Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:47 pm
Olapeju Oluwamuyiwa Theophilus is a multi-talented gospel music artiste. In 1999, he started music with a group known as Boulevard, but the group broke up in 2002 after a hit song, Sare Wagbajo. In this interview with Daniels Ekugo, he talks about his background and music
Sare Wagbajo, which you did 15 years ago, was well received at the period. Why have you decided to switch over to gospel music?
I am someone who believes we are complete as human beings and I believe God did not make a mistake by giving us a mind that is elastic and stretches we study and learn new things. I have always wanted to do music right from my early stage in life. I have always been a church boy, but you can be in church and not in Christ. I grew up in church, I was in a church choir and I know I am gifted. However, I believe that music is beyond making money. Everything in me was just all about music.
Why do you think gospel music is particularly unique?
It has been my vision to have a school of music and worship where we will teach people music and worship, the reason being that if you look around in our society, gospel music is fast becoming more like secular music. I am part of the old school that believes that the sound of worship and gospel music should be different from that of secular music because the gospel ministries are diametrically opposed to secular music. The value, parameters of gospel music are different from that of secular music. It is my desire to change the sound of gospel music and people’s attitude towards it, to be in line with what the Lord wants from us.
What other factors informed your choice of gospel music?
I didn’t choose gospel music, gospel music chose me. I didn’t choose secular music as well; the music did. When I was young, it appealed to me greatly. I had a wonderful romance with music as a child and that shaped my sense of music. So, you can say that music chose me very early in life. And then as I said, gospel chose me in the sense that Jesus found me and put a message in my mouth. My style of music is not gospel, there is no type of music called gospel. Gospel is the message of the music. But in terms of style, you can have reggae, pop, rock, R n B among others. In terms of message, you can use your medium or style to speak about whatever you believe. I believe in the gospel, so my message is strictly gospel. That’s how the combination came about.
When did you decide to really pursue a career in music?
Yes, music was always on my mind, but being a musician was certainly not the main thing on my mind. I recall that my greatest moments were the times I enjoyed this romance with music, when I would sit alone and sing to myself. I didn’t sing to entertain people. I only sang for myself often as a child.
How many albums have you released?
I have been underground since the separation of the Boulevard group, after doing Sare Wagbajo. Since then I have done a lot of personal recordings which haven’t seen the light of day because I had neither a marketer nor a promoter. But I thank God that this year, I will be coming up with a single titled Hell No. It is a message to everyone and not to Christians alone about Hell.
We assume you now have a promoter or a marketer?
No. I am open to negotiations. But I really thank God for providing a company known as Motivate a.k.a M8. I recently signed a management deal with them for the promotion of my single.
None. I have no regrets going into gospel music. Music for me has been interesting, particularly as a gospel musician. The passion to do things for God has kept me going as a gospel artiste. Before you can become a gospel artiste, you must first and foremost be a Christian. It is not just a music thing, but also a lifestyle thing. To be a gospel artiste, you must be born again and must be living the life of the gospel. You can’t be a gospel artiste and not be born again, it is contradictory.