“I Thought I was Going to blow & Start appearing on magazines and billboards but….Obamusic

“I Thought i was Going to blow, be on billboards & pages of newspaper and enjoying the good life, but I Got the rudest shock of my life”…In this exclusive interview Bamike Adeyemi better known as OBAMusic takes us on a journey from rough childhood to becoming a kingdom messenger with the mandate to sing, write and make divine statements with an African Signature. Excerpt of the interview with Babatope  & Unachi below;

Q: Who is Oba Music?

Oba: Oba actually is a kingdom music minister. I don’t like to call myself a Christian/gospel artiste, I am a kingdom messenger using sound and lyrics as a form of expressing the mind and counsel of God on this side of eternity. Oba is the name God gave me while I was in the university to use to carry the assignment, He had called me into. I got born again in the university in 1993, I became a Christian on campus and there God called me into ministry to sing it, say it, write it and make a divine statement with the African signature. When He gave me the mandate and template to use, He gave me the name Oba. My name is Bamike Adeyemi, I hope that answers a bit of it {laughs}

Q: Yes, it does {laughs}. Could you take us briefly through your growing up experience?

Oba: Okay! My growing up was quite typical. I had a rough childhood. I say to people that I didn’t pay the development fee, you know great things come in cute packages {laughs}. Growing up was a challenge being the first of eight children from a polygamous home and my siblings are quite bigger in stature. Whilst in primary and secondary school, I always ranked among the first 4, was athletic, energetic. I am a force of nature and its always been that way growing up but I didn’t realize that so I tried to suppress the dynamics of who I was because I didn’t want people to say “my own was too much” not knowing it was part of the framework, the wiring of God for me to be able to function on this side of eternity, so I was always self-sabotaging, low self-esteem, inferiority complex though I was top in academics, I was top in the literary and debating society, was a school prefect loved by many yet didn’t believe in myself or believe enough I was worth anything. I had that rough childhood until I became a Christian. I got born again at the age of 21. Even though I was nominal Christian going to church, but there wasn’t any relationship as it were with God until I got to the university, gave my life to Christ and then began to seek God for myself. It was in the place of seeking I found out that I was suppressing the grace, giftings and talents He had given me as I didn’t think I can measure up with other people since I didn’t see myself coming from a fantastic home. You couldn’t even describe mine as a middle-class home, so all of these were suppressing the grace, but thank God for the consciousness of not just knowing Christ but being surrounded by mentors in spiritual and every other matter. I had that rough childhood with a lot of baggage, but thank God for knowing better and growing better, now I am no longer the young timid girl, I have horned my grace and now flaunt it without seeking people’s approval or validation.

Q: How long have you done music & could you briefly describe your experience so far?

Oba: My first professional work was done in year 2000 and released in 2002, so roughly I have been around for over 20years. One of the songs in my first album is ‘ilu mi Nigeria’ a song dedicated to Nigeria, a song that was played on every Independence Day year in and out, but the stations didn’t really put a face to the name. I started full force music ministry after my graduation from the university in 2000, I didn’t practice electrical engineering. I thought I was going to “blow” {hit it big}, I was according to review making good songs with international standards, so I thought I would be on billboards, pages of newspaper and enjoying the good life, but I got the rudest shock of my life. After the release of that album I was thrown to the backside of the wilderness for another 10 years of training, more like God was telling me I didn’t know the importance of the assignment and grace upon me, not just being the rave of the moment, so for 10 – 12 years no one heard anything about Oba, my song for Nigeria kept playing yet no one knew who I was. It was during this wilderness experience God gave me the clearer picture of the blueprint and template to work this assignment. A lot of people are just hearing about me now but this isn’t an overnight thing, its over 20 years of wilderness experience, thriving, approving. So I believe it is God saying it is time to showcase me to the world with this arrangement. The experience in the last 20+ years has been bitter sweet, because to an extent I know ‘I carry oyel small’ { I am anointed}, and in terms of vocal/music dexterity I know a bit, I stopped asking the God when questions because I now know God had been preparing me for such a time as this, I am grateful to God that many people are knowing who I am now, I didn’t just surface now even though a lot of people are just hearing about me, its been a long time coming and I am grateful to God for it.

Q: How would you define your style of music?

Oba: I would say I am a fusion. A fusion of jazz, Nu-soul and pop. More like all the genre merged. When I started music, I started as a rap artist, I had a rap group on campus, from there I began to tilt towards Soul and Negro gospel. Then I got married to a man who is a professional musician who began to influence my taste of music with jazz. As I was coming out, I knew I wasn’t coming with the regular kind of genre people are used to. I wasn’t the regular praise and worship person, I came out a Nu-soul Jazz performer, a performer because I am very active on stage, its afro-fusion Nu-soul Jazz with a blend of ‘Africanness’ because the mandate is to make divine statement with an African signature and that inform the afro hairstyle that I carry, it also inform my disposition in the coming together of my music.

Q: Can you take us through the journey of being a part of Olorun Agbaye project with Pastor Nathaniel Bassey & Chandler Moore?

Oba: Pastor Nathaniel Bassey as always been a friend. He featured in my first album in year 2002, we also did a duet together in 2012 in my “were-were” album. I got a call from him saying he has a song he is working on and he can hear me in it, and then asked if he could call me when he was ready to record to be a part of it. My response was yes, I would be available if we can work my schedule. When It was time, he invited me to the studio, I got there and listened to what had been done and when it got to where my input was needed, he said to me “sis take-over”. I opened my mouth and the words came out not written or pre-rehearsed. The presence of God was evidently heavy in that studio as I can still see in my mind right now. That’s how it all came to be, it was then I knew Chandler was going to be a part of the project. I am grateful to God because that Pastor Nath could have called any other person because of the caliber of people that surrounds him, but then he is a man of the spirit and that he could respond to the mind of God, the Father’s desire, I know it was a divine arrangement and that’s huge for me. You know as children of God we play it by ear, but its one thing for God to speak and its another for him to say she’s not popular but he isn’t one of such persons. So that’s how the whole thing came to be.

Q: Are you saying your part of the song was on the first take?

Oba: No, it wasn’t. like I said I just opened my mouth and it started flowing, it was until I was done, I realized it wasn’t recorded. I told the engineer I am a spontaneous person so he has to just record once I am doing it. You can’t give what you don’t have, I am grateful to God for the pruning, this is what I do daily and on seemingly small gatherings not visible to the world, so it’s become a second nature.

Q: Do you think you would have been able to eulogize God in English language like you did in the Yoruba language?

Oba: Oh Yes, it may not just have been in the same intensity. You know there is something about the Nigerian languages that English won’t really do justice to something you have to say. The Holy Spirit took me back to my journal just this morning {as at day of interview} and I saw something I wrote, more like a spoken word eulogizing God with His names in English language, so I went with my team and we recorded it. A eulogy to God with the alphabets A-Z. It is equally powerful but you can’t compare it to doing it in the Yoruba language, the difference is clear.

Q: What has changed for you since the release of Olorun Agbaye?

Oba: What has really changed. I think the world is more aware of Oba. I was struggling with number of subscribers on my YouTube page but now numbers skyrocketed on my social media handles. You know in this age, number is a big deal to a lot of people though I have consciously worked at not being moved by it since God had told me to allow it grow organically, allowing people gravitate towards me by reasons of value. So, one of the things that has changed is numbers, people now want to talk with me wanting me to share my story. I wrote a book sometime titled “Oluwabamike – A memoir”, the book captured my story, I didn’t think anything was fantastic about me that needed such documentation but God instructed and I obeyed. A few persons who know me and have read the book have come to say to me that people really need to hear my story especially those in the creative space. The attention is now getting intense as I have been told before now, so now that it’s becoming a reality, I am receiving grace to remain my down-to-earth happy go-lucky girl.

Q: If you were not doing music, what would you be doing?

Oba: I would be writing. I have two books to be released before the end of the year 2020. So, I would be writing, public speaking and mentoring.

Q: What is your perception on speaking in tongues during music recordings?

Oba: Well, I believe the scripture that says “there is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty gives him understanding” also “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. I did in one of the songs in my were-were album, but you see there has to be a balance. We will know when it was just a working and when it came from the deep spontaneously. Scriptures say “deep calleth unto deep”, it won’t come and overshadow the whole recording because there is other with God and the people who will listen to the song cannot decode, so when it comes spontaneously we know that it wasn’t for lack of lyrics but you capturing a moment with eternity whilst the recording was going on.
Speaking in tongues is a language of the spirit, as you grow in of your language changes, so I am not speaking in tongues now the way I was in 2012. There is depth and maturity in the spirit so you necessarily don’t have to repeat the tongues as it is in the recording when performing live on stage, the tongues is not the lyrics.

Q: Are you signed to any record label?

Oba: I am signed with One Hallelujah Records of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Q: Do you charge to honor invitations?

Oba: No, I don’t and that’s a matter of express instruction from God.

Q: How then do you cater for your team/band?

Oba: The one who gave the assignment will take care of us as He’s been doing for over 20 years now. Well this is where we also need to draw a line, a lot of people say they don’t charge yet they complain about not being treated well, I can say that because I have been there. As a result of the express instruction, I don’t place a financial demand before honoring invites, I won’t be caught negotiating terms with anyone. Once I confirm availability, I let you know how many persons I am coming with and then its whatever God lays in your heart to honor us with. Then I pray God leads you, but you know God can lead people and they still chose to not follow. The one who sent us is capable to take care of us even when we are not treated “well” enough. I have also been able to train my team with the knowledge of being in ministry so we know how to sort ourselves. God expressly told me not to lobby for platforms, I tried to do that a few times and it wasn’t a good outcome, so I don’t lobby for platforms. I have been privileged to minister in Isreal on the invitation of Isreali international Christian Embassy Jerusalem. This is one of the things I am trying to teach young ministers, you can’t pattern your ministry after someone else’s template, there is a specific city for every assignment, you need to get the blueprint of your assignment. If you don’t wait to receive the specifics you will be doing what everybody is doing.

Q: Are there forthcoming music projects you would like us to anticipate, perhaps tell us about them?

Oba: Yes, I am putting together a body of work for my next album, but then I will be releasing one or two from the album soon before the main album itself is finally released.

Q: How do you relax?

Oba: Well, I do Netflix. I like to watch movies to relax. I am surrounded by men, my two teenage son and the youngest lad and you know how much work that can be, so sometimes they just allow me just go away to be by myself in a quiet place, all I do is watch movies, then play worship songs to saturate the atmosphere. I may necessarily not be praying or worshipping but the sound of the songs fill the air and makes communing with the Holy Spirit easy when I have to but it just keeps the environment calm enough for me. And then I try to sleep. I have learnt how to make sure I sleep at least two hours daily having known the importance of rest.

Q: What is your best food?

Oba: Hmmmmm, I really don’t have one per say, but if there is any, I would say bread and tea. And that I think is as a result of bread and tea being a regular when I was pregnant with my last baby, I had bread and tea a lot so it has come to be a part of me such that I have it daily now.

Q: What’s the one thing you can’t be caught doing?

Oba: Stealing. I will never be caught stealing.

 

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