Adeniran Joseph is a promising gospel music minister, popularly known as Timi Phoenix. The graduate of Quantity Surveying from The Federal Polytechnic, Yaba, Lagos State, in this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, speaks on his steady rise in the gospel circle and his mission. Excerpts:
You have been around for some time, how have you been able to carve a niche for yourself in the industry?
My experience in the ministry in general has been phenomenal. For me, it is a ministry, not an industry. I don’t intend to identify with industry, with the full consciousness that I’m a minister through music. So I belong to a category of brethren in the ministry and secondly, I wouldn’t think carving a niche is appropriate. We preach the same message with the same goal and agenda in the ministry. We are working collectively together to achieving the same goal, standing out is not fitting into the place. You can never identify any part of the body that stands out in its place and if such happens that means there is a deficiency in such part of that body.
Do you have any project you are working on?
Yes, I have been working on a 10-track body of work, entitled: “God’s Plan”, which is set to be out in October. I have dropped two singles: “Good things” and “Blessed”, out of the album and I am intending to drop more before the full work goes live on digital space. The project centres on the love of Christ and my testimonies through phases of life and the genre of the songs is more of Afro music and gospel sounds. This time, I believe the youth have new songs to vibe. I believe the adult would love it too. But I made an EP last year to augment for the aged category, you know!
Would you say gospel music is worth taking as a full time career, considering the challenges that come with it as a rising singer?
If you are called to do so, why not? God always takes care of His own. He is taking care of me.
How do you intend to raise your game in the gospel music industry?
The only and most important thing for me is winning souls doing the work. I don’t see the gospel as a game. We are not playing games or clout-chasing; it is basically to obtain results that count for us on the day we meet Jesus. Games are for players.
Do you feel the industry is doing enough to support the up-and-coming musicians?
I believe in the process, God has positioned us in different ministries. From my point of view, it is absolutely yes! Ministers in the Loveworld Nation, under the Loveworld Music and Ministry (LMAM) under the leadership of Evangelist Kathy, have been supportive. We remain under the mentorship and intense training and it is a deliberate thing by our coach and a good visioner, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. So, there is a structure, you expect to remain in the structure, and not stand out, which underscores the discipline.
You have done a couple of works, would you say that you are satisfied with the acceptability so far?
It has been great; I believe my works are achieving what God intends to do with them out there.
Even though you are a promising gospel act, you are also grooming other gospel musicians. What brought about this idea?
We are being raised to impact lives; you have to just identify the capacity you can work from. Most people believe they need to have something extraordinary to impact others.
One thing I have learned from my pastor (Pastor Oyakhilome) is his quality teachings; you don’t need to have the pool of wealth to change the world, because you are already with the ability within, which is the Holy Spirit. All you need to do is to manifest it; what you need to be a blessing is already in you from that moment you thought of it. All that was required was for you to act it.
My actual intention is to team up with serious-minded people with like minds and see how we can collectively grow. As a team, we could achieve much more and be more productive. Pastor Oyakhilome once said: “Don’t just sing together, do business together, help each other grow. You all are brethren.” This is why we came up with a team and God has been helping us to achieve a purposeful goal.
How can gospel musicians’ identify that a particular song is spirit-filled?
If it is of the spirit you would know; if you have the spirit of God working it won’t be difficult to produce spirit-filled songs. These songs are birthed from a deep place of worship. You don’t perform them, you minister them.
It is interesting that a lot of performers can deliver beautiful worship songs and people still get blessed. The truth is once you are singing or leading a worship song it becomes a personal thing. The fact is that when singing to brethren, you are not transferring the Holy Spirit to them, neither are you sending anointing into their lives; you are only ministering to them.
All Christians have a full measure of the power of the Holy Spirit once they have received it. The point is; only a few have mastered fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit regularly outside church. For me, identifying a spirit-filled song is not hard, the Bible is the standard and the Holy Spirit is there to teach the lyrics and the personality of the singer.
If not music what would you have become?
Interestingly, I am everything God said I would be; I am a practicing Quantity Surveyor. I have been in the business for seven years and also I have a clothing line called Garment Factory, which majors in bulk production of urban wear, sportswear, and more.
Music is a calling from God, the rest are secondary, and you will agree with me that multiple streams of income is key. I follow God’s instructions to the very detail; I have no other priority outside God’s vision.
What has been your greatest challenge as a gospel musician?
I see them as stepping stones and God has always been my guide a bridge to every obstacle that comes my way.
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