Tonneil Avo: Worldliness, mediocrity weakening gospel music
Gospel music artiste, Chukwuemeka Kpadobi aka Tonneil Avo, has lamented the lack of spirituality among gospel musicians in the country, saying the industry is laced with worldliness, mediocrity and compromise.
Tonniel Avo who stated this in Lagos, while speaking on his new album tagged Salvation is free, said excellence and righteousness should be the hallmark of the gospel industry.
“What I will love to change is mediocrity and compromise in the gospel music industry, and lack of spirituality. I will continue in Excellence and Righteousness.”
Tonniel Avo who is a Reggae Gospel Artiste is currently penning a deal with Veemost Entertainment, an international firm behind the much-anticipated Williams Uchemba’s movie, Mamba’s Diamond.
He said: “Afrirock@g fusion is my brand of reggae. It’s reggae without ganja, cocaine, nor any kind of hard drug at work in man. In the place of ganja or any hard drug, I replace it with the spirit of Christ. In the place of Patua, I replace it with the word of God. My discovery is this; in ganja, you only feel high for a season, but in the spirit of Christ, your highness has no time and season or limitations. I call that anointing and l tell you the truth you can’t go higher than the most high.”
He said he chose reggae music because it’s all encompassing, “In reggae you will find rock, soul, bebop, jazz, country, highlife, hiplife, hip pop, R&B etc. It ticks like the human heart and it carries a high level of spirituality with a freedom effect.
“Be it political, social, religious and spiritual, reggae music heals and it’s highly spiritual with a unifying force in bringing people together beyond their differences and it’s a perfect code to download eternity to time.”
Therefore, Reggae Music is my code but Jesus remains my focus.” Speaking on what inspires him, Tonniel Avo said, “The song, Salvation is Free, explains a lot. God took our place and paid a price we could not pay, while we were yet his enemy. What an amazing grace. Salvation is free, but someone paid for it. Oxygen is free, but someone paid for it. In my daily life as I meditate over these things, I hear more than a thousand songs from the other side of life,” he said.
He added that his works cut across all age levels, be it the teens, youth, matured and the elderly, and children.
“In fact some of my fans call my songs ‘Anti-Depressant’ as they listen in the place of meditation, relaxation and through their daily routine.
“You’ll find most of those songs in my second album, Testimonies. During lockdown, another fan of mine based in the UK played the song online back to back and cued into the anointing and drew strength, hope and joy to move on through those trying times to the glory of God.
“And this song, Salvation is Free, became an eye opener that Jesus Christ got our back always. The good news is that it’s danceable, infotaining, entertaining, soul refreshing and it heals,” he said.
Tonniel Avo whose sojourn into the music industry began three decades ago out of which he spent 13 years on the secular stage is the brain behind ‘Gold from fire,” “Testimonies,” “The 6th Verse” and “Sweet Sacrifice “ albums among other singles.
The Imo State born artiste had rolled with the late Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono, Oliver de Coque and Daniel Wilson. He has also worked with Keji Hamilton, Onyeka Onwenu, Sir Warrior, Felade, Amos Mcroy, Jonel Cross, Papa Ndema,Lft. Shot Gun, Zule Zoo, Plantation Boys, Daddy Showkey, Maxwell Udoh, among others in the secular music industry.
In the gospel music industry, Kpadobi had ministered alongside Don Moen, Bob Fits, Dr. Panam Percy, Buchi, Sinach, Sammy Okposo, Joe Praise, Nathaniel Bassy, Mercy Chinwe, Preye Odede, Freke Umoh, Bossman, Righteous Man, Adesoji Joseph, Samsung, Frank Edwards, Eben, Pat Waje, Emma Sings, Chris Morgan, Sensational Bamidele, Kaydee Numbere and others.