To those familiar with Nigerian Gospel Music, K’ore is not a strange name. The singer, songwriter and worship minister is a former member of the multi-award winning music group Infinity and has songs like “Olori Oko” and “Aye Ole” to his credits. His solo efforts “Eledumare” and “Eledumare: Reloaded” have recorded chart topping success. Harry Itie got a chance to interview him. Enjoy and be blessed.
YADA: It has been two years since Eledumare first dropped in the Nigerian market. How has the journey been for you?
Within the past two years of releasing the Eledumare series into the market, I have seen good and seen bad; been to Heaven and passed through Hell. Distribution remains a major, major challenge. However, even in all this God has been good to me. I’ve been abroad a couple of times this year, ministered in several churches, and have received notable recognition far and wide as one of the best song writer and gospel music minister of our time. I am not where I am going but I am not where I used to be. Overall, it has been a heck of a ride, which has left me even more grateful to God.
YADA: Talk about the challenges you have encountered in the process, apart from distribution which you mentioned earlier?
All the challenges I have encountered along my musical journey is necessary to build character. I am fully persuaded that no soldier wars at His own expense. It is paying and it is going to pay even more that I have decided to follow Jesus and use my talent for my Saviour, and my King.
YADA: What does worship mean to you?
To me worship is more than a dance, or claps. It is more than a beautiful rendition of a beautiful song in honour of God. Worship is a lifestyle of obedience to God. This lifestyle is true spirituality. Jesus was not a singer but He was the greatest worshipper to walk the face of the earth.
YADA: What is the concept behind your stage name?
A lot of people know, and refer to me by my stage Moniker: Kenny K’ore. Kenny from the name Kehinde, and K’ore from the Yoruba word, Kuorire, meaning; congratulations. I believe there is something in a name, and that the names we bear often act as prophecies over our lives. Hence Kenny Congratulation, which is a prophetic declaration that anyone who consciously or unconsciously says my name affirms over my life. They would be celebrating with me for what God has done, is doing, and will yet do in my life but my birth name is Kehinde Olumide Akinbode.
YADA: Official baby is a personal favorite on the Reloaded album. Where you sceptical when you decided to record the song?
The song ‘Official baby’, is one track that has caused quite a stare. I saw it coming and yes, I was quite sceptical because I knew it bellies the potential of getting me misunderstood. You see, I cannot say that if a couple is ready for the commitment of marriage [age wise, emotionally, financially and otherwise] that they can go ahead and French kiss, can you? Perhaps you can but can you confidently say that it is ok to recommend French kissing in every relationship? I cannot. Especially because I know French kissing only fans the embers of romance, and soon enough it stops becoming enough. That is why I said, I am born again, no French kissing until you are officially mine. Note: perhaps you are mature enough to define certain control limits with your lover in your relationship and be stoical in abiding by it, but children also listen to my music, and I was most conscious of them when I wrote the song OFFICIAL BABY. If the song does not serve any other purpose than prevent teenage\adolescent sex, then I am fulfilled. I am not being a misguided ‘spiri spiri’ in this matter.
YADA: Which artist(s) would you say inspires your sounds
I cannot say one person influenced my style because my type of music is a confluence of various influences. Apala, Juju, Fuji, Reggae, Country, Music from Senegal, Swahili sound, Rock, Hip Hop and so on. If I must thank people for who I am today, I will not only thank the good people in my life, I will thank the bad ones too. However, thanks especially would go to the Holy Spirit who makes everything work together for my good as He inspires me to love God and be driven towards Yahweh’s good pleasure.
YADA: How would you describe the gospel music industry in Nigeria?
Gospel music in Nigeria in recent times owes everything to a handful of people who have remained unshakeable in the face of structural and fundamental issues that militates against the music. There is not one well-functioning gospel Label in Nigeria. If any music can be successfully distributed outside the Alaba market, it is gospel music. Our churches are pretty much in every nooks of the country. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The lack of support [structural ]is so severe that very few artist make back their investment through the sales of their music. The bright side of it though, is that our music is getting more and better done that we are getting international recognition. I would like to implore many of my colleagues to please let us make sure to retain the excellence and genuineness of the spirit even as we horn in our skills and improve the technicalities of our art. Overall, I will say Gospel music in Nigeria is getting there. It may for now not be as financially\materially rewarding as secular music but affecting lives positively like God has used my music to do, makes fame and fortune pale before my eyes. Money is needed, but it is never ever going to work if it is just about the money.
YADA: What are your plans for the future?
I aspire as a musician to leave a Legacy behind me if Jesus tarry; a Legacy as a musician of Legendary proportion. A man who served God wholeheartedly. A devoted husband of one wife and a responsible father of Godly children.
YADA: When are you going to go on tour or have a major concert?
Yes I have plans of doing a musical tour soon but many things precede a successful one. Therefore, now I am applying my heart to those things.
YADA: A final word for the Yada readers
There is a great conviction within my spirit that there is what is called divine inspiration. Men throughout the ages have been motivated to do things of note and without that stirring, they would not have been able to take such actions as had helped them shake the world. Inspiration is in the ether. It is everywhere around us. In our waking moments and when we lay our heads to sleep. Inspiration is there when we are most happy or sad; at the height of our achievements and or when we just commence our pursuit. I K’ore, am mostly inspired by our daily attempt at practising our faith in a world that is hell bent on secularism and everything antithesis to the scriptures I am inspired by friends and enemies alike. Good and bad times alike. I am inspired first and last by God. My final word to the Yada reader is that the most pathetic, sorry, and at the end suicidal thing to be inspired by is money.
Catch K’ore on Facebook. Check out his song Eledumare and watch the music video for his song ‘Somore”. All pictures appear courtesy K’ore.
K’ore- Somore (Music Video)