Adekunle Kehinde, a.k.a. Kunle Kenny, is a Christian recording artiste, voice coach, music director, and music entrepreneur. He holds a B.Sc. in Cell Biology & Genetics and a Masters degree in Molecular Genetics, both from the University of Lagos. However, the Oyo state-born minister followed a stronger passion for gospel music. In this interview with OnBecomingAMan.com, Kunle shares his journey thus far with us, what inspired his 2015 EP (Ose Baba), his most recent single (Holy is the Lord), and insights about his source of inspiration for new songs, amongst other details.
You are a music minister; how did it start for you? (most people started singing at an early age, like 4/5)
My musical expression started from age 4. I was born into an atmosphere of music. My mother being a choir coordinator and a singer, she would always sing and play Christian music around the house. As I grew older, she would take me along with her for choir practice and get me involved in the composition and arrangement process. I had my first music group at age 6 back then in Ondo state, where I spent most of my childhood. The group comprised my cousin, my friend and me.
You have a degree in Cell Biology and Genetics; Why music?
I’d love to say that music chose me. I’m passionate about some other things as well, but music makes me ecstatic. It’s like when I’m in the studio having a recording or on stage or even having any activity that is music-related, my blood just boils!! (you get that feeling yeah!) This inexplicable feeling has been a constant reassurance that I was picked by God to do this. It’s the most pleasurable thing in the world; knowing that you’re doing what you were born to do.
How would you describe your experience so far as a music minister?
It’s been a beautiful journey. From my very first studio recording to date, I can say that I have grown, learnt more, and I am willing to learn and become so much more than I am now.
What has it been like being a gospel minister here in Nigeria where secular music is doing quite well?
It has been a test of conviction for me. You can’t just want to be a music minister solely for the bucks. Your passion must be driven by something higher; it must be a passion for the souls of men. That’s what differentiates what we do as music ministers. Gospel music in Nigeria has come a long way and I believe that with more structures put in place and with better understanding , it will become more lucrative and income generating. It’s already happening and it can only get better.
What challenges have you faced as a music minister? How have you overcome these challenges and remained relevant?
I have faced quite a few. From getting the right production (both Audio and Video) at a cost effective rate, to the aspect of promotion and distribution of my songs. I am grateful to God for bringing me into relationships with the right people and I was just favoured by God. I have been learning and growing one step at a time.
I see God’s hand in causing me to meet people who just connect with my vision. I am also learning the business aspect of my art. There’s music and there’s music business. Above all, I want to say that the knowledge gap needs to be closed up. We will definitely do more when we know more. Enlightenment has helped me a lot. That’s why I’m so so passionate about teaching and training people.
When it comes to relevance, I pursue just one thing “Excellence”. I read and spend a lot of time practising and listening to a variety music materials that will open up my spirit and mind. We need to get it off the minds of people that Gospel music is mediocre, or for mediocre people. It’s absolutely not! You’ve got to keep learning and improving your skill set! It’s serious work o! That’s why I’m starting my music school. (You’re the first to hear this). I’m extremely passionate about enlightenment.
What inspired your first EP, Ose Baba in 2015?
Ose Baba, simply means “Thank You Father”. It sums up the depth of gratitude in my heart to God for his love and faithfulness. I wasn’t even thinking about an EP. I was in the process of recording and releasing the full Album when the idea came. I was recording a Live studio project when my producer and recording engineer (Dimeji Israel) had to go back to the UK. That was when the idea came, and I thank God for giving me that inspiration.
What inspired your latest song, Holy Is The LORD?
You will be amazed to know that I wrote Holy Is The Lord in 2010. It’s a prophetic praise and worship sound. It says the earth is filled with the praise, love and glory of the Lord. It shifts your consciousness from the darkness all around and causes you to declare what’s in line with God’s word. I was in the living room when the song came. I picked my guitar and boooom! It came alive!. Isaiah 6:1-3 speaks about the revelation of the Glory and beauty of God.
You seem to write and sing love songs to God; are there particular incidents that have influenced this?
Yes oooo!!! God is a God of love!! He loves us soooo much. Black, white, believer and unbeliever. Who you are and what you’ve done are inconsequential. He loves us all and wants us to know he does. God wants ALL of humanity to draw near to him.
As regards my personal experiences ehn!. I can’t begin to tell you all of them. From my childhood when I would have died because I couldn’t pass out faeces, to my mother’s surgery that almost went south, but for God’s intervention, to protection from deadly incidents; numerous miracles of healing and provision in times of need.
I believe if we all look at our lives, we will have hallmarks and milestones of God’s favour at different points in our lives. My heart is filled with soooo much gratitude to God. That’s my strength and that’s the perspective from which most of my songs are birthed.
Remember the first line of “Ose Baba”..it says “looking at my life and all you brought me through…The reason I’ve come this far is just because of you.”
When is your next album coming out?
By God’s grace, it’s coming out in 2017. Trust me; it’s something I’m looking forward to. It’s really beautiful. “Holy Is The Lord” is the first single off the upcoming Album. I know this album will bless the world.
What do you say each morning when you wake up?
My father, I thank you. Order my steps by your holy spirit and make me a blessing. I don’t joke with Isaiah 60 and 61. I quote them as often as possible.
What’s your philosophy? What drives you?
Excellence!!! Excellence!!! Excellence!!! Every fibre of my being is asking to be better than I was yesterday. I want to know God more, learn my craft more and do more with the life and gifts that God has placed in me.
What one thing has been your most memorable accomplishment in 2016; what one thing do you hope to change about yourself in 2017?
Shooting my first music video this year is something that ranks top on that list. I shot the video of one of my songs (I Am Yours/Halleluyah To You) which by God’s grace, has become a worship anthem in various places.
In 2017, I want to improve on my music interpretation and production skills and get involved in more community development projects. I also want to explore other areas of my gifting (especially teaching). I trust God to help me.
Any other thing you would like to share?
I want to encourage every other person out there who’s starting out or already pursuing their dreams. Keep learning and keep growing. Diligence and consistency will ALWAYS pay off! Thanks to the OnBecomingAMan.com team for hosting me!
Discover more about Kunle Kenny’s “Holy is the Lord” and how to get your copy here.