I am not a copycat I stand on my style and I will stick to it – Oluwarotimi Onimole (Oba Ara)
Oluwarotimi Onimole, popularly dubbed “Oba Ara” is a notable gospel musician who has paid his
due in the music industry in Nigeria, he hails from Iga Onimole, Lagos Island, his father had four children, and he’s the only son, he’s got married in 2009 and the marriage is blessed with two kids (a boy and a girl). He has released two albums where the maiden album is “Oba Ara” which gave him his stage name and the second is “Eri to re wa”. He had his secondary education at Mayafiyan Grammar School in an interview with Adegbuyi, Adejare Olawale, he talked about his passion and love for God and some of the challenges he has faced in the production of his album and the video and other life challenges.
What motivated you into music and why the choice of gospel music?
I have to thank God and big thanks to my General Overseer. I don’t get to music by accident, it’s what I love to do and is what God has called me for and I have been to music since 1996 17 years ago, I got to limelight in 2008. My father didn’t support my being a musician, he was a military man so he wanted the same for me as well, what really motivated me is that I had a vision for it, it was a “God Call”, that’s the reason why I have been in to it.
What are the challenges faced so far since you started your career in the music industry?
I have faced a lot of challenges, most especially when we go for concert or church program, and that we were next to perform on stage moment known artistes comes in, they would allow known artiste to perform and abandon us. Many like that which I could not mention
You rightly mention that your father didn’t support; why did you now go ahead?
Truly when I started my father was not in support of me but later God won his heart for me, since then he has been supporting me in many ways both financially and spiritually.
How many records have you released so far since you started?
Two records to be precise, the first one is Oba Ara, it was released in 2010 and to God be the glory it moved well in the market so am planning for the video while the second one is beautiful testimony, I have both audio and the video in the market.
Looking at the challenges in the music industry now, the issues of piracy; how have been able to cope?
Though my job has not been pirated not because it has not making a way in the market but because my marketer has never give a chance for that, they have been monitoring the job, when they go to factory I have my master C.D immediately, as at now the job is moving so I don’t know what the pirate will do about it.
How do intend to win souls?
I believe with God all things are possible, now I have been to Ghana for ministration, and some other state like that, being a gospel artiste does not mean I would not have my own fans, I have a lot of fans in the world. When am on stage, the way I praise God with my prelude I capture many heart, with that I believe God is taking me to somewhere higher.
Gospel music in Nigeria today is from all angles derailing, many things have gone into gospel music tungba gospel, classical gospel; are you following the same trends or you trying to make it a bit spiritual, which pattern is yours?
Well, the style of music is Juju gospel; people listen to my album and discovered there are lots of words of encouragement, word that can draw one closer to God and word that can make one appreciate his goodness but tungba and alujo is there. I am not a copycat I stand on my style and I will stick to it.
Where do you see Oba Ara in the next ten years?
Next ten years is too far; in the next five years I want to be in a place that is higher than this because I have focus in what I am doing.
As a gospel musician; how do you intend to pass a message across to the Christians, if you look at the Christendom today it has changed, there’s no different between Christian and unchristian any more, they talk alike, they dress alike?
As I said earlier, the style of my gospel is a pure gospel, If you check my album very well, I don’t address myself as an evangelist, even if am in the church to minister I don’t add evangelist they are the one adding it that my songs preaches gospel. That distinguishes me different from others.
How do you receive your inspiration?
I would not expose that but I will say is that I don’t buy music, I don’t copy anybody music because I get the inspiration myself, it might be by message, when am bathing or when am sleeping.
As a young man, what message do you have for your contemporaries so that they can do it right?
There are many upcoming artistes looking up to known artiste, they should try to humble, they should not make money their priority and they should wait for their time because there’s time for everything in life, I believe when their time comes they should be able make use of it. They should watch the artiste they want to use as their mentor so as not to fall into wrong side.
What is your opinion about leadership tussle in the gospel arena?
I can’t really say about that because I have good relationship with Dare Melody, Atorise, lady evang. Tope Alabi, Opelope Anointing, Bukola Akinade, Mega99, Yinka Ayefele, king Femi Opalemo and many more.
King femi opalemo; Why the king title in gospel music?
I don’t really know much about that but what I see around in the posters, big boards and so on shows that he was endorsed but by whom? I don’t know.
As a Christian and gospel musician, do you think that is right in the Christendom?
Not really because it does not happen in a pastoral way, what can be added to their names is Dr. and Evang. Not the king. God is the king of the universe.
What advice do you have for upcoming artistes behind you?
They should be very careful in watching the steps of good artistes to be their mentor
How do know good artistes?
You can identify good artistes the way they talk, the way they mix with people not people who are not Christian, you call yourself a gospel artistes, you go to beer parlour, club and where they smoke marijuana is your abode, these are not good for gospel artistes.
The question not cleared
I have a personal business; I have done many businesses like sales of electronics, sales of candle light many like that. Also, I have worked with IFECCO Company they produce wheel barrow, I have worked with TITO pure water as well but presently I do buying and selling of properties (land).
How was the launching of your album and who and who grace the occasion?
Well, a lot of celebrities were there, the likes of Lanre Omiyinka (baba Ijesha), Ifankalleluyah, Mega 99, Bukola Akinade (senwele jesu), Remi shitta – Bay, Biodun Okeowo, Otunba Awofe, segun Nabi, Arabian Jerry, taiwo & kehinde adepeko, my parent and lot of my fans. I appreciate all my band men; they have been there for me.