Nigerian Tribune Interview John Olumayowa ‘Why I Stopped Secular Music’
John Olumayowa formerly known as (John Mayor) is a seasoned singer and has been producing officially his own music since 2008. He is also a businessman in the hospitality sector. He speaks with FAVOUR BOLUWADE on his musical journey and why he chose a new style of music.
Ibadan has been a home of popular musicians in the country; how has being affiliated with Ibadan helped your career?
Being affiliated to Ibadan has been of help to me because I did my voice training in Ibadan and recorded my songs with some of the great producers in Ibadan, who have recorded many popular artists. They keep encouraging me to do more.
What inspires your music?
My late dad did. I once saw the scripts of the songs my dad wrote in the 1960 and 1970, I was moved and promised God to pick it from where he stopped
How was it coming up with albums consistently? That must be some load of work…
Yes, it is a great task, especially for someone like me that is busy with many things. But God has always been faithful, He has taken His time to build me up as someone who can do many things at the same time without going off balance.
When did your musical career actually start?
My music career began in 2008 when I released my first album “Jubilation”. The songs were recorded at Krismark studio. But due to some personal reasons I left singing for eleven years. I returned to singing in 2019 by releasing a tribute song to the late Aderemi Junaid, wife of a retired Commissioner of Police.
Do you share the opinion that there are genres of music gospel singers shouldn’t explore?
No, I believe all genres can be explored. The power is not in the genre but the person applying it. Though individual belief and preference still stand.
Who are your musical mentors?
R.Kelly had been someone that I admired for many years, that is why “ Let it Shine” in my album “Effulgence” goes in line with his style. Also, Tye Tribett, Deitrick Haddon, Travis Greene, Tonex, Jonathan McReynolds.
How do you combine music, family and business?
God is helping me to combine them. Things I’m combining together are many: The Rules of a Healthy Mind is a book that I am publishing now; it should be out soon too.
Why did you delve into other businesses? There’s no money in Gospel music?
I love doing business, I love serving people to the best of my ability. I have numerous business ideas that I’ve developed over the years and those ideas are my assets. I understand business by experience, My Company, Legit Travels and Educonsult is a consulting firm with certificates of authorisation as a representative of many universities abroad. Our firm is also working very hard to become authorised representative of many companies abroad in Nigeria so that we can provide global employment opportunities to many unemployed and underemployed youths in Nigeria. I also have Legit Publishing House for publishing gospel books, magazines and newsletters. I am not doing business because there is no money in gospel music, but everything has its own time. I finance my through my music businesses for now.
What’s the most challenging thing about doing your kind of music?
The most challenging thing is getting to know the audience that appreciates my kind of music
Do you still want to do secular music?
No, in my polytechnic days, I had done some secular songs but I can’t do them anymore. My encounter with Christ was very strong, the experience is always fresh in my memory, and I always want to keep it fresh as long as I am here on earth. I am not saying secular music is wrong, but I can’t do it anymore, because I buried it with my past. As a preacher of God’s Word, God’s interest is the first on my agenda, then other things would follow. I know God wouldn’t approve that I sing secular songs, so I can’t even bother myself asking Him. My music is not to please myself, each of my song carries a message that I’ve always kneel down to God to receive.
I was born into the family of late Evangelist A.A. Oluwafemi and Eunice Oluwafemi. We are from Ilesa in Osun State. I am second in a family of six
I studied bricklaying and block laying at Technical College, Oyo; furthered at Federal Polytechnic, Ede; studied for Bachelor of Theology at Calvary International Bible College, Ibadan for four years; Bachelor of Arts at both Bethel Institute, Gbongan and Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.
What’s next for you?
Next for me is to release ‘Arugbo Ojo’ next week and release ‘Rise Up’ shortly after. I also wish to release my book “Rules of Healthy Mind” which is about 70,000 words soon.