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MP3 Wale Olajide (Ola Jay) - Second Chance

Modern Praise & Worship -- African inflections with soulful vocals and memorable songs.

10 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, WORLD: African

Second Chance is a concept titled CD featuring 9 tracks penned by Wale Olajide (aka Olajay) between 1994 and 2003. While some of them have made the rounds within the churches in Nigeria and the UK, others are fresh compositions hoping to break new grounds. Here''s Wale in his own words…

"I decided to title the album Second Chance for 2 reasons. Even though there isn''t a track of that title on the CD, my message to the world is that we all deserve a 2nd Chance following the mess we got plunged into by the devil. Individually, we can find that opportunity when we come to the full knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. I believe the Lord gave me the gifts of music to preach his word from the start…but I procrastinated and decided to do nothing about it for a long time…This is my second chance."

Second Chance presents 9 original songs with an instrumental of the 2nd track as a bonus track. 3 songs; ''Sing unto the Lord'', ''How can I tell it all?'' and ''Hallelujah'' are inspired by traditional African choruses which are not only popular but melodious in their raw forms. What I have done is made them fuller with additional verses, bridges, vamps and ad-libs.

I set out to do this when it became apparent it was time to record for the CD.

For instance, I wrote ''Sing unto the Lord'' as an example of how to do something radically different with our traditional popular fellowship choruses sometime in 1997 when invited to do a presentation at a seminar on Praise and Worship in Wembley.

''How can I'' which is a re-working of ''What the Lord has done for me'' was written in 2000 following a similar event. ''Hallelujah'' was also penned about the same time following a spiritual quest for unity in the body for Christ.

''In His Glory'' which perhaps to date remains one of my materials with a strong evangelistic message was written one sunny afternoon while working as a station assistant with London Underground. Inspiration for the song was borne out of seeing crowds of people hurry to and fro, majority trying to earn a living but no aspiration for eternal riches.

''See what'' was my first attempt at song writing. Back in the day as a TV producer in the 80s with Nigerian Television, I used to record and produce a young man named Julius and his 14 man Gospel Band. ''See what'' was first recorded on vinyl as the only reggae track on his debut album in 1989 with me doing the lead vocals. It has been given the new millennium mix treatment this time around

''Magnify the Lord'' and ''Saved by the Blood'' were written and first introduced to my local church choir around 1997. Inspiration for Saved by Blood came from celebrating Easter and what the blood of Jesus meant to me as a Christian. Magnify the Lord was my personal quest to have a unique celebration song in my local church to usher us into a mood of praise anytime we came to worship. My prayer is that this would spur other people in the same direction.

''Jesus, precious Jesus'' and ''When I wake up'' were written in 1994 after a personal devotion one morning. It was clearly God''s way of saying to me…"Son, I will supply the material, just go in my name".

It is to God''s Glory that my first musical experience was made possible in the early 80''s by a man called Broda Martyns while on youth service in Nigeria.

Its exceptionally not co-incidental that having lost contact for many years, we would re-unite in England 19 years later, both of us now Christians and still sharing the same musical interests and ideas. I am therefore grateful to God for using a good old friend and dear brother as mentor and sponsor of this project through his own ministry, Most High Music and making this a wonderful ''Second Chance'' opportunity.

13 Songs were originally intended for this CD but the Producers Tosin Aleshe & Broda Martyns advised a debut showcase is better off with minimal tracks as you don''t want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Production took place in Miditone Studios, one of Nigeria''s finest digital outfits. I also had the opportunity to work with some of the finest and most talented singers and professional personnel in Nigeria''s media circuit. Two of them, Valentine Smart (Zyhon) and James Elukpo make guest appearances on ''See what'' and ''In His Glory''. We had great fun recording the CD and its amazing how God makes things work despite pressures and problems that sometime makes things difficult in an environment like Nigeria.

Nevertheless the technology is up-to-date and manned by people who know their craft. After a 13 year sojourn abroad, it was nice and uplifting working once again with comrades, and colleagues. For me it was humbling to the spirit to witness how much spiritual change that had occurred in many lives.

Music for the Olajide family started off as a fantasy. 4 brothers shared a dream of forming a band back in those days of growing up in Nigeria. This didn''t happen due to lack of resources to buy or learn how to play instruments. However, listening to radio was everyone''s best past time. Wale claims a musical inclination was developed from here…

"My older brothers were the best campus DJs by the time they hit college. I had the privilege of doing that from high school. By year 3, I was already the school''s official DJ at Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo in the early seventies. After my O''levels, I started work as a junior Purchasing Clerk and spent all my money on buying records. My sights were actually set on broadcasting having spent childhood listening to and mimicking Nigeria''s finest radio & TV broadcasters.

My dreams came true in 1979 upon starting a diploma course in Mass Communication. Work placement enabled me become a news reporter and presenter at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, Radio O.Y.O in 1980. On completion the same year, I got a freelance job with another state radio station, OGBC Abeokuta. My broadcasting career had kicked off. The next 6 years saw other doors opening including 2 years of serious news and programmes production with Radio Nigeria, Ibadan between 1982 and 84. I returned to OGBC Abeokuta in 1984 while completing my diploma at the state''s Polytechnic. This time around I got more involved by writing scripts for drama, documentaries and commercials, etc.

Looking back, my first foray into music was first year in college when I successfully auditioned and joined the ensemble put together by Tunji Oyelana to record the first locally produced set of station jingles for OGBC in 1979.

In 1985, after college, I went on compulsory National Youth Service (NYSC) in Lagos. I met Broda Martyns in camp who was then working for the Lagos NYSC Directorate and responsible for the corps welfare and socials.
Having put a band together as part of camp activities, I got spotted one night on ''open mic''. One thing led to another and a grand finale show saw me singing all the lead male vocals on ''We are the World'', including Michael Jackson''s falsetto and Bruce Springston''s gruffy nasal parts. A singer was born.

After that night, it then dawned on me, there had to be something about my voice worth a penny or two. As a friend would later remark, what I didn''t realise was many years of singing along with the records as a Dj had provided all the voice training I ever needed.

Same year, I started work in TV as a presenter. Deejaying took a back seat as I got thrust into the proper world of music production and the media. Between 1986 and 1991 that I left the shores of Nigeria, I had the privilege of rubbing minds with the best of Nigeria''s music maestros. My skills and experience as a TV producer expanded into writing and producing commercials while I lent my voice to many jingles and also recorded a 13 episode choral musical with OGTV Abeoukuta. I remember with fondness working with folks like Bisade Ologunde before he ''met'' Lagbaja at Africa Sings Studios, Ras Kimono at Channel 7, Julius Olagoroye at Afrodisia Studios & and Tunde Ajijedidun at Digitrack.

In 1989, my life changed altogether having discovered Christ through Salvation. Values and perspectives changed overnight as I gave up the glamorous world of showbiz. My first Church was Chris Okotie''s Household of God and I re-collect in those early days developing a yearning to become a chorister even though Household didn''t have a choir!

In 1991, I relocated to England and joined the premier and only branch then of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Angel, London. This was my first proper Choir group. God used us in those early days to minister at various occasions from conference meetings to social functions of members. ''Jesus, Precious'', one of my songs on the CD, was written and performed regularly by the choir in the early 90s.

My broadcasting interests were rekindled about this time, except there weren''t any Christian radio stations! Early attempts to get work with the BBC and other commercials stations didn''t yield much success on arrival in 1991.
However, I started collecting Gospel records and CDs with the hope of going back to deejaying and in 1995 started the London circuit within the Redeemed network which had now rapidly expanded beyond Angel.

By 1998, I informally launched S.O.S Music Ministries buying my own equipment to specifically fill that gap of providing good danceable gospel music for all occasions. To date, invitations come from all over England to DJ at all sort of functions. In 2002, I was invited to produce and present programmes for Bradford''s Flame FM during Easter following a friend putting in a good word and listening to my demo tape. I also fulfilled a desire to present on BBC after sending in a demo gospel mastermix tape. I did 2 weeks on BBC1Xtra''s Sunday Vibrations.

Singing was still confined to church on a Sunday and the occasional extra invitations to do back ups for other groups and solo artistes. In 1997, when Festival of Life kicked off at London arena, yours sincerely was privileged to lead 2 solo numbers. I actively sang with the FOL choir until 2002 when other pressing career matters made it difficult to engage in active rehearsals not only for FOL but even my own local church. "

Nevertheless, with the birth of ''Second Chance'' things will definitely take a completely different direction in Wale Olajide''s singing career.

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