Pastor Rufus Olusola Rotimi is one of Nigeria’s best known gospel artistes in diaspora. In this interview with Giantability Media Network, the United States-based song writer who is well known for his proficiency with the accordion, talks about his new album on the horizon and other works.
Pastor Rotimi, who is passionate about propagating the gospel through songs, disclosed the inspiration behind the new album and notable moments thus far in his musical career.
GMN: Kindly tell us about the new album: the name, how many tracks it consists of and when it is slated for release?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: We give God all the glory for the success of this new album. The making of the album began about two years ago when I was reading through some verses of the scripture that talks about the events of life and the Book of God which is also known as the Book of Life. The Lamb’s Book of Life is the only book that contains names of the redeemed, names of those who will reign with God in His eternal kingdom and many more names which shall continue to be written in this Book. I was led by the Holy Spirit to come up with ETERNITY as the title of the album.
The album consists of seven tracks which includes; “O ye Olorun,” meaning no matter what we are passing through, God is aware of it. We should keep on trusting and holding unto Him because it will end in praise, as the thought of God towards us is not of evil, but of good to bring us to our expected end; [Then there is] “Rejoice,” a message telling us that we should always learn to rejoice and be happy to make the devil sad and crazy; [there is] “Let my Heaven Open,” [as] only God can open the gate to our breakthrough and no man can shut it; [and there is] “Eternity,” the title track. Everyone on Earth shall surely depart this planet Earth in transition to another world, either at old age, by natural death or by premature death. After this, where are we going to spend our eternity? In Heaven with God or in Hell with Satan. Where will you spend eternity?
Other tracks include; “You Can Start All Over Again,” telling us not to give up on our vision even if there is a setback or total failure, we should not give up at all, for the fruits of tomorrow are in today’s seed; “All My Life,” as a true born again child of God, it is expected of us to surrender all what we have for the use of God’s Kingdom business and our possessions to support the less privileged and “Brethren Be Strong,” which warns all believers not to relent in well doing. We should always be on the road as soldiers of Christ knowing that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness. So, we must be bold and strong and depend on the power of the Holy Ghost. The new CD Album is expected to hit the market after the dedication and launching on Saturday, January 19, 2019. All lovers of gospel music should watch out for updates.
GMN: Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the new album?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: The inspiration behind the album came when I was reading the scripture as I have previously explained. There are books owned by God, where all our deeds are written; and there is one named the Book of Life, where the names of the redeemed who will reign with God in eternity are written and whoever’s name is not written in it will spend eternity in Hell with Satan and the fallen angels. They shall be tormented day and night, forever and ever. I pray that none of us shall end up there in Jesus name. Also, God is concerned about us. His will is to see us through all our troubles and challenges if we can put our trust in Him and cast all our burdens upon Him, He will surely vindicate us. I encourage everyone to accept Jesus Christ in order to escape going to hell. The choice is yours, Heaven or Hell? God will never force you to choose. The choice is yours.
GMN: Are there any collaborations in the new album? If yes, with whom?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: Yes, I have Bro. Oyeyemi Akinsola, a brother in the Lord who is also an artiste. He featured in one of the tracks in this album titled ‘O ye Olorun.’
GMN: What were the challenges faced during the making of the album “Eternity” and how did you surmount them?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: The challenges we had are synonymous with what most recording artistes do pass through in our country, Nigeria. Challenges such as, frequent power failure during recording sessions, which sometimes make us start all over again when electricity is finally restored. It could be breakdown of some instruments and so on. We give thanks to God, by His grace, we are able to have a safe landing having accomplished the project as it is this day.
GMN: Looking at how far you’ve come, did you at any point in your life know you’d be a gospel artist?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: It never crossed my mind to become a musician in life, but I found myself in the choir. I played the drums, I gathered children of my age to make melody with local instruments like clef, agogo, sekere, etc. in our compound then. However, it died naturally and I just forgot about it, not until after my conversion that I fell in love with Piano accordion that led to me becoming an artiste, a gospel musician as it is today.
GMN: You are known both home and abroad for your live performances. Is there any special habit/practice before going for a performance?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: Before any performance, I fast and pray as led by the Holy Spirit; [sometimes] a day before, three days before or seven days before going for any ministration, after which the Holy Spirit will take over the leading of a particular song to bless His people.
GMN: What other plans do you have in store in the coming years?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: To reach more souls for Christ in my current neighborhood at Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA. I am also working to reach other parts of the universe too in obedience to the Great Commission commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ. Trusting God to release more albums before His advent.
GMN: Use this medium to tell your fans one of the first notable moments of your music career.
Pst. Sola Rotimi: I will never forget the first time somebody told me he gave his life to Christ on hearing my ministration one early morning before 6:00am around 1973 at Jebba in Kwara State, Nigeria. The brother was so excited telling his story but I was calm listening to him without making any comment. The scene still remains fresh each time it plays in my memory.
Another moment was when I traveled to United Kingdom without a Visa. I was interrogated by the immigration officers on arrival at Stansted Airport about why I flew into their country without Visa. All my answers did not prove me innocent; I remember telling the two officers that our country is a member of the Commonwealth and that I need no Visa to come to London from Nigeria. To the two officers, it was like “what is he talking about? Other passengers from Nigeria on board got their visa, so why not me?” Immediately, I realized I was in trouble and that the next available plane going to Nigeria will be my flight to say “Nigeria here I come”. Before the deportation paper would be completed, one of the officers questioned me again pointing to my accordion and asked “What is this?” I told him I am a musician and that this Piano accordion is my best instrument. Then, he asked, “Can you sing?”, I answered yes, and I immediately pulled the bellows of my accordion and started playing and singing.
One other officer and passengers unaware of what I was going through thought I was entertaining the audience. Another officer tapping his finger echoed “good music!” The very officer interrogating me wished to laugh but he controlled himself. I pretended not seeing him and kept singing. He stopped me saying “it’s okay, it’s okay, that’s alright!” He spoke with his colleague for about three minutes, I could not figure out what their discussion was. They spoke English. The one in possession of my passport looked serious and changed his countenance. I don’t know what he was writing but he opened my passport and stamped it and made this pronouncement, “I wish you happy stay in Britain.” I was a big relief; to me it was like a heavy load was lifted off my shoulder and I quickly remembered the word of God that says ‘the gift of a man will make a room for him.’ I was then miraculously granted entry into the United Kingdom at the point of entry. I also came to the knowledge that whatever we are doing for God and for humanity let us keep doing it because a recompense awaits us at God’s own time.
GMN: What advice do you have for those who aspire to follow in your footsteps?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: All that are led by the Holy Spirit are always welcome to follow this path successfully. We should surrender totally to the Holy Spirit for divine leading and instruction, must covet to read the Bible daily and strive to live a Holy life and must depend on the Holy Spirit to work it out in them. Fasting and prayer is one of the tools needed in this vocation to be able to pull down the stronghold of Satan our adversary, and the grace of God will be sufficient to accomplish their mandate.
GMN: How and where can your listeners access the new album?
Pst. Sola Rotimi: This new CD Album will be distributed by Gospel Choral Record in Lagos, Nigeria. It will be available for online purchase and download as soon as possible. Some of our past releases could also be purchased from this store. I do appreciate all our fans across the globe and lovers of gospel music. As you commence this New Year, things shall be easy for you. You shall all find it easy to serve the Lord and together we shall all make Heaven.
Finally, I pray that as we are preparing for election this 2019, the Lord God will be merciful unto us and help avert bloodshed in our country. That all the enemies of our nation shall be subdued and banished completely in Jesus name. Amen!