Hello, folks, You are welcome to another edition of People of Ibadan, where we talk to individuals who are doing quality work in Ibadan and who are working to make Ibadan proud both home and abroad. Our guest on this edition is popular, award-winning gospel artist, Babatunmise. Babatunmise talks about his story, his journey into music, his perception of gospel music in Ibadan and his upcoming Ogo-Ola Album. Read and enjoy.
Our readers want to know more about Babatunmise, so can you do a little more of an introduction about yourself?
as you have rightly mentioned, my name is Babatunmise, but a lot of people call me Priest of Praise. I am an award-winning gospel musician from Orita Merin Ibadan. I am the third of four children in Christian family, I was born and bred in Ibadan. I am also a graduate of English Language from Lead City University, Ibadan.
Why did you choose to sing gospel music out of all the genres of music available?
My background shaped a lot of things about who I have become today. My mother is a deep worshipper of christ, she is also a teacher of the English Language. Thus she trained all of us her children with the Word of God and of course a generous dose of the cane. In spite of that, though, I like to have fun and meet people. I am still a full-time “church boy”. I just mixed my fun side and church side and that is why we are here today .
How did gospel music start for you?
I started as gospel musician way back from when I was a kid. I must confess to you that I had my share of rejections. Even my blood sister was part of the people who told me to shut up because they felt my voice is not good enough. But I loved music a lot (I still do now too), So I didn’t give up. Also, my background helped shape my career. By God’s grace, I have been doing gospel music professionally for about five years now
Are your parent in support of this path?
To tell you the truth, they didn’t flow with the decision at first. However, I was able to convince them with results, not just word of mouth. I think God played a part too because he crowned my efforts with success. When my parents started seeing me in flyers and hearing me on the radio, it made them very happy.
What are the difficulties for you being gospel artist?
The major difficulty is finances. As with every musician regardless of genre, I need money to push my career forward, especially in terms of recording and promoting songs. However, God has just been marvelous in my life. For example, the producer of my coming album usually charges N120,000 per track and my upcoming album is a twelve track album. That is about N1.2m which would have taken a long time to raise on my own. To God be the glory, this same music producer called me and said he is willing to do the album for free, which is equivalent to him just giving me N1.2m just like that.
Do you have any regrets so far about leaving your first degree for music?
In all fairness, it was not so easy. In fact, things were so tight and stiff in the beginning that I wanted to quit music and consider another career. I was not moving forward. I had no money. Then I prayed so hard and wept bitterly to God, that was when I got a call from a long lost contact whom I haven’t spoken to for six years. The contact offered to contribute to my career. That was the turning point in my life and in my career.
What are the things gospel musicians in Ibadan should focus on?
I think gospel musicians in Ibadan have not gotten the Production of songs pat down yet. Forget whether you are a gospel musician or that you are based in Ibadan, try to give people good music with standard production. When my song made it to number one on at Cool FM Lagos’s Top Ten chart, I was asked where I am from during the interview with their presenters. When I told them that I represent Ibadan, the whole crew was shocked. They all have this mindset that Ibadan music is always poorly produced. I know people like that can only have that knowledge from experience. So we need to correct that, please.
Do you have any mentors or role models? Who are they ?
Of course, I have so many. I will narrow it down to just one Nigerian gospel artiste, though, his name is Mike Abdul. I love and respect him so much. He is indeed a great guy. He is like a father, brother, friend, boss all in one.
Do you have upcoming Artiste(s) that you mentor?
Yes, I do. I am a very open person, so if any upcoming artiste reaches out to me for mentorship and support, I am always willing to help out.
Now, there is a great buzz in the streets about your album. Let us talk about your upcoming Album ?
It is titled OGO OLA and it is a twelve track album set to be launched on October 30 in Ibadan here at WOCON. I featured Monique, Mike Abdul, Kenny Kore, Wale Sax and all of them have given their word that they will all be present on the day of the launch.
How do you relate with other Artistes in your genre and other genres of music?
I can say I have a mutually good relationship with everybody. I respect those before me and I give due respect to even those who are not as famous as I am. Still, I can’t be friends with or be close to everybody, but we are all cool, we support each other anywhere and anyhow we can.
Any other project you are working on apart from the album?
Yes, I am working on the Ogo Ola video and I am also trying to organize a youth conference tagged “Yes, You Can” with Babatunmise to motivate youth and push them to overcome the fear of starting something new and positive. I am hoping to give them a jump start.
What else do you do professionally asides from music and do you think you have any hidden talents?
Babatunmise also a Compere , I anchor all sorts of events, but these days I am mostly known as a musician who can also compere events rather than a musician and a Master of Ceremonies. My hidden talent is acting. I am confident I would make a good actor.
Your favourite things and any hobbies you have?
My favourite color is purple and my favourite meal is plantain, egg and cold tea. For leisure, I like to play around on social media.
How can fans connect with you?
I am mostly active on Instagram, so follow Babatunmise at @iambabatunmise