirit in my soul’ your first production?
Hmm….. not my first production actually but my first in gospel song.
What inspired the song?
Many things inspired me in doing the song, there was a day I was praying and God opened my eyes to see some spiritual things, it was unexplainable so when I finished the prayer I opened my bible and I came across the place that God said IN THAT DAY I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT UNTO ALL MEN AND YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS SHALL DREAM DREAMS AND MANY SHALL SEE VISION. So after reading this, my head was filled with inspiration and to back it up, I experienced the hand of God, in my life. I know I am leaving by the grace of God and that was how the song came out.
If you are not doing music, what will you be doing in the Lord’s vineyard?
Well, I love teaching especially when it comes to the word of God. So if not music I would have loved to be a bible teacher
Who is your role model in the industry?
My role model in the industry is Frank Edwards I so much love his music, he inspires me a lot
Can you share some challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
My dear, it wasn’t easy gospel music is one of the most difficult profession one could go into because it has to deal with both physical and spiritual engagement. For example, my producer’s production equipment broke down severally while we were working on the song ‘Spirit in my Soul’.
Apart from this, many times I was discouraged by some of my friends but all I was looking at was the picture of my vision and this was some of the things that gave me the strength to overcome.
What is the most embarrassing moment as an artist?
Well, I thank God for His sufficient grace.
I have to make this clear, gospel music is not secular music where I may go to the stage to perform and get discouraged because people did not give me a rousing ovation, gospel music is for God and God is always in control of His ministers, so I don’t think I have been embarrassed before.
Tell us a bit about your family?
I was born into a family of four, I have three sisters and I am the only boy. Although my mom and my dad are no longer together, my mom has been doing her best to make life easier for us. My elder sister is married while my younger sister, our last born is still in school.
What’s next after ‘Spirit in my soul? Should we be expecting an album?
No, not an album. My colleague and I are still working on a new song and we will be dropping it soon before releasing an album.
What do you think about gospel singers doing a collaboration with secular musicians? Are you thinking about doing that too?
What people don’t understand is the fact that God’s kingdom is not of this world and everyone that is working with Him need not entangle themselves with the things of this world. It is barbaric to mix things of this world with things of God and I won’t do such thing either.