Testimony is making major waves in the LMAM music scene. This gospel prince has a LIMA best song of the year and has been leading troubled youths from the streets into a righteous path.
Testimony, originally born as Saliu Aliyu Olaiwola had a blossoming career before he found the church. Long before the gospel crossover, the artist was a rising secular star creating music and collaborating with some of the industry's hottest artists. It took some time for the musician to make it into the world of gospel, but when Testimony stumbled into church music, it changed his life forever.
Testimony fell into the church from an unfortunate incident. In 2011 the artist was wrongly accused of stealing a car. With no support and no evidence to back him up, the police arrested the rising star and sent him to prison for 4 months. It was in there, that Testimony prayed with all his might to God to see him through. Fortunately for him, his prayers were heard, and the musician was released. It was on that day that Testimony found himself in Christ Embassy, the church of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
Pastor Chris welcomed the young artist and saw his potential. He believed in him, nurtured him and gave him a platform on which he could create music and reach millions of people. This gave Testimony a new sense of hope and belief, not only in God but also in himself. With all of this support, this led the artist to discover new ways to spread his message, thus the 'Street Gospel Movement' was born.
The New Street Gospel Movement is a movement that uses music to spread the word of God to struggling street youths. This is a big part of Testimony's work. He spends a lot of time finding kids to reach out to. He approaches these kids with his music and just simply talks to them, telling them, with a song, that there is a better path.
"If truly I am a gospel minister, where am I supposed to go back to share the good news? The streets. I am saying, “Hello, people, come and see what God has done for me. You too can join me”. That is my mindset and I promised God that if I can make it, I will go back from where I come from to tell everyone there. My songs are for the people in the streets."
Countless Nigerian kids love Testimony's music, as well as many around the world. They feel that he really speaks to them. This has gained him a massive amount of popularity, with people even dubbing him as the gospel version' of the famous Nigerian musician, Olamide, 'The King of the Streets'. Christ Embassy has propelled these many gospel stars into global fame, with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome himself even stating at the recent LIMA awards, that "no music concert in the world makes sense without talents from here."
Testimony is without a doubt one of these major talents. His song 'Jehovah' won him the LIMA song of the year in the Proto-stars category, yet the 'boy from the streets' insists that all of his success is because of one man, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
Sinach has had an incredible journey from a local church singer to international gospel superstar. The multi-award winner has over 200 songs to her name and is responsible for such hits such as 'I know who I am’ and ‘WayMaker'. Her song ‘This Is Your Season' won the Song of the Year award in 2008. Sinach's music has been performed in churches all over the world.
With all this success, comes great responsibility. Creating uplifting and moving music for millions of fans around the word can take its toll. As a mega star, striking the perfect balance between stardom and spirituality is challenging to say the least. In an intimate one on interview, Damilola Okeke, of Premier Christian Radio, sat down with Gospel superstar Sinach, and discussed the nitty gritty issues of love, life and her relationship with Jesus Christ.
Before Sinach rose to be one of Nigeria's mega gospel stars, she was serving in the church. Her music was mostly shared within community. When asked on how she felt before her rise to fame, Sinach said she was grateful as a servant of the church and simply felt "content" to share her music on the platform of the church.
"When you're content with where God has placed you, he gives you more"
Sinach went on to express how she has dealt with success by not being anxious and enjoying every point in the journey of her success.
These were some great life lessons that the starlet has learned, and she has her close-knit family to thank for that.
"I have learned to trust God, how to move, not to move ahead of him, because when you move ahead of him you are going to get into trouble"
That's not all she got to thank her family for. A lot of her musical inspiration came from the home. Her father would often play Anita Baker, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and many others. When Sinach met Pastor Chris however, her musical direction took quite a turn. Sinach recalled a sermon by Pastor Chris about the holy spirit and salvation and said:
"Not only did I get born again, I got filled with the holy spirit…on the same day".
Since that life-changing sermon, Sinach turned into the woman we know today, a Gospel superstar.