Ezekiel Olusanya, better known as Ileri Oluwa, is a gospel crooner. In this chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he shared what drives him, how his journey into music started and his latest album, Ileri Oluwa and more…
What kind of music do you do?
I don’t do any other music apart from gospel because that is where I get inspiration. One thing in music is when you know where you are going, there is no how you wouldn’t achieve your aim.
Aside gospel, which other genre of music do you do?
My music is strictly African praise.
When did you start doing music?
I started singing in the choir at six. It was like a challenge as a child of six singing in an adult choir. My parents were trying to discourage me because they thought I was too small to be in the adult choir but when they saw the skill in me as a singer, they encouraged me.
I started singing professionally in 2012, with the track Nigeria and I dropped my first album that same year (Ileri Oluwa).
Why do you choose to do gospel music?
I chose gospel music because I’m from a Christian home. Christianity was imbedded in me right from childhood. When I started, my parents supported me a lot. They encouraged me as well. I think if I was doing secular music, I wouldn’t get their support.
What are the differences between secular and gospel music?
It depends on where your calling falls. If my calling falls on secular and I have inspiration on secular music and go ahead doing gospel, I will end up without achieving anything. You must try to follow your mind in any career or profession.
How did you come about the titled of the album, Ileri Oluwa?
Someone walked up to me in 2007 and said we should do an album. At the long run, I was determined I was going to do it no matter how long it would take me. Divine inspiration brought the name Ileri Oluwa. I thank God so much for that inspiration.
How far has it gone in terms of sales?
I have not gotten any marketer yet because marketers select the kind of music they want to market. They believe secular music brings more money that’s why most of them do not market gospel music.
As an artiste, what drives you?
When I get feedback about my music, it always encourages me. I believe my music has touched people’s lives which gives me strength a lot.
What is your vision for the album?
My vision for the album is abundant blessing to any family that listens to my album. That the reason I don’t want to release another album yet because I want my album to touch many lives before I drop another one.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Ezekiel, popularly known as Ileri Oluwa. I’m from Ogun state, where I was born and brought up. I did my primary school in Ogun state and concluded it in Lagos where I had my first degree. I studied Industrial Relations and Personnel Management at Lagos State University and graduated in 2011.
How do you write your songs?
I get inspired anywhere. It could be in a noisy environment and I will get inspired. One of my tracks, My God reigneth, was given to me in the dream. Sometimes I could be sleeping and God would give me a song. It might be the chorus and I will develop the rest of the song.
– MATILDA ALOYSIUS