Gospel singer and songwriter, Folashade Onabowale is heating up the music space with her hot tunes. In February, she took her career to a new level with the release of her debut EP entitled, ‘My Thanks Has No End,’ featuring the hit track, O’Tobi (Big God).
In this chat, the Mass Communication graduate shares her survival story, which culminated into endless thanksgiving. Enjoy it.
Tell us about your growing up and at what point did you discover music?
I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, but the most important thing is that I was born into a God-fearing, love-filled home. My parents and siblings are amazing though, I grew up in the barracks. Dad and mom were able to train us in God’s ways. We are six kids in the family – three boys and three girls – and I am the fourth child. I have always been a dancer and singer; I started singing when I was four years old.
Who were your early influences and why gospel music?
Music for me started very early. At an early age, I developed strong love for music. My early influences included Panam Percy Paul, King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, Don Moen, Pastor Ibrahim John, Sunny Okosun, R. Kelly, Yinka Aiyefele, Sinach, Sammy Okposo, Dare Art Alade and Tim Godfrey. From when I was very young, about four or five years old, I moved from the children’s choir to the teenage choir. Growing up, I was blessed with wonderful parents who did not impose a career or whatever on their kids. Music is my calling and that is what I am doing.
How do you get inspiration to write songs and what have been your challenges?
My inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I get inspiration in my dreams, and inspiration also comes from my environment. Gospel music is my calling. So, I don’t see anything as a challenge. I believe the hurdles I have to face are the building blocks for my life. I must confess everything is working the way it should go because music is my ‘destiny code’.
Tell us about your EP and the hit single, O’Tobi?
I am promoting my first album right now. It is an EP titled, My Thanks Has No End. I am promoting the fourth track, O’Tobi (Big God), which is the last track on the CD. It is on blogs and also on my YouTube channel. It is also on Cetunes, on Christ Embassy’s kings chart. So far, so good, God is working! The response has been positively amazing.
It’s obvious that this is a thanksgiving album. What inspired it?
The day God gave me a second chance to live, that was what inspired the album. My thanks have no end! His grace and his unconditional love for me are awesome! I have passed through a lot of trials that people never emerge from. I can never forget how God turned my mourning into dancing, giving me a second chance to live, and not only that; God is always working it out for me. I wanted to let the whole world know that God is real and He is great. I can’t but keep appreciating him for sparing my life, from the handiwork of the evil one who wanted to take my life on my way home from choir practice. He is God and his mercy has no end. Words cannot capture the magnitude of what God did for me. I experienced a ruptured ectopic pregnancy at the age of 20. That alone is a death sentence on its own, but against the odds, he saved me from the valley of the shadow of death. He knew I needed more time in this life and I had not fulfilled my mission on earth. It is obvious He wants me to do exploits for him. And I promised I would tell the world how awesome He is and O’Tobi captures my gratitude, as it tells how awesome God is. He never fails and is always there for his children. When you have God, you have everything.
Which artistes do you want to collabo with?
There are lots of artistes out there that I want to collabo with, I must confess. I can’t even name all of them. However, top among them is R. Kelly and Sinach.
How did you meet your husband and how did he pop the question?
Some men are always ready to go for what they want regardless of the consequences. On the fateful day I met my husband, I was sharing with a male friend of mine what happened a few days back between my boyfriend and I. My hubby suddenly came and tapped me from behind saying, ‘please excuse me’ without minding the fact that I was with another guy, and we were chatting. I reacted unpleasantly and he pleaded and left not knowing that what he did was deliberate, because he had been seeing me around for long. We later became friends, and at the long run, he proposed. Today, we are happily married, and I am so honoured and proud of being his wife and mother of his wonderful children.
Has your husband been supportive of your career?
Firstly, I thank God for giving me an amazing husband. He sacrifices a lot for me in terms of taking care of the kids and the likes. Though, he is a businessman, he denies himself of many things just to help me out. Also, with the help of my precious mum, and being responsible and a loyal wife, I find it easy combining my career and my home. My husband has been supportive right from the very day I stepped under his roof till date. He has been there for me countless times and he encourages me spiritually, morally and financially. I thank God everyday for giving me such an amazing husband.
A lot of gospel artistes have been criticized for being materialistic just like their secular counterparts. What is your take?
I believe in elegance. I love being classy and gorgeous. I have always been stylish right from my childhood days. Those that are very close to me can attest to this. That you are a spirit-filled gospel artiste doesn’t mean that you should not look good. Our God is pure and clean and he is the owner of whatever position we find ourselves. So, you being a gospel artiste means you are portraying who God is, therefore, you have to look good and elegant. I have always been stylish; I believe in being pure and attractive.
What are your dreams?
It’s being the most impactful gospel artiste in Africa and beyond, and winning souls for Christ.