In the music industry, musicians often switch their genres of music in order to get their best fit and achieve their desired results. Some see it as a brave and smart move, while others may see it otherwise.
Here is StarGist’s list of 7 Nigerian musicians who made it in secular music after leaving the church choir:
The gifted singer began singing gospel tunes at the Word of Faith Church, Benin. As an undergraduate at University of Nigeria Nsukka, Waje focused on her musical works such as school concerts and fellowships. Her major break came in 2008, when she featured in the P-Square hit track titled “Do Me.” After then , she went on to feature on ‘One Naira’ with M.I and produce her own songs. She released her self-titled debut album in 2013.
2. J Martins
During his undergraduate days at Institute of Management Technology, Enugu, the music act was involved in production and had a production company named Glorious Praise. He also produced for only gospel singers back then and was actively involved in the church choir, this gave him exposure to diverse musical instruments. Since he launched into the secular industry, he has had major collaborations with artistes like PSquare, Timaya, Waje and Youssou N’dour.
3. Wande Coal
The hip hop act began singing in the teenage choir in church alongside his friend, Chuddy K. Both singers were in a boy band called Salvation Boiz. Wande got his break in the Nigerian entertainment industry as a dancer. He continued improving on his vocal skills and got signed to Don Jazzy’s Mo’ Hits Records in 2006.
The Starboy began singing at the age of 11 in church with the stage name ‘Lil Prinz’ before rebranding to ‘Wizkid’ in 2006; and ever since, he has been able to make a name for himself in the industry. He got his major break into the music industry in 2010 with the hit singles ‘Holla At Your Boy,’ ‘Tease Me,’ and ‘Don’t Dull.’ He released his debut album ‘Superstar’ in 2011.
The Bayelsa singer began from the church, before becoming a backup singer for Eedris Abdulkareem for three years before exploring my music career. Timaya’s solo career began in 2006 with the release of “Dem Mama”, which was met with rave reviews and also appeared on his debut album, True Story released the following year. His second album Gift and Grace was released in 2008. He currently has 3 albums and has won several music awards.
The mother of the music duo, Josephine Okoye, was a pastor in her own church Friends Of Jesus Catholic Prayer Ministry; when she started her ministry, Paul and Peter were her choristers. She also wanted Paul to be pastor and Peter a lawyer. In 2001, they participated in a talent hunt show at the University of Abuja with their debut track ‘Kolo’, they emerged winners and went on to pursue their music career. They have many hits to their credit such as ‘Do me’, ‘Personally’ and their most recent song ‘Shekini’.
The music star used to sing in his children’s choir in church and became the choirmaster at age 5. He got his major music break after winning the MTN Project Fame Competition in 2008 and went on to release hits like ‘Kukere’ and ‘Your waist’. He is the co-owner of Made Men Music Group.