Your local church choir may be a place where choir masters launch themselves into scandalous affairs with choir mistresses. What you may not know, however, is that the choir also served as an unofficial music school for many established careers today.
Save for the influence of the church, the starboy might not have been convinced enough about his own musical prowess. Many years ago, an 11-year old Wizkid recorded a 7-track self-titled album under the pseudonym, Lil’ Prinz. The album was produced by veteran OJB and after encouragement from his family and church members, he decided to face music squarely.
Before Timaya’s smash hit Shake your Bum Bum, which featured Sean Paul. The dancehall star admitted during an interview that he was a regular chorister at the Living Gospel Mission Church.
The veteran producer was one of Nigeria’s most notable gospel singers before he launched himself into the mainstream. His first album released under Kennis Music was titled Jah’s My Lite which featured only gospel songs, so it is no surprise his album started from the church.
Kokomaster D’banj is appreciative of his own humble beginnings. The DKM boss often talks about his memories as a harmonica player at Winner’s Chapel (Living Faith), in Lagos. The singer has often admitted that his period in the church as being one his favourite childhood memories
Simi has dabbled into mainstream love songs in recent time, but the songbird started her career in the Daystar church choir. She attempted a gospel music career in 2009 and released the album, Oga Ju. The album had a successful single Ara-ile which gained massive radio airplay, despite being a gospel song.
The talent between the two Abaga brothers, Jude (M.I) and Jesse is nearly immeasurable, so attributing a God factor may not be stretching things. The Chocolate City rappers made their first in-roads into music as singers in the church where both of their parents ministered. It is rumoured that M.I’s reluctance to use obscene language in his music is related to his respect for his church origins.
Skales’ Shake Body might have finally landed him a successful hit, but the rapper started his career rapping the word. Skales’ gospel career has very little documentation due to the fact that his songs mostly gained airplay on radio stations in North-Central Nigeria. However, one evidence of his meeker beginnings was his feature on Jeremiah Gyang’s Kaunar Allah.
We are not sure if Maheeda belongs on this list, but in 2010, she launched a career as an erotic gospel singer. Her daring style and public image have made her a controversial figure in gospel music and in Nigeria generally.
Apako Master Terry G is an eccentric veteran of Nigerian music, but his beginnings were relatively normal. Born to parents who were Pastors, the eccentric singer revealed in an interview, that he began his career in the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He, however, admits to still being a devout Christian despite his wild public image.
KC and Presh
Members of the defunct group, KC-Presh gained fame after winning one of Nigeria’s earliest music contests, Star Quest, but the group initially began as gospel singers. Although they recorded no known gospel albums, the duo cannot be forgotten for their ability to deliver electrifying gospel performances.
Which other famous artist do you know started their careers in the church? We want to know!