Adeola Adebisi Oyinbo, popularly known as De-ola, is the voice behind MTN official tune, This is the morning of your life used to welcome customers to 2016. She is set to release another album entitled, Spreading Jesus. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with her about this and more.
Tell us, how did your journey into music start?
I came from a Muslim family but I eventually gave my life to Christ and then joined the choir. From here, inspiration started. The Holy Spirit was giving me different songs at different times. Sometimes, I will just be washing clothes and then a song will come to me and then I will quickly write it down.
And I felt that for these songs to keep coming, there was something God wanted me to do about them. I felt I needed to tell the world what God was saying through these songs. I took them to heart and started working and that has been the journey.
People are even getting healed listening to my songs and they come and tell me their testimonies. I wrote a particular song entitled, He is God. And after listening to it, a lady called me and said, ‘I just want to say thank you.’ I was like: ‘for what? And she was actually in the labour room, I have been there for hours and they say they were going to operate on me”. Then she said that whilst there she told the husband to put that song on repeat and repeatedly she was singing and she said that when the doctors who were to operate on her went to dress up for the operation, the baby came out.
My songs are directly from God, so I don’t joke with my songs. The journey for me has been backward and forward. If I say that this song is good, tomorrow, He will give me one that is better and on and on it went. So, it has been a glorious journey for me.
How long did it take to make this album?
When I joined the choir in 2005, I started gradually in the choir. But the very first time I ever went to the studio to record a song was 2010. The song is entitled, Something About the Name of Jesus. And that was my very first recorded song.
How many songs do you have all together in your debut album, Spreading Jesus?
I have 14 songs in the album. And there is also a song I did for MTN caller tune this year entitled, Morning of Your Life and that is to tell you that people that you never imagined will listen to my songs are attracted to them. And I tell you that my songs are inspiring people around the world. These songs come as inspiration from the Holy Spirit telling me to do a song about a situation or just to talk about how big God is.
Tell us a bit about your background as a muslim and how you turned a christian?
I was born into the family of five children. I am the first child of my parents. My father was a staunch muslim but today I have led him to Christ. I grew up as a quiet child and I will say I am still a quiet person today. Let me add, I used to be a very shy person but when I gave my heart to Christ, everything changed because I need to face people and do what I need to do. I just give God all the glory for bringing me into the light because if there is anywhere you should be, it should be in Christ.
So, growing up I was very shy, I was an introvert, I could hardly relate with people and would just keep to myself. That is why some of my friends who see what I have become today, find it hard to believe I am the one.
Being a muslim then and who I am now wasn’t funny at all. It was tough with dad because he stopped paying my school fees, he stopped doing everything he was doing for me and for two years, we did not see each other face to face. In fact, he disowned me because of the faith that I took but thank God that today, we are best of friends.
At what point did you give your life to Christ like you said and what was the thing that brought about that turning point in your life?
When I got admitted into the higher institution, like I said, I just would not talk nor make friends but there were this set of ladies that kept inviting me to church. They wanted me to come to their church and each time they invited me, I would tell them, don’t worry I would come but I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t going and it continued like that.
I kept wondering what I would tell my father if I should follow them to church. I kept wondering: How will I explain it? But one Sunday, I just dressed up and said, let me just go there and see what is so special about this church that these ladies won’t let me be.
So, when I got there, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was preaching. They were actually watching him on the screen and he was talking about Jesus and the thing got all over me and right there I knew I just had to take a decision. It was like I was the only person he was talking to. It was so strong that I started crying, asking God where have I been all the while. And that was the encounter for me.
How about your mom?
Amazingly, my mom has always been a Christian. Even though she had always had issues of going to church with my father. He would tell her, you dare not move and all that. And it got to a point where my mother said, I won’t go to that mosque but I will pray in my house. There was always one issue or the other between her and my dad on don’t go to church but come to the mosque and then my mom would say instead of going to the mosque, I will rather stay at home.
And we all always supported my dad then and it was really tough for her but she had always said it then that one day this family will turn to Jesus. She always said that and we have seen it come to pass. That is the prayer of a mother.
What church does she attend?
She has been a member of Foursquare Gospel Church all along.
Music, according to you, is like a passion and not really to make money for yourself. So, what do you do for a living?
I manage an oil and gas company. It is actually a family thing. It is called Global Services. We are into training, manpower supply. We also do software on designs, engineering designs and all that.
What would be your advice to young people out there, especially those who have passion for music?
It is good to listen and follow instructions. A lot of young artistes we have out there today doing gospel music don’t know the reason they are doing what they are doing. Some just jump from gospel to secular music because they feel they are not making enough money.
And this what I have always said and I will say it over and over again. What I do with my music is not for money, I do music to spread the gospel of Christ. I have videos online, good videos that we used millions of naira to put together. Because there are people whose attention are caught by visuals and for these ones, I have videos for them and for those who just want to hear, we have enough audio for them that will keep spreading the name of Jesus.
You have described yourself as someone who is very shy but from what have been said about you here, it’s like you are a very strict person. How about that?
It is not as if I am strict but I just like things to be done right. So when there is a task ahead of us and we need to get it done within a particular time frame, then I put everyone to work. I am always like, we have to get this done, and there is no time. So, that is what they see as being strict. It is just about being disciplined. We have something we need to do.