I AM NO MORE A MEMBER OF INFINITY-KEHINDE AKINBODE
We Will Always Be Together-Infinity
When these youthful look guys, Akinbode Kehinde, NNogo Samson, Okougbo Joseph, Sunny Steve and David Thomas Adebiyi, came out with their first effort titled Olori Oko over a year now little did they know that the song would transcend other songs but today the name, Infinity, that has become a household name is in disarray as one of the active member, Kehinde Akinbode, has pulled out of the formidable team. The reason, according to him is divine. The big question now is how will other carry on with the Infinity project? ALONGE MICHAEL knocked at the door of their mouths last Friday and they confirmed that Kenny has actually left the group but Infinity still stands. Excerpt
Why have you not done a follow up to you olori Oko album?
(JOSEPH) Infinity is a very unique group and by God grace not the way just anybody will do things. In as much as there are yearnings from our fans for our new album, we deliberately stay a while doing something fresh because we needed to take time out to do something better than what we have done before. And also, the word Olori Oko is classic and it's timeless, it's something we will live on forever and we also wanted people to get enough of that work. The work has spread across the shores of this country; the other part of Africa feels this work even more than we do here. People in Thailand , Ireland etc are all clamouring for Olori Oko, so the expectation is very high; this is why we don't want to rush into anything that we jeopardize the good foundation we have laid so as not to fall below our standard. (Samson added) With the album Olori Oko we wanted a situation where we have fully maximized potential before we came out with something new. What i mean exactly is that the album was number one on the chart in Nigeria but our findings discovered that it's the same like other western world, so we didn't want to bring out something that people will now shift their attention from Olori Oko to the new work. We just wanted to wait for a while before brining out something new. But along the line, our fans were like no we need something new which has actually forced us back to the studio for another chart-buster album.
CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE CRISIS CURRENTLY ROCKING OLORI OKO; WE LEARNT THAT OLORI OKO IS SEPARATED, TRUE OR FALSE?
(KEHINDE) First of first, it's a rumour at least you are hearing from the horse's mouth now. It's not true that Infinity is breaking up because the brand name Infinity still very much exists, it's recording unprecedented success, clinching awards here and there. But the people behind Infinity, you know people are used to seeing five guys, but now, they may be seeing four people.
WHAT INFORMS THAT?
(KEHINDE) What informs it is that Infinity is a gospel group and it remains a gospel group but unfortunately our interest is not to draw attention to ourselves but to God, we are not like the average musician out there, we are ministers so if I begin to now talk about how I heard a calling from above, if you understand where Infinity is coming from, our foundation from the church, our coming together has not been planned by a single soul but by God. So sometime last year, I was having this very troubling encounter, we all have different ways in which God speaks to us, I had this troubling experiences, dreams bla bla bla and know what the massage is because Infinity is an idea, a ministry I have devoted my entire to absolutely. So, when something comes up and say sacrifice your son Isaac, you will fight o because it's like this cant be God. I resisted for a long time, then we traveled to the UK, when we got there, I have several people come to meet me, in fact, there is a particular man of God who came to me and I haven't told him anything, he was basically referring to the those things i have been going through at that point i was now getting scared. You know, if it's just hearing things, you can defend yourself that not me jare maybe because we have never hiding it from the public view that we are normal people in the sense that we fight, we disagree but we settle our scores amicably, we don't hide that. After that encounter in the UK , we came back, it was a very serious decision for me until I had an encounter with a man of God and at that point I was like look sir, this and this has been happening and here we are again. As I speak to you, my major source of income come from Infinity, I don't perform with Infinity anymore due to my Pastor's and my benevolence spirit but I am still getting money from Infinity so all of these things Ii could not preempted. It wasn't something I just arrived at as per say let me leave because of one thing or the other.
SO WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO NEXT; ARE YOU STILL GOING TO SING AS INFINITY KENNY OR YOU ARE BECOMING A FULL TIME MINISTER? (KEHINDE)Anyone who use the name aside the real Infinity is looking for trouble because Infinity is God's initiative and I still maintain that stand, people should just watch out for what God is about to do in Infinity, I remain Infinity number one fan, I remain committed to Infinity. It's like having a company and one is releasing his share to other share holders, I am like a share holder in Infinity and I am giving my share out to my guys. I am actively not with Infinity any more. They can invite me to perform with them I can as well throw such gesture to them. People are just spreading the ugly rumour that we fought nothing of such at all. You know, it's something of great emotion to me leaving the people you have always been with; it's not something I can talk about without having this sense of dropping, you know, this withdrawing feeling. To answer your question, for Kenny, the next move for me is music and it will always remain music. Like I said earlier on, Infinity has been my only source of income but that will change very soon so man gat to find a way out. There is something God told me, you know we usually have black and red but there is a grey line and it's always getting wider and He said I'm putting a witness stand on the grey line and he's putting me there. And another thing he said to me was that because you serve me with al your heart, it has been accounted unto you for righteousness and I will keep you. By the grace of God people are going to know me not by Kehinde Infinity but god is going to give us a new name. For my calling, I already know what it's. You know when you have gospel artists that tell you they're not gospel artists that they're musicians first or Christians first then gospel is not that kind of their music. By the grace of God you are going to know Kehinde with whatever name God is giving me as a gospel artist and we are going to draw the attention of men to Christ through music and we are also going to win awards, get endorsement etc. these are what so called gospel artistes compromise their Christianity to get, the Lord is going to do it for me. Basically for me, that special call of coming out to becoming a witness stand on a grey line for lots of compromising Christians is the next step that God is taking me to.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO COPE?
Well, ultimately if God is the one in charge, He cannot mismanage our lives so people should just wait and see what God is going to do.
ARE YOU IN ANY WAY RELATING THAT PHRASE 'GOSPEL ARTISTES WHO COMPROMISE THEIR CHRISTIANITY' TO INFINITY?
Not at all, what I am trying to say there is that Infinity is a gospel artist, it remains that but I got a special calling entirely, you know we have apostles, evangelists, teachers, singers etc in the church in, the special call is to address the particular issue of migration of gospel artist into the world and the name of an inspirational singer, that's not Infinity's special call, they should address that, I am saying it to their face. To my understanding God didn't call Infinity out to address that issue.
ARE YOU GOING TO ADDRESS THAT ISSUE NOW?
By the grace of God, it's not going to be by power or might because if it's me against the world, enhen I am finished but it's God.
YOU HEARD HIM, CAN YOU ADDRESS THAT?
(JOSEPH) Emm well, as he's rightly pointed out, there is a need for that because a lot of people get drawn away from the mundane because of certain pressures and churches are not helping matters in this situation. We have a lot of gospel artistes who turned into other things because things are not really working the way it should be and all that. Since God is leading him in that direction, it's very welcome, we would support him and wish him best of luck in his career.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MANAGE THIS?
(Samson) Oh! Definitely it's going to be very hard because we've been together for 11 years, in fact, we planned everything together but when destiny calls, what can one do! The truth is, he's leaving to propagate the word of God, so who are we to say no to that. And, according to him, it's God's doing, not his or ours from any angle you want to see it from. We've worked together for this past year and doing things alone will not be easy but with God all his side, all is well.
WITH THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT HAVE YOU GUYS EVER NATURED THE FEAR OF WHERE DO WE START FROM?
(Sunny) Of course, the truth is when you have a group of people with a particular number and everybody plans a pivotal role in the group, in a case where one person is not around, it's a serious disaster in music. In Infinity nobody is a figure head, everybody is involved and plays important role, when this development came up I realized that ah so we wont be having Kenny to perform with us, naturally, you're hoping you can manage it but the truth is like Joseph rightly said, it's not the doing of fight or grudges or quarrel, it's now becomes our responsibility to manage it, to redefine the group and come together and be strong. If we let that affect us, God will not be happy and if we let this affect that God will still not be happy. We cannot help this situation, fine, we are losing a very important person in the group but we are also gaining if you look at it from another angle. He's out there doing something, we are there doing something too so if both record success, it's for the glory of God.
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR INFINITY?
(David) Well, the way forward now is to stick together, be truthful to each other and work like never before so that our fans wont say oh because of so and so. If Kenny is having any recording, we would be there to support him as a brother and same goes to him, whenever we have anything that requires his attention he's always welcome in our midst. Even, our new album that is about to hit the street, he's going to be involved too. All benefits accrue in Olori Oko deal will be rightfully given to him. There is copyright law guarding all that, besides we are gospel artists not just gospel artists we are sincere people so we cannot compromise our principle.
TALKING ABOUT YOUR NEW WORK, WHAT SHOULD YOUR FANS EXPECT?
(Samson)An extraordinary album! (Laughter) We are recording a new project; we are coming out with a bang. You know we just came back from KORA show in Republic of Benin where we have been nominated as Best African Group Artist of the Year with D'banj, P Square, others as equally as nominees.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH IN INFINITY?
(Kenny) In Infinity, there is no I, we worked collectively as a team, there is nobody who is latent person as such. Sunny is the producer of Infinity and that is a massive wok if you would agree with me. Samson handles our finances more than anyone else. So everybody has a role to play and when it comes to working together, concertedly we deliver, you know, like a saying that says two heads are better than one. From the way they have spoken now, you can see that it has never happened in the history of entertainment in Nigeria where there is separation and the people will still share same spirit together, I am really proud of them. It's not easy, that's the truth, it's not easy on me or them but we've been courageous, we've been strong trying to do the best thing, this is not what Nigerians are use to, Nigerians should be proud of Infinity, Nigerians should see Infinity as a redefined family it has not broken up.
I'm no more a member of Infinity but I still lean on Infinity.
FROM ALL THE NUMEROUS AWARDS YOU HAVE RECEIVED WHICH ONE IS MOST CHERISHED?
(DAVID)It might sound funny if i say this but the truth is the best award ever received is not the plaque but the goodwill we have. People out there love us, they believe in us and that has made it the most cherished award. We have never received any endorsement from any corporate body but the people's endorsement has been of great pleasure.
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR KORA NOMINATION
(SAMSON) With all humility, we are thanking people for such honour, we have a good video on air, we have goodwill of the people, our chance of winning that award is very high with God on our side, I believe we have God's backing and the backing of the church in the voting. I'm trusting God that the church we vote for us.
ON WHOSE SIDE IS GOD THEN?
Well, there is something called faith, that makes us different. We have faith and we are very religious, we believe it can happen and it will happen. We know the favour of God and His grace will definitely work for us. By strength shall no man prevail!
LET'S TALK ABOUT WOMEN, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN COPING WITH THEM?
(Joseph) We cope pretty well. The truth is, to a large extent, our background has prepared us for where we are now. Not that we don't get some very funny ladies who would try to go bellow the belt but we try to get out of it without enmity. And we always have it at the back of our minds the sons of whom we are. The fact that just one of us is married now does not mean that others wont, by the grace of God, others are going to be married next year. David is just lucky to have met the right person way back and he quickly arranged things.
HOW MUCH DO YOU WORTH?
$100M! General laughter
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW WORK?
The new work is titled ISEPE,it actually talks about how people get high on boos but one can get high on Holy Spirit just like people get high on different kind of alcoholic drinks. We feature Rooftop Mc in ISEPE and those who have heard it are really gaga about it. It's due to be out this week. It's a promotional single.