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#StarsConnect! From Estate Surveyor to Gospel Artiste, Meet Olanrewaju Bolaji A.K.A. Big B

You are welcome to Stars Connect Network, a Subsidiary of Jetheights Services. Stars Connect network is a programme that brings together entrepreneurs, business owners, inspirational speakers, pastors, and leaders in the society, upcoming artistes, NGOs, people giving back to the society and the world at large. We conduct interview sessions to find out everything we can about their journey to stardom, we hope to bring together stars who can be of benefit to one another and who can synergize with Jetheights in other to impact the community. Once again you are welcome to Stars Connect.

Big B

Big B. at Jetheights Reception

Can we meet you sir?

Big B: Thank you for allowing me to come. My name is Olanrewaju Bolaji, Alani (A.K.A. Big B) I wonder why they call me Big B at times because I’ve seen people that are big and much more bigger than me but there’s hope for me sha. So, you can call me Bolaji, You can call me Alani or you can call me “wos wobi” or anyhow you wish to call me… (Laugh)

How was your Childhood days like?

Big B: I grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State. I actually grew up in a bush. I grew up in a place called Osingere Akoka before Asejire along Ile-Ife, Osun State. I grew up there, I spent my childhood days there, I went to Primary School there and a bit of my Secondary School, just a term then I went to finish my Secondary School education in London before I came back to Nigeria to study more.

Big B

Olusayo welcoming Big B to Jetheights Services

How was your educational background like?

Big B: It was fantastic. The only challenge I had was when I finished my Secondary they said I was being troublesome. Please readers, “they said”. I wasn’t being troublesome. Then, I had to come back to Nigeria. So, connecting that education from London to Nigeria educational system was a bit challenging but I got through.

I went through a few institutions. My journey through institutions would make everybody laugh. I went to Technical College, Osogbo. I went to Federal Polytechnic Ede, I went to University of Ife, Diploma. I went to Offa Polytechnic, Diploma and I ended up in Kwara State Polytechnic, University of Ilorin. I managed to read Estate Management and I have Degree in that. Also, went for professional exams. So, it was an interesting journey really.

Big B

Big B. on StarsConnect

You are an Estate Surveyor turned Artiste/Musician, has challenges made you think of returning to the former?

Big B: It is easier to make money as valuer than as a Gospel Artiste or in Music industry. Even, if you are doing it in public domain which is to some people called secular music. It’s easier to make money as estate valuer. My heartbeat has always been music. Music has been my life line. My elder brother, Muyiwa Olanrewaju is into music and presents Turning Point. Our first born, Bukola Agboola, She’s in Califonia, She’s in Music as a Pastor. The second born is a Professor. He’s also into music. So, Music is always in my blood.

Who influenced you, and how did they influence you?

Big B: I don’t think it was an influence. I think it’s what comes to me naturally. To an extent, what came to me naturally overtime from when I was small is music. Music has been in my blood. My mother was into music as well. So, I think, that’s one of the reasons. I enjoyed music.

Big B

Big B. on StarsConnect

Tell us your journey into the Music Industry.

Big B: My journey into music could take like a lifetime. Let’s just put it like, music is what comes to me naturally, and somehow, I’m just moved or gravitated into music. From my Secondary School in London, I’ll do end of the year party with my public enemy, and all that. By the time I got back to Nigeria, I was still doing it before I ended up in gospel music. By choice and by divine help of the Almighty God.

What’s your say about the gospel world? Any improvement so far?

Big B: Generally, there is improvement. In Nigeria particularly, there is great improvement. In terms of relevance of gospel music to our day to day live or day to day culture. But one thing that is a bit missing nowadays, in the last two, three or four years is the depth of the music. The dance and the rhythm, the sound has taken over the depth of what comes out of the music. There’re so few gospel artistes that you can found the depth of the music. But generally in Nigeria, gospel music is much better. Financially is much better. In influence, is much better.

Big B

Big B with Mr. Ayo Alex Alao, C.E.O. Jetheights Services

What are the things that can be embarked on to restructure our gospel system?

Big B: You go back to your source. For me, when I say gospel music, I mean, gospel Christian music. So, my source is the Bible, God, Jesus Christ the anointed one. So, the time of prayer cannot be left out, the time of fasting and instruction from people whom you called your Pastor cannot be left out. All these little things will give you depth of the gospel music. Your time in the word; your time of fellowship; and if you’re married, your time of fellowship with your wife also affects your depth.

Are you married?

Big B: I am married! I’ve been married for 12years now.

What has contributed mainly to “Turn it up with Big B”?

Big B: Actually, Turn it up with Big B is a radio program for people that couldn’t go to Church on Sunday morning. Like what Jetheights is doing, this a lovely medium to get to people who will normally not tune to any local channels but just on the internet 24/7. Sunday morning, some people don’t go to church in the morning, so, let’s have Church on air.

Church on air to some people is Pastor comes to the pulpit to preach the word of God. To me, Church on air is, on Sunday morning, you play music, it could the word, it could be a joke, it could be someone leads a prayer. It could be something relaxing time. Yet, you have it filled with God. That’s how Turn it up came up. Turn it up concept that’s the mother company that oversees all that. But, the music itself has nothing to do with Turn it. If you call me for a party and you ask me for the name of the band, I will simply say, Big B. Sometimes I say House of Lamba.

Anything cooking?

Big B: There are lots cooking. There’s Life Praise Album cooking, after the 74 Hours Praise. We have 74 hours Praise, we have sovereign. I must apologize at this point on sovereign. I’ve been lazy. So far, we’ve produced 10,000 copies and not producing anymore. We have that cooking and I have another album. Just to sit down and record this album is my problem. As I have come to Jetheights today, I would behave myself. Copies will be made available all over. It will be available in all major Music outlets. At least, 74hours Praise was all over. That one now, I think I’m on the third sets of 2000. We’ve done 2000 copies twice now. It’s fantastic. A big thank you to The Redeemed Christian Church of God for that one. It was a lovely time.

Big B

Big B with Mr. Ayo Alex Alao, C.E.O. Jetheights Services

Are you a member of RCCG?

Big B: O yes! I’ve been a member for about 17years now and I’m not going anywhere in case you are planning to pull me.

Who is your role Model?

Big B: My role model? My number one role model would be my elder brother, Muyiwa Olanrewaju. He presents Turning Point for CBN and also have music brand, covering for songs, he’s also station Director for Premiere Christian Radio, London. He’s also the Station Director for Premiere Gospel. He’s my role model. Literarily, he’s my father. He calls me his baby. But if we are talking of music scene apart from pastoral, I have people who instructed me. One of them is Bishop Francis Wale Oke. He’s like my guidance. If I’m singing somewhere now and Bishop says leave! Come now! That’s the end of that ministration. There are people like that but he’s very strong. Baba Abiara is the one that delivered me from drinking and smoking. My condolence to the family for the passage of mama Abiara. In the music scene, I have people like Panam, Mummy Toun Soetan, Evan. Bola Are. I also have great friends that we rub minds together like, Sola Allyson, Yetunde Are, Nathaniel Basey etc.

Among your works, which one is your favorite and why?

Big B: Every single one interests me. My favorite would be the long hours of Praise. It developed a love for the Messiah Marathon Praise. We started with 70hours to 72, 73 and we did 74hours non-stop praise. I think it was a fantastic time. That’s probably one of my favorite works.

What are the biggest challenges facing music industry?

Big B: The same challenges facing your company. Economic challenges which boils down to funding. Also, staying relevant. Your staying relevant affect you staying through and staying on course. That’s what makes people deviate most of the time and I lent this early especially from mummy Toun Soetan and Panam Percy Paul. “Consistency brings great gain”. If you are consistent with it, it will bring you great gain.

In music industry, what are you doing to checkmate Piracy?

Big B: One of the greatest things that have happened in Nigeria is a body called COSON. The body has been doing great job. Kudos to COSON! Also, the gospel association of gospel artiste, and a new body coming up now, Fellowship of Gospel Music Ministers (FOGMUM) which is the vision of Panam, spare headed by as you care. The coming together of these bodies makes it better check mating piracy.

Big B

Big B with Mr. Ayo Alex Alao, C.E.O. Jetheights Services

What skills are important for a successful career in music?

Big B: I believe the first thing is to like music. But talking about skills, you should be able to sing. If possible, have the basic knowledge of instruments. You don’t really need any major musical skills. You only need a passion for it and ear to learn. If your ears are ready to learn and you have passion for it, you will get the point. Some of the best singers we have today used to be horrible singers including Timi Dakolo. Timi Dakolo is one of the strongest voices that we have in Africa right now.

What is the worst decision you have ever made and what did it teach you?

Big B: The worst decision I’ve ever made is to be sentimental in taking invites. I mean, when you’ve agreed to an invitation and you find out that if I go to this one, you will be given much money or you take this one and drop the other. It happened to me 10years ago. I abandoned an invite for the other and was seriously beaten even without being given a dim. The meeting we taught was a big meeting but people didn’t turn up. The other meeting which I sent one of my guy to for, what they gave the guy as at the time I was talking about, I’ve not collect such in ministry. So, I learnt not to be sentimental.

If you are doing gospel music, it has to be God and if you are doing secular, let your word be your word. If you say yes, let it be yes. I thing that’s one of the strongest lessons I’ve learnt.

Big B

Big B with Jetheights Staff

What is your greatest achievement so far?

Big B:  My greatest achievement so far is given my life to Christ and staying with Him and even Him agreeing for me to give my life to him (Laugh).

My greatest achievement is being committed to Christ, being able to say I’m a born again Christian in the midst of anything. Every other thing follows.

In the music industry, I don’t think I’ve achieved any major thing yet.

How is your charge?

Big B: Anything out side Church, I have a charge. But if it’s a Church, Ministry, or Crusade, I don’t have charge. I have a specific stuffs that you need to take care of like if we need hotel, what you drop is what you give. Whatever God lays in your heart, ones it’s Church. But what I’ve realized over the years is that people place value upon your brand as you delivered it. If you have a party and you need good music, call me, I will tell you how much it cost.

How do you handle your fans?

Big B: There’s nothing to handle in the fans now. When they say hi, you say hi. Once you don’t offend anyone that can kill you, no problem. To me, everybody is cool. I’ve seen people living their lives in a simple, straight, easy, downplayed ways.

Big B

Big B with Jetheights Staff

How do you recess?

Big B: On days like this, if I’m not here, I would be at home. Primarily, I love being at home and watching TV. Once I’m hanging out with my children and my wife at home, I don’t watch TV. I chill at home Monday and Tuesdays most of the times I’m at home. People ask me that questions too much when they sees me on street back to back but they’ve forgotten I’ve home. Once I’m home, I’m home. I will play, I’ll cook and I’ll relax. I sleep when I need to sleep.

What is your advice for young and aspiring people reading this interview and the gospel artistes?

Big B: Stay with what you’ve been asked to do! If God asks you to draw a line, don’t try to draw a circle. Secondly, surrounds yourself with the right people. People that will refresh, inspire, and renew your mind. Third, Please, stay with God. There’s nobody else but Him. He’s our source and resource.

How do people reach out to you?

Big Bfacebook: Bolajibig

Instagram: @Bolajibig

Twitter: @Bolajibig

E-mail: bonjeyk@yahoo.com

For more information about StarsConnect:

Phone No: 09050888890

Email: mattogun@jetheights.com

Website: www.jetheights.com

 

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