Arise Holy Spirit
Kayode Akojenu: Everything You Wanted To Know The third of five children, Olukayode David Akojenu was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1976-- and in his own words, has been musically inclined "...as long as I can remember." Despite his youth, he's no stranger to the Christian music business. Aside from holding the position of praise and worship leader at Fresh Anointing International Church, he has several independent artist album productions credited to his name, has performed in nationally featured mass choirs, and has been a background singer for gospel great Alvin Slaughter. He also formed Purpose, a three-man contemporary gospel group. In earlier years, Kayode directed his own church choirs, was part of a vibrant praise and worship team at Deeper Life Bible Church, and led praise and worship at the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on his college campus where his older brother Femi presided as youth leader. It was at this point in his life that Kayode came to the realization that God was calling him to go into the music ministry. "I attended a Ron Kenoly praise and worship conference, and he anointed all [the participants]," Kayode reflects. "Everything just took off...that's basically how everything got started." The conference also brought to mind a vision he admits to having since he was a small child, enjoying the praise and worship services in his home church in Nigeria. "I was around eight or ten or so...and used to envision myself in front of people, singing. That, and me having the name David...It all started coming together, all started making sense. God wanted me to do this." An electrical engineering major at the time, Kayode returned home and switched his major to music technology his sophomore year. He credits Femi for much of what he achieved in those early years and beyond, saying that his brother both supported and encouraged him, even when no one else did. "He's the reason why I am where I am," Kayode says. "He really pushed me to the point where I had to seek God for more anointing and power." Currently, Kayode is praise and worship leader at Fresh Anointing International Church, and his worship album debut, Arise, Holy Spirit, is due out early next year. We had a brief Q&A session with Kayode, and here's what he had to say on his music, his ministry and himself. Q: How would you categorize your music? A: Contemporary gospel, I guess, but I really consider myself a worship singer. My heart is towards worship and praise, basically-that's what [God] has called me into. I've done some other styles, but that's my main style. Q: Who are your influences; who do you look up to? A: Alvin Slaughter, Fed Hammond, Ron Kenoly, and other worship leaders. The way their hearts are connected to what they're doing...I really like that, and they make their listeners feel what's in their hearts. They are true worshippers, with a sincerity that comes from deep inside, and that always attracts me. Q: What would you say influences your personal music and songwriting? A: The Holy Sprit, God speaking to me, and worship. My songs and music also come from my own walk with God, and what I might be going through at that particular time. Q: What's it like being a music leader? A: Fun. It can be very challenging, though-and it's really frustrating if the Holy Spirit isn't with you. God has to give you His grace and wisdom for it-he impresses his anointing on you to do things in a unique, fresh way so you're not copying anyone. I enjoy it with all my heart-it's me. I really can't see myself doing anything else. Q: What do you do during your spare time? A: Spare time...wow, spare time. (laughs) I work on my music sometimes, watch T.V., and hang out with my wife. I love basketball, although I really don't have time to play it much anymore. I listen to music too, of course. Q: What are your future goals for your music? A: To be a blessing to people and to bring healing, deliverance, and salvation through my music-I want to go all over the world and minister. Q: What advice do you have for people who want to go into the Christian music business? A: Watch out for people who aren't in the business for God-there are people out there who only want to take advantage of your gift, unfortunately. Try to work with people with the same vision as yours, whose heart is in the same place. Know your craft, and research-know what you're getting into. Let God lead you in everything that you do-make him a part of every decision you make. Kayode currently resides in New York with his wife and daughter. He leads praise and worship at Fresh Anointing International Church in Queens, NY every Sunday. His first worship album, Arise, Holy Spirit, will be available in early 2007.