“I’m Relocating To Abeokuta” …Obey @75

Juju music legend,  Evangelist Ebenezer Olasupo Remilekun Obey Fabiyi (popularly called Obey Commander) is the founder and spiritual head of De Cross Word Ministry of Christ.
In this interview, Baba Miliki, as he’s fondly referred in his music heydays, went down memory lane, on his coming into priesthood, how he abandoned an intended hotel business for the pulpit, and what made him tick in the world of worldly Juju music.
There is a story that you once changed a planned hotel building to a church, how true is the story?
On the day we were about to do the ground breaking of the building, together with my Pastor, my mother and some members of that community in Egbaland, the Pastor of my church then just told me “Why not use this place for church instead of a hotel”. But I instantly rebuffed the suggestion. As if he was in the know of the pastor’s opinion on the lands, after the ground breaking, an elderly man in the community came to me and also appealed that I should bring a church to the community. It was then I discovered that God was truly speaking to me. After the completion of the first part of the project within three month, the place was abandoned. Years later we converted the place to the In­ternational Headquarters of Rock International Christian Centre, Abeokuta.
Sincerely, hotel was so dear to my mind because I was planning for my retirement then. But God wanted otherwise. We have church Auditorium, music school Revival ground and many other facilities within the complex now.
Now that you above the golden age of 70, are you planning retirement from the divine engagement?
The answer is yes and No. No because you can’t retire in the ministry of God, also so in music. But I will soon relocate to Abeokuta, only to be shuttling between Abeokuta and Lagos once in a while. When God gives you a talent and sets you up in a generation, the Lord Himself will give you a special message for that generation, something that will make you an outstanding person. Your generation will marvel at your gift and appreciate your ingenuity. So, when we talk about the source of my inspiration, I would readily say it comes from God.
With your experience and pedigree in music, what will you tell up-coming musicians (secular and gospel) to do to be of good effect?
A musician can develop his talent through regular practice. When you do it constantly, you will improve on your performance. Most of my songs are character-moulding, and they are directed at the society as a whole. People like listening to my music before leaving home in the morning. My lyrics are not only didactic, they uplift the human spirit.
What is the source of your inspiration?
When we talk about the source of my inspiration, I would readily say it is God.
Not a few people are marvelled at the grace of your voice and tone, what is the secret?
My voice is my natural vocal endowment and it has always been the magic. To find my own identity in the field of Juju music, I mixed Hlghlife with Juju and used my vocal prowess. As we sang together in Juju music, everybody did vocal, and the leader led; but what I did was to allow my voice to dominate and give half a minute to the voices of my bandboys. That allowed my meaningful lyrics to sink well. It was a strange innovation and before I knew it, I was on my way to the top. My music then became a hybrid of Highlife and Juju.
(-this was a 2015 interview copied)