Barely three years after her debut, gospel music singer, Evangelist Elizabeth Olayinka Olatunji has just released her new album titled Arise (Dide). The singer who has put in six years into gospel music, has, in the new album several songs in both Yoruba and English languages.
I am Evangelist Elizabeth Olayinka Olatunji. I hail from Ilaje-Aiyetoro in Ondo State. I am in my 40s and happily married to Pastor Olusegun Olatunji, who is based in London. We are blessed with lovely children.
How I started
I started playing music at the age of six as a chorister at United Apostle Church (UAC), Ikorodu which was pastored by my late father, Snr Apostle Abel O. Ajijo. I grew-up singing in different churches as a song minister and was quite exposed to the crowd at such a tender age. After completing my Secondary education, I began to perform with Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) choir at various places. But I began a solo career in 2001 and two years later, I released my first album titled I am free with 13 tracks and it did quite well in the market.
I have just released the second album, Arise (Dide) on Monday October 30. It has seven tracks including Arise(Dide), the title track and others likeJoyful Noise, Obanla, Testimony and Gbo ti emi nke eyi pada. It was produced by veteran gospel musician Akin Adebayo (Imole Ayo) and Julie King while the marketing aspect is being handled by Abbey Int'l Music.
I have a clear mandate from God to win souls for Christ through my music and to inspire people to live in freedom and refuse to be bound by their situations.
My first influence is Mama Bola Are, she is an icon and of course, my producer Akin Adebayo. Also I cannot forget my husband whose immense support has spurred me on and who wrote some of my songs.
By the grace of God, music has taken me to places that never imagined both within and outside Nigeria. I have been to states across Nigeria preaching the gospel through my music and I have also been oppurtuned to minister outside Nigeria. I have shared the stage with top gospel musicians like Gbemi Olaleye, Akin Adebayo (Imole Ayo) and Evang (Dr) Bola Are among many others.
Gospel music in Nigeria
The qualities we see in gospel music these days are far below expectation. Worldliness is fast eroding gospel music so much that you can hardly tell the difference between both worlds. Slangs and unholy styles are now the order of the day. Gospel musicians should learn to seek God for genuine inspirations and stop copying other people's work. We should write and sing the songs with God's directive. Also Gospel music should not only be about entertainment but also delivering messages.
I see myself going higher in this work. I would like to break barriers by taking this music to countries where the gospel has never been before.
The response to my music has been great even beyond Nigeria, people abroad appreciate our culture although sometimes, I sing in my indigenous languages. Recently, a woman told me that each time she listens to my tracks, she is always renewed. She said she locked herself up and listened and sang along with it and her visa to United Kingdom was renewed by the embassy.
Message to fans
I thank them for all the support and I encourage them to go and get this new one and their lives will never remain the same again.