How I Started Singing – T Jordan O
Music is a very strong part of most people’s lives. It is actually very hard to find anyone who does not like or enjoy good music. That being said, everyone who can talk can also actually sing even if they don’t sound good or have a great voice. In this article, I will be telling you my own story, I mean this is me in RAW form. It gets really interesting and apparently weird when I think about the fact that I am writing this article about myself lol. I will be telling you a lot about my own journey, how I have evolved from a child who loved music and watched performances to an adult who has released 3 gospel music albums and working on the fourth one, due for release by the first quarter of the year 2020.
My journey into music started at a very early age of 6. I remember this and smile intermittently as I write this article. I had an aunt (Aunty Shayo) who lived with us at the time, she worked Mondays through Fridays and every Saturday morning, she would wake up early and start playing music loud enough to wake everyone else up. She would start dancing and having the fun of her life. She was my favorite aunt, so I would get up from bed and watch her dance every Saturday morning. I found this really interesting at that age, as both of my parents were bankers and had very busy schedules. I barely really had time to play much and spend quality time with my parents outdoor or even as much as have such a dance/ fun moments at home, so this was really fun for me. As I watched my aunt do this every Saturday, I got to a point where I started singing along with her while she danced, I also noticed that I was more interested in the music she played more than her dance steps lol… This was how my early interest in music actually began, and she was also thrilled that I was her fan. Shortly after this, I had started singing some of these songs on my own and tried as much as possible to sound like the music I was hearing. Unconsciously, my voice was being developed and I got better at singing every Saturday while my aunt was busy dancing and enjoying her Saturday mornings.
After a few months, my church at the time had a children’s program the called Children’s harvest. It was more like a kids event where kids did everything, including singing, preaching, ushering etc in the church. So they called all the kids together and we started rehearsing for the big day. We had several auditions and practices which I was very involved in especially with my parents being very well respected at the church. I attended every rehearsal, including Dance, drama and music renditions. I also ended up being the interpreter for the day. As rehearsals went on, they decided to find someone to lead the children’s choir in the song presentation. I was eventually chosen to lead the team of these wonderful children in their music rendition. I was barely 6yrs old at the time and was being chosen to lead a group of kids up to 10years of age. I was very confident and yet very inexperienced as this was going to be my first time on stage doing anything at all. So the D-day came and I was determined to put up the best show lol. We ended up singing that day and it was a wow performance. I remember people coming up to me to ask for my age and also gave me some type of gifts especially after seeing my performance as an interpreter during the sermon that day. I think I blew the minds of the adult in the church. A church of about 300 people. They told me I had done something really remarkable as I had interpreted some words they never thought were possible to be interpreted in English. I remember those words in Yoruba language was; “E ku Odun, e ku iyedun, ase yi samodun o”. These words literally had no direct English interpretations. As an interpreter, I was on the spot expected to interpret those words and I said “congratulations, congratulations, congratulations. This gave me a rousing applause and standing ovation as no one would have matched those words to those interpretations ordinarily. That’s how I became the star of the day at that year’s children’s harvest (you probably won’t understand this unless you speak the Yoruba language from Nigeria).
Fast forward to days after that event, I was forced to join the adult choir at that tender age by the then choir leader (Elder Ogundele). He ensured I had a microphone to myself to sing along with the adult choir members and also would ask me to sing sometimes at rehearsals to show some of the older choir members how to open up their voices while they sang( I had no idea I had developed such expertise to do that). That was how I started singing probably every service as a kid and just went on from then.
Secondary School Days
Few years later, it became time for me to go to secondary school and my parents decided to send me to a boarding house in Ondo state. I was about 5 hours’ drive from home now and had a new life kind of. It was a hard transition but I was able to pull through the change by singing most of the songs I had learnt in the church as a kid star lol… No one could believe me whenever I told my colleagues at school that I was a singer. I was barely 10 years old at this time and it was unusual for kids of that age to see their colleague claim that he could sing. I took my singing and music activities further when I joined the Choir at my school then and was almost instantly recognized by the leader of the music team. I was really small in stature and had been singing for a while. I could sing well on key, sing tenor, soprano and alto parts and was very confident. These really stood me out from the crowd, being a 10 year old boy at the time. I continued to sing in the school choir until I changed schools after my third year in that school. When I came back to Lagos to continue my secondary education, we had moved homes and church at this time. I quickly adjusted to my new setting, made very good friends who also did music and other cool stuff. One of the friends I made at this time was Eniola akinbo(known as Niyola) she is arguably one of the most beautiful singers that has come out Nigeria in our time. We started a great musical friendship and would walk home together just so we could sing and learn songs from each other on our way home. We wrote songs together, thought each other new songs, told each other about musical competitions and stuff like that. We became really close that we went to each other’s houses on days we were not in school just to involve ourselves in musical activities. At this time, I had also joined the Winners chapel teenagers’ choir and youth choir, which had the likes of Eben, Funmi praise and a host of other talented musicians including Bishop Oyedepo’s Two male kids. Music had become a major part of my life at this time and it was all I wanted to do. It gave me comfort and hope, gave me a really different idea of life. I was enjoying my life as a teenage singer who went for choir rehearsals every Saturday and sung in the church choir every Sunday. At this time I was doing very well in school and had wanted to study music and arts as my major but my parents blatantly refused, saying they wanted me to be a doctor, pharmacist or something, saying that I was too brilliant to be a musician and they thought music was for broken people, drug addicts and all kinds of unserious people. I obeyed my parents and ended up in science class but my heart was really at doing music and arts and becoming a musician was the dream I had in my heart.
In the year 2000 as soon as I finished secondary school, I could not wait to get some real education in music. I decided to enroll in music school for vocal training and learn a bit more about music. The music school was located in the Ikotun-Egbe part of Lagos, It was called Praise music school. I was particularly excited to go get information about admissions and was able to enroll in the next music class. I had a great music teacher Pasto Jimmy Johnson. I remember stepping in on my first day and being asked to sing. I sung one of my favorite hymn and everyone was just blown away. I remember how the keyboard students looked at me strange like ‘what’s this professional doing here” I was in my elements and I was always excited about any opportunity to sing. I sang my heart out and could not believe how amazed everyone was at my pitch and vocal dexterity. I started learning how to play the keyboard and learnt a whole lot of music theory at the school. Pastor Jimmy drilled me, applauded me, encouraged me, and also prophesied into my life. It was a great experience for me. I loved being at the music school and mingling with other music students.
After this training, I got an admission into the University of Agriculture to study fisheries and aquaculture. I hated it lol but still went ahead to study that knowing fully well that I was just going to school to get a bachelor’s degree anyway and end up being a professional singer and musician. I joined the school choir the very week I got in and started singing there, met a couple of great singers, instrumentalists, pastors etc that just really helped my vision become a real tangible day dream. I joined a group and turned out to be in charge of music for the group. It was called revolution family. We had a major outreach at the school in my first year. That was a very powerful and inspiring program that launched me into a new realm in my music journey and ministry. I saw miracles happen in front of my very eyes while I sang. I saw instant healings, miracles, salvation, deliverances and also met some amazing ministers of the gospel at that period of my life. Pastor Yomi Awokola, Pastor Soji, Pastor Femi Bankole, Pastor Roland Dabor, Pastor Wale Akinronbi, were some of the people I met at my time in UNAAB. These people gave me countless opportunities to minister in their programs, outreaches, churches and crusades. I made sure I never lost music, and my relationship with God was very real to me and others around especially because of the role music played in my life. I joined the Believer’s loveworld fellowship in my second year in uni and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. This fellowship opened my eyes to a deeper fellowship the Holy Spirit that I will never be able to recover from. Pastor Roland Dabor, Pastor Segun Adebayo, and Pastor Henry Akasili all gave me amazing opportunities and training that I needed for life even after school. I became a choir coordinator at the fellowship and became a huge blessing to the fellowship, we had amazing growth, testimonies, healings and all sorts even as a student fellowship. I really can’t tell how much I was trained for life after school just by being a part of this amazing fellowship, groups and friendships with the likes of Deji Durosomo, Evans Ighodalo, Kemi ADeitan , Noah akintade, Yomi Koleosho (aka sky baba agba), Yemi Ogunwa and so many other people. I released my first Album on my convocation day in March 2008 and used it to bless and encourage a lot of people in the school. The Album was titled ‘something for naija’. It was my first attempt at releasing music professionally. A good effort that opened doors for me and took me to another level in ministry.
Life after School and NYSC
Life after school was a little crazy. It was a different experience altogether. I found myself being an adult that had bills to pay and needed to work and provide for myself and other people. This brought a little set back on my music. I was consumed with surviving, getting a job and getting myself somewhere comfortable financially enough to do music. I actually had times and periods of these times when I forgot totally about music. I went in for the compulsory NYSC and was posted to Zamfara state where I had the opportunity to work as a youth corps banker for the then Intercontinental Bank plc. I had the opportunity to also meet some other musicians, producers, and artistes like Ezeeymix, ND young, Ogaga ogbemudia which are still my musical friends till date. I tried to do some recordings in Zamfara and release another album afterwards but it was really hard. I kept singing in church and had a great time learning and teaching music while also working at the bank during my NYSC.
Going back to Lagos after NYSC meant I was now an adult and had to fend for myself. I made some quick moves to get a job but it didn’t amount to mush until after six months. I found a job as a flight attendant with Arik air, it was the biggest airline in Nigeria then. I had the opportunity to travel the world and I loved it, until one day I had a passenger, Rotimi Afolabi who happened to be one of my friends and fan while I was in school singing and blessing lives with my talent. He saw me immediately he boarded the plane and screamed ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE??? You’re supposed to be singing somewhere and blessing the world with your voice’. Rotimi may not have known what he did that day, but he sparked up something in me. Made me realize I had given up my God given assignment and I could not find peace from that day until I went back to my first love which was music. At this time, it was already 2012. So I called my friend yomi (Sky) and spoke to him about setting up my studio and recording my second album. He was happy to help and actually went out of his way to assist with equipment purchase, setting up the studio, software etc. I had a great help in him. I also met this man Called AJR of AJR productions. He poured out himself into me teaching production stuff including mixing and mastering for almost entirely free. I had started recording and gotten back to writing and recording again and by September 2012, I decided to quit my Job as a flight attendant and pursue my music career again. Good thing is I went back to singing in church and being a responsible Christian again which my job as a flight attendant had taken away from me for about 3 years. My second album was titled “Grateful”. It was my way of telling God I was grateful he didn’t let me go and repositioned me to fulfill my destiny in him.
Aftermath Of second Album
After releasing my second Album in September 2012, I also quit my job as a flight attendant and got my hands on business and music. Things went bad financially for a while and then I decided to get another job. I landed a job with Jumia Nigeria, a company that was kind of like amazon. This company gave me opportunities to explore another talent of mine which was in the area of Sales. They organized a competition within the company called ‘Jumia Idol’ in the year 2014 which I was privileged to win. There was a huge cash price attached to wining that completion and this was able to help me with a few other things I needed to do at the time. I did music on the side while I worked for Jumia. Winning the Jumia Idol competition was another confirmation for me that I still had the gift and talent to wow and bless an audience. I was giving up on music professionally as a result of adult life crises but this made me rethink and reposition myself for a come back to the music scene for real.
Better than Yesterday Album
After a couple of years, and couple of events that were not very musical, I finally moved to the USA in 2016 and began to live my life, paying bills and stuff. However, I was always a part of a local church. I attended winner’s chapel Dallas for a while and was actively involved in the choir until God instructed me to go back to my home church Christ embassy Arlington which I had left earlier due to distance and other things. I finally went back to my home church and started experiencing great fellowship with the holy spirit who instructed me to put all the songs I had recorded in the last few years together and release them in a an album titled Better than yesterday’ which I released online on the 1st of May 2019. I have had several new open doors since then, including ministering to a live audience of millions all over the world at the loveworld studios in California, Ministering at the Christ Embassy Texas region headquarters in Houston Texas amongst a couple of other connections and exposures in the right direction.
My next project after the Better than Yesterday Album is this golden work of art Titled “Tomorrow”. It is a collection of songs I recorded after the Better than yesterday album, reflecting Future plans and thoughts, present realities and victories from the past. It has way more soul than any other work I have done. On this Album, I have had a great privilege of working with different Artists, producers and engineers, actors and dancers from all over the world, including the UK, Ukraine, morocco, Nigeria, India, Venezuela, China and others. Please be on the lookout for this album as it will tremendously bless you. New singles from the album will start dropping on streaming platforms from the first week of 2020. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don't miss anything coming soon. Using this link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3WfSym6_HB-CBkWWOy_BQ