2019 was a major year in CalledOut Music's career, seeing him catapulted to stardom during his mini Africa tour, winning two awards for Best Male Artist and Best Music Video during the 4th annual Premier Gospel Award
and topping the UK Christain Chart.
And to kick-off 2020? His new hit single GRACE, and an interview in Davilanda's first-ever Focus post, of course. Here he talks about His Music, tour experience and personal life.
Tell us a little about yourself?
"I'm just a guy whose life has been changed by the love of Christ, I was born in Nigeria and now living in the UK, I always had a passion for music and I'm privileged to be able to pursue it. I’m the 4th child of 5, probably why no one paid me any attention so I turned to music lol - all things work together right? But yeah music is me and I am music."
What’s CalledOut Music all about?
"CalledOut is a mindset. From 1 Peter 2:9, where we’re described a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation…called out from darkness to light. So it’s essentially the acceptance of my new reality and walking in it. So we all have been called out from darkness into God's marvellous light, now we have to show this truth with our lives. The music is just what comes from living this life. The lifestyle is the main goal because, without the lifestyle, there is no music."
Why did you choose the name ‘CalledOut Music’?
Tbh it was super strange to me. I was that guy who really disliked pseudonyms because I felt it didn’t allow me into the artist’s space but when I understood what it meant to be CalledOut, I knew I had a name that would spark Christ centred conversations such as this question. It would allow me to share who I am, how I have been changed and how Christ can change the listener all in one go = PERFECTO!
Could share with a little bit on starting CalledOut Music?
I started in 2016, after waiting for 5 years to get myself together and really decide who I was going to live for, I spoke with my manager, Chibz, about getting me on to his publishing company, HFP, and it grew from there. What drives me is the desire to get everyone to come to the knowledge of Jesus, it could be through music or a word or just living.
What principles do you use to stay consistent with CalledOut Music?
Just one major one. Uncle Nathaniel Bassey was encouraging me a while ago and he simply said, ‘your lifestyle will reflect in your music’ - I’ve held this word close to my heart ever since.
When should be we expect new music?
We’re already getting it like in 2020!
On making music:
What does sound mean to you?
It’s a way of communicating a message. It's a tool. I feel like the sound can be structured to help communicate a message, or to suit a particular demographic.
How would you describe your sound?
Very eclectic. I always say 'I enter the music and let it use me not the other way round'. This means that if I’m creating a reggae song, I’ll write like a reggae artist, sing like one, pronounce words like one just to suit the music. When I made ‘I am Free’ the lyrics were intentional to fit the beat and I was able to get a result, with ‘my prayer’ it was the same thing. I would encourage artists not to try and impose themselves on every genre but rather let the music move you and control your creativity.
What’s your creative process like?
If I’ve created the music first, then I try to flow with the beats and melodies. Sometimes I start with words or verse of scripture and then layer it with chords.
What’s your advice to a young creative aspiring to be an artist, but doesn’t know a thing about the business?
LEARN IT. The music business doesn’t care that it’s your first song, lol. Seriously though, its also a thing of self-development because you will be in a better position to reap the rewards of your handwork through an understanding of what you deserve. It's literally as important as having a skill.
On tour experience:
What was your 2019 mini Africa tour experience like?
It was wavey! Honestly the best time of recent memory. Every city came with the heat and the vibes and love. I’m forever grateful for our mini Africa tour! Big shoutout to HFP Music for making it happen too.
What cities were you in? And which was your favourite?
Lagos, Nairobi and JoBurg - I honestly can't pick a favourite lol they all came out for me!!
How did it feel to see different people vibe with your music?
Humbling is the word I always use. Taught me that we can never underestimate God and how He works. Music travels far, so to anyone contemplating, just release that track abeg. It will reach the people it's intended for.
When’s your next tour going to be?
Ye! - I’m not sure yet but I’m sure 2020 will bring some tantalising surprises.
On balancing fame with service:
Do you serve in a church unit?
Yes, I serve at Praise Embassy, Basingstoke.
How do you balance being Calledout Music with serving in the church?
It's quite easy when I’m around, I’m serving. End of story - it helps keep me grounded.
What’s your advice to young creatives on service in church?
It teaches you servanthood, putting others before yourself for the benefit of the church. Also teaches you discipline as you’d most likely be one of the first in and the last out. It all helps you become a better Christian, therefore a better Creative.
Close up and personal:
What’s your secret talent?
Do you sing in the shower?
Do you listen to your music?
What city do you love to perform in the most?
What’s your favourite song to perform?
Found in You
Who’s your favourite artist?
One person, you have always wanted to perform with?
What’s your favourite musical instrument?
Rate your music on a scale of 10?
If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing?
Call to Salvation
Do you know Jesus? Do you want to experience peace in your life? You too can begin a new life with Jesus Christ today (here)