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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

INTERVIEW: G.O.R. (God's Own Radicals) - Sparking Up A Wildfire

Meet GOR, a husband-and-wife hip hop duo with a mission and passion to flood the entertainment nation  with a Good News message, quite in direct conflict with the more popular commercially driven drivel of over-heightened sensualities that have come to be a staple in much of today’s media. In this Club X eMag (CXeM) exclusive, we get insights into what make this radical team so radical, and why against all odds, they still valiantly press on along a much less travelled path in the face of colossal pressure to lean the other way. 

CXeM: So, can you introduce yourselves to the world?

DON L: Well, We are God’s Own Radicals, husband-and-wife hip hop duo as you put it [laughs]!Resident in Lagos Nigeria, spreading the Lord’s Word using contemporary music forms as our tool. I am DON L and she [my wife]’s DONNA T.
DONNA T: God’s Own Radicals started 9 years ago in Ago Iwoye while we were all undergraduates of Olabisi Onabanjo University, with 3 members, now we are two, not that the other person left acrimoniously oh! He had to relocate up north and that put paid to his part of the journey. However, we are still in touch and we have kept him abreast of all we have been doing.

CXeM: What led you into Music? Why music?

DONNA T: Well, I have been in music since I was about 8 years old, I was part of the Christ Chapel Junior Choir (CCJC) and continued with music into my adolescent years, it sort of went into the back burner for a while but in university, I hooked up with DON L and Daddy D and the rest as they say is history…
DON L: I grew up listening to music in my home as my mom was a music lover even though she couldn’t sing. I joined the choir while in secondary school and also joined the choir at the university and took it from there.

CXeM: Now this is a rather typical question, but, we will ask it anyway! How was it mixing music and academics? We understand DON L studied Law?

DON L: It wasn’t easy but we were determined to do both. We were determined to go through University and complete our education as well as developing ourselves as music ministers/ artistes. We figured God wouldn’t have led us into the University without a reason and since we got in, we had to complete it. Our God doesn’t abandon projects! Plus our parents thought we would drop out as is common among young people who take to music but we chose to stand out and let people see that it could be done.
DONNA T: We all graduated with honors in our respective fields of Microbiology, Philosophy and Law. In our ministrations in various churches, we have had people come up to us saying they were afraid of allowing their children do music because they have the impressions that musicians are ne’ er do wells, but seeing us, they have had to rethink their positions.

CXeM: Word! Help us to tell them! Musicians can also be highly educated peeps oh! So, what has your experience been like?

DONNA T: Well, it hasn’t been easy, Right from the start it had always been difficult getting people to understand that the gospel could still be preached while rapping or while singing using hip hop, R n B, Pop or Rock music as mediums of expression. When we started it was either it was Integrity Music folks [God bless them real good sha oh!] or Fred Hammond and the likes so getting people in the church to accept us was a bit of a challenge. However, that has begun to change and more churches and Christians are beginning to open up to contemporary Christian music. It has also been humbling to see people touched by the power of God’s word in the songs we sing when we minister.
DON L: The issue of finance is also a very big issue because a lot of people assume that because its gospel, it should be delivered free! However producers don’t produce music free because its gospel, Promotion, video production doesn’t come cheap because it gospel. It costs quite a huge sum of money to make good music and its time Christians started supporting Christian music. Christian music has the edge because its life Changing and carries the power of the Lord as against most of the aimless stuff that is on TV and radio these days.

CXeM: True talk, true talk! Now in 9 years [and that is not a small thing at all] what has GOR been up to? What have you guys put on ground as per releases, videos, etc?

DON L:  Well, we have organized concerts, ministered in quite a number of churches around Nigeria and Lagos city in particular, We have shot two music videos, “Praise Him” and “Omo Naija”, both directed by Ak-One.

God's Own Radicals - "Praise Him"

God's Own Radicals - "Omo Naija"

They received generous airplay on TV stations in the country and on satellite platforms. We have developed our own website, recorded over thirty songs, released our debut album and are currently working on a mixtape.
DONNA T: Our debut album was released this year and it’s titled Under Construction.

CXeM: Cool! Now, tell us more about the album

DONNA T: The album is titled “Under Construction” because it’s a compilation of songs we have recorded and has songs which we recorded at different times while we were still trying to find our own distinct style and rhythm. The album has 19 tracks in it and dwells on a wide range of issues from the praise and exaltation of God to broken homes to the positive attributes of the Nigerian and even love! So we believe there is a song for everyone in that album. A lot of work went into putting it together and has production credits from Producers like Big Lo, E-Twinz, Kay keys, Jaystunt, Cyko amongst others. It is available for sale now and we are working on getting it available for sale online too.

CXeM: Amazing! So, what’s the Latest news?

DON L: We are working on a couple of things including collaborations with other artistes and very soon, these things will become evident. We believe that Christian artistes / music ministers need to come together to push God’s word out through music which is a very powerful tool, more powerful, in fact ,than messages preached from the pulpit as far as I’m concerned because people are surrounded by music everyday and everywhere. We need to make sure it’s the RIGHT music! It’s not about competition but about “complemenatation”!
DONNA T: We also appear every month at a concert tagged the” MEGA PRAISE SUMMIT” put together by the Breath of Life ministry (more info on them can be found by clicking this link)

CXeM: Parting shots to our audience?

DON L: support Christian music and if you are Nigerian, support NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN music!

Preview two blazing joints by G.O.R. here


"Freedom" (Remix of P Square's "E No Easy")

Download their singles here

"Omo Naija"   Download

"Praise Him"   Download

You can reach GOR via their website at or on their Facebook page  or  MySpace or follow them on Twitter
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