An Economics graduate from the famous Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria, Olanrewaju Afolayan’s exciting story is one that elicits sparks and dissertation. Brought up in a serene Christian home, he is a top of the bill handsome dude that is full of style and poise. A campus fellowship and church Music Director in the days yore, his calling is the spreading of the Gospel to the nooks and cranny of the globe and edifying of humanity through music.
He is blessed with a very supportive and amazing wife and two lovely sons.
In this exclusive chat with TMJ UK/Europe Lead, Tony Agbons; The Lagos based gifted singer gives an insight into his life, music and his debut album containing the hit single, `kumama` which is currently enjoying rave reviews, airtime and global acclaim. Enjoy!
Good to have you as a guest on TMJ, so may we meet you. Was your background?
My full name is John Olanrewaju Afolayan. I am from Kwara state, Nigeria. I went to Federal Government College, ilorin and later to Ahmadu Belly University Zaria to study Economics. I come from a very strong Christian home, brought up in ECWA. Now we minister to the body of Christ in general. I believe my experiences growing up have great significance in the evolution of my life and faith in God.
How did get into Music?
I discovered that I have the gift to write and sing songs when I got saved in
the university and so I naturally expressed the passion. Later I became the Music
Director for my fellowship on campus – King’s Army and then Music Director at
Household of Love Church, Abuja. That went on for some years and afterwards I began to work on my songs for release. Had to also look to God for the set time.I believe the set time has come.
Why gospel music when Nigerian secular music sphere is booming.
It’s only natural to express who you are. You can only bear the fruits of your
source. An orange tree cannot produce mango fruits. Who you are is not a function
of the economy. If you are truly saved, you can’t be at ease singing secular. I mean
the real secular music. God is rich and will bless His own in due time. But our
priority is not to boom. Our priority is to praise God and help people connect with
What are your inspiration and motivation?
I am inspired by the greatness of God and motivated by how God can transform
Your new single -Kumama- is a masterstroke and masterpiece. Can you
let us into how you `manufactured` this great work?
Lol @ manufactured. Well, I received the word `kumama` in my spirit and googled the meaning. It
means Jehovah be glorified. Looking at my life I can’t but give Him glory for all
He’s done and will yet do. So I put the song together.
What are some of the challenges you encountered pulling off this classic?
I must be honest, God made this easy and beautiful because it’s time. No challenges
What advice do you have for Nigerian youths who have similar dreams and aspirations like yours?
I’ll advice the youth to be patient. God is not in a hurry. He prepares His
own. When it’s time everything will turn for your good. Wait while you work on it.
Obviously you are a man of very high style and taste. Your video speaks volumes about that. It`s top draw. How would you rate the standard of Nigerian gospel music community vis-à-vis their circular counterparts?
Thanks for the compliment. I must say that the secular artists and gospel artists are not within the same influence. They operate in the same market but they are not in the same genre. Influence is determined by the kind of value that you create. Both are not under the same influence so there cannot be basis for comparison.
What drives and motivates you as a gospel act is different. The impact you make in
the lives of people is different. However, in terms of quality, I think the Church should do more to support Her own.
What in your view is the role of gospel music in the spiritual development and expansion of the church in Nigeria and in the world?
Gospel music is food to the soul and spirit of man. A lot of people need Jesus
to deliver them or solve their problems. The Nations need economic reformation.
Only God can bring the solutions. He uses the Music as a tool for reformation
and hope to the world.
Great! Talking about your debut album, we understand it’s been getting rave reviews especially your hit single – `Kumama`. When is it due for launch and where?
Hmm, my record label – Nu City Records just released 2 songs – kumama and My Desire. The full album has 6 amazing songs. We project to launch by the leading of God soon. We’ll keep you apprised. However, the video is available online at www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWTuwKzHMydc8S5HKrhv0g
Lastly, What are your closing words?
Love the Lord with all of your heart and keep pushing His kingdom forward.
Thank you TMJ.