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Gospel Music Is Not All About Money Making, Says Dimeji

By By Cletus Nwachukwu
07 May 2010   |   10:00 pm
DIMEJI is new in the Nigerian music circuit but internationally, he is a renowned gospel artiste. In an interview with Weekend Beats recently, he spoke of his dedication to use gospel music to impact on the people. "For me, I wanna be known as a Christian artiste. And what's gospel? It's going out there in…
DIMEJI is new in the Nigerian music circuit but internationally, he is a renowned gospel artiste. In an interview with Weekend Beats recently, he spoke of his dedication to use gospel music to impact on the people. “For me, I wanna be known as a Christian artiste. And what’s gospel? It’s going out there in the world and telling them about Christianity. These days, some artistes no longer want to do it purely gospel because they want to make some money. I’m a Christian artiste and I write songs that talk about different life issues. Christ didn’t only talk about going to heaven. He also talked about love between man and woman, finance, marriage and brotherliness. In fact, He talked about everything,” Dimeji explains.

From being a choir boy, he went on to become a choir director, vocal trainer, songwriter and producer. And now, he is gradually coming into his own as an artiste. But Dimeji, with well over 58 songs in his repertoire, feels fulfilled writing motivational and inspirational songs. Music for him is an undying passion but in order to satisfy the wishes of his parents, he had to go to school to study Architecture.

“I studied Architecture simply because my parents, like many Nigerian parents, didn’t want me to take music as a profession. I had to do something else when I became of age back in the United Kingdom. As I could decide for myself, I decided to study Music Technology because music has always been my first love.”

With such fervour from a man who lives, breathes, talks and thinks music, one cannot expect anything of lesser quality from him. Watching his second video titled ‘Love of My Soul’, you would think it is the ‘usual’ stuff. But wait till the tape rolls towards its ending, and you would understand the class, creativeness and gift of the man, Dimeji.

“In the video ‘Love of My Soul’, I was actually talking about my love for God, not the man and woman relationship as many people may misconstrue. And towards the end of the video, you’d hear me expressing my appreciation to God.

“I remember when I was aged 14 to 16 years back in Nigeria, somebody gave me a DVD of Ron Kenoly and when I got into my room, I fell on my knees and prayed to God, saying I would like to be like him. I no longer want to be like him. It was a good feeling to have prayed and see it coming to fruition in your life.

“Now, I want to be better than him and I can say I’ve worked with other big acts and it doesn’t add value to who I am. However, I appreciate the privilege and honour of working with some people, but it doesn’t add nothing to me. It’s not out of arrogance though, but I can’t go to UBA and say, because I’ve worked with Ron Kenoly, can you give me some money?”

Dimeji was noncommittal on the standard of music here and abroad. However, he agreed to draw a clear line for a true gospel artiste. He demanded: “Who’s a gospel artiste and who’s a gospel minister?”

He gave a hint thus; “He could be someone ministering via music, acting or through the spoken word. Am I a gospel artiste because I sing songs that have Christian messages? Not necessarily, because in Matthew 7:13, Jesus said, beware of false prophets and by their fruits, you shall know them.

“I’m a Christian artiste and you would know and see these virtues in my character. You can’t take away the fact that there are people who grew up in and played music in church all their lives and their lifestyle does not portray the life of a gospel minister. They’re doing gospel music as their only alternative and once they have another opportunity to make more money elsewhere, they move on.”

He reiterated that playing secular music does not stop anybody from being a Christian. “I’ve come to realise that gospel music is not about making money. It’s about ministering because the Bible says, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything would be added on to you.”

He however believes that the success of any artiste lies in the positive response of the public to his or her works. He is appreciative of the media. “I appreciate the fact that you’ve come to speak with me. It would go a long way to help me do better. Nobody in this industry can make it all alone without the assistance of other people. The responses I’ve been receiving from the people all over the world concerning my work have been overwhelming.”

With greater fan base and appreciation in the United States far more than his UK base, Dimeji disclosed his plans to go on a tour of the US next month just like he presently doing here in Nigeria, where he has featured in some shows and concerts across the country.

Backed by his own band, Dimeji has so far released one single and two videos on the scene. According to him, one can only listen and watch the audio/visual production on a computer system and not with a DVD. The complete album, which would be his debut, would be a 13-14 tracker and scheduled for release between August-September, this year.

Dimeji described his music as a fusion of jazz, funk, blues and gospel. “I’m a very lyrical artiste. My songs are potent and thought provoking and of course, backed by the scriptures in the Bible because I always want to deliver meaningful songs.

“Because I play gospel music, at the end of the day, I intend to reach out to people all over the world. Apart from dancing to my music, I want people impacted positively by it. My forthcoming album will come with diverse messages on marriage, tribulations, love, faith and several others. There will be something for everybody in it.”