The Flame Is From Way Back – Oteng III

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“You can take my world and give me music, gospel music and I’ll feel I lost nothing” he exaggerated in an interview.

In a slum compound house somewhere New Fadama was where it all started. Where his parents would play songs of Yaw Sarpong, Elder Mireku, Daughters of glorious Jesus, Tagoe Sisters etc. every morning before and sometimes after school. “The songs rang in my head even when I was away from home. But they were mere wonderful melodies until the essence of the lyrics hit me. Then they began to mean more than just songs to me. They had significant impact on my life.”

He tags his brother, “my biggest influence”.

“Big bro vacated first semester in KNUST and returned home with loads of compilations especially from hillsong united. This was a new phase of gospel lyricism.” He had heard a couple songs from Kirk Franklin and Cece Winans. But Big bro got him acquainted with them more, getting him to listen to more of their songs.”Big bro made me love hillsong united, and there was every reason to. How contagious their lyrics could be. On every song , yet they were about the same story- Jesus!

If you know the depth of lyrics from the above mentioned artistes, you’d know he’s not from a background where you can get his approval on just any gospel song(So called). “Gospel songs should refresh, convict and edify a believer on what God says concerning something. Also help us worship our heavenly father. Last but not the least, it should breakdown the hearts of non-believers to receive the God kind of life.” This he said during an interview at Odi Media Production.

When asked whether gospel music was a limitation to gospel artistes, he said: “Gospel music is not a limitation, in terms of the variety of topics you can touch on. But it is a limitation on whose perspective you’d look at these topics from.” He is simply saying Gospel music can be about anything, yes everything. But from the Christ perspective. “Let’s not bury creativity and variety my fellow gospel artistes, Gospel music is not boring if you’ve seen it from my side. We can touch on every topic from politics to spirituality but the lyrics should be on how God sees them. We believers should be the ones to dictate the pace!

A weird music fanatic he was seen. At one point vibing hard to Yaw Sarpong and O.J. At another point vibing even harder to Lecrae and 116clique. Lol. How eclectic you could have a music lover in one soul. Obrafour(conscious rapper) his favorite local rapper has been a huge influence, his childhood friends would testify! Growing up, countless artistes of different genres: from the neo soul singers to the country music stars have been an inspiration to him in many ways.

In Senior high school, his lyricism was birthed. But he kept it all to himself back. He met a guy who listened to the hippy kind of gospel from Lecrae Moore. I got to know Paapa and later preachers through another friend. “Their style was different. Loved it. I had heard of gospel rap but never seen anyone taken it that seriously. Touring schools and cities doing gospel rap, that was amazing.” They planned to team up after high school and pursue gospel rap since their love for it grew undeniably strong.

Destiny had other plans. After high school he lost touch with two guys he dreamt to rock the stages with. He persisted, then met a guy who introduced him to a producer/rapper, Kwadjo SPiRi.

“The young man was God sent. When we first met, he asked for a freestyle. After which he was impressed and teamed up with me for a duo 19track free mix tape. Besides he recorded all my freestyles and mix tapes for free. This was actually where I kept perfecting my craft. All recordings were done in his bed room”.

He took a hiatus, to pursue tertiary education alongside a part time work. He completed his National Service to the nation and here is he back again to officially kick start the passion as a career.

He is currently out with his first official song “Keeps You Going”. Watch lyric video via YouTube below;

For the latest updates and more exciting content, follow @urbangospelblog. Stay blessed.

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