People Were Scared Of Investing In Us Infinity
Ever dreamt of recording an album that would transcend all genres of music? One that is gospel but widely accepted in the secular world? When last were our ears attuned to a rich blend of culture and gospel music? The birth of Infinity answers the above questions. The road to success was not smooth. The Infinity group had to withdraw an earlier album a year back. Reason? â€œWe were not satisfied with how it was doing in the market.â€ â€“ Very different from their latest effort, Olori Oko, which is arguably one of the most successful albums in recent years, and gospel too. In a breakfast chat, the young men spoke to Weekend Ride about their aspirations. Infinity is made up of five young men â€“ Joseph Robert Okougbo from Edo State, Sunny Stephen from Kogi State, David Adebiyi Thomas from Ekiti State, Kehinde Akingbade from Ogun State and Samson Nuogo from Delta State. â€œThe band name means forever, boundless. It is a ministry. A lot of Nigerians have lost hope in our country; we encourage them to believe in Nigeria.â€ Where do you get your inspiration? Africanness and also spiritual. We believe Christianity is more than a religion; it is a way of life. We are influenced by the scriptures. We also have a calling outside the church. We reach out to Christians and non-Christians alike. How has it been since the release of Olori Oko? The response has been overwhelming. The goodwill cuts across religions, tribes or languages. The searchlight has been focused on us, but we remain calm. Some close friends try to live it up but we are just the same people. We remain focused so as not to derail. We always aim to get better; we do not intend to stay local but want to be ambassadors of Nigeria, musically. How did you meet and how long have you been together? We have been together for over nine years. Most of us met in the secondary school. Do you still see yourself together in say, the next two years? We walk by faith. Many people seem to believe that musical groups donâ€™t stay together for long; for example, Boyz II Men, the Jacksons and Kush... Yes, but there are also good examples too. God is our foundation. We brainstorm together and operate by faith. Infinity is not just about music but about God. How do you classify Olori Oko? The sound reminds one of some West African countries. Do you agree the sound is chiefly from that part? It is a blend of East, West and even South Africa. Maybe while writing the song, it came out the way it is, but it is wholly African. What does it take to get Infinity on stage? It depends on the event. For corporate events especially, we try to re-enact the video in the past. People believe you do not have to do much work because you sing gospel. â€¦ stand in the garden, flower in hand and moving solemnly to the sound? We try to do a lot more than that. What separates Infinity from others? Our passion for God; the zeal to make a difference. What are the challenges you faced then and now? People were scared of investing in us. The record labels were not forthcoming. And now there is distribution and piracy. Some opportunists try to cash in now. We have to do a lot of managing ourselves. Where was the album shot? The French Cultural Centre. Did you have any fear that Olori Oko might not do well in the market? We gave our best in sound quality and video but when the success came, it was still overwhelming. Letâ€™s get personal: Samson and David are married. Should we expect more wedding bells before the new CDs get to the market? No. Are you all full-time musicians? Yes. If not music, what else would you do? Kehinde: I would be writing and directing videos. Joseph: I have other interest I wish to explore later; maybe travelling. David: A lot of things, business maybe. Sunny: Sincerely, for me, itâ€™s music. Only music.
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