London-based Gospel singer and leader of Gospel music group, DTWG, bares his mind on his music, industry issues and the way forward for Gospel music with Connect Nigeria’s Michael Abimboye.
CN: We have seen artistes return to Nigeria and become huge stars almost immediately; when are you returning to Nigeria?
SA: Sam Adebanjo & DTWG will be returning to Nigeria in April 2014.
CN: At a time youths crave for pop music, you decided it’s Gospel music for you; why gospel?
SA: Sam Adebanjo & DTWG have a vision to use the positive message of the Gospel to influence their generation as well as promoting Gospel music in the main stream communities.
CN: Many pop artistes seem to be signing endorsement deals with companies. Interestingly, none of these companies has picked up a Gospel artiste. What do you think is wrong?
SA: Unfortunately, negative messages such as sex, drugs and money seem to sell and be the driving force in the music industry today. Many are not interested in listening to music which brings glory to God. Sadly, many take glory to themselves.
CN: Is your team working on getting an endorsement deal?
SA: Yes, we would love to get an endorsement deal as this will create a bigger impact for our Gospel music and reach a wider audience.
CN: How do you write your songs? Are you influenced by the ‘Spirit’ or your environment?
SA: The songs are inspired by a daily walk with God, which is true and pure.
CN: Tell us about your crew, your label and who funds it. How has promoting music from London been?
SA: Sam Adebanjo & DTWG are under Gospel Touch Label. Promoting music from London has been great; however, we seek greater opportunities, hence why we are touring Nigeria and other countries this year in order to make a greater impact.
CN: What project are you working on presently?
SA: We are currently focusing on touring round the world. We are scheduled to go to Barbados, Ghana the U.S and many more countries.
CN: Aside church events, do you do live shows?
SA: We’ve had the opportunity to perform our Gospel music at corporate events, carnivals and educational institutions.
CN: What are your goals, wishes and aspirations as a gospel artiste and as a person?
SA: My goal is to simply bring Glory to God.
CN: What book changed your life, if any? And who can you say is your mentor?
SM: The Bible and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. My Pastor, Tayo Awoyera, has been a great leader and mentor.
CN: What is your favorite verse, chapter and book of the Bible?
SA: My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” My favorite book in the Bible would be the book of Psalms. As a song writer, this book is very important to me.
CN: Aside music, what other thing do you do and does it affect your music in any way?
SA: I am a youth worker in my spare time; a husband and a father. Neither of these roles conflict with the music I do.
CN: Which of the European teams is winning the Champions League this year?
SM: Arsenal of course! (smiles)
CN: What’s on your playlist presently?
SA: Sam Adebanjo & DTWG Album – The Mission The Vision; Isabella: Hala (Shout). Album; Tye Tribbet; Tasha Cobbs; Veshawn Mitchell.
CN: Who’s your favourite Nigerian fashion designer?
SA: Alexander Amosu; I’ve had the honor of meeting him several times. I am inspired by what he does.
CN: Your favourite weekend relaxation spot in Nigeria is?
SA: Clear Essence California Spa in Ikoyi
CN: What’s your word for teenagers trooping into the music business these days?
SA: Know who you are; do not be swayed by negative influences and ensure that in everything you do seek first the kingdom of God.