Mike Abdul’s musical journey started as a founding member of the veteran singing group Midnight Crew, whose fuji-fusion-church style in the early 2000s produced several mega hits, till his current role as the CEO of Spaghetti Records where his campaign to revolutionize the approach to music evangelism is picking up steam.
From IGWE to KOREDE, the singer-songwriter-music marketer has been using his GOD-given talent and drive to bridge the divide between the church and the street through a mix of local fuji and apala vibes, trending afropop styles and relatable, bible-backed lyrics.
Starting his record label in 2012 after Midnight Crew members were allowed to pursue independent projects, many are now calling Mike Abdul “the Lord of Gospel Dancehall”. This title is hard to argue with considering the overwhelming response from Christian and secular youth alike. His rate of churning out these street-ready sounds also says a lot and many wonder how he churns out at least one vibrant song a month without losing the focus on the kingdom.
In today’s gospel scene there aren’t many artistes that speak in a tone that is relevant to the current culture, hardships and habits of every youth. The crossover power of Mike’s music and message is exemplified by several incidences of non-gospel, mainstream media personalities picking up his music. One example of this is when the influencer Maraji used his hit track, INTENTIONAL FUJI in one of her video skits which gathered more than 500,000 views and nearly 2,000 comments on Instagram.
While a few traditional believers still criticize his ministration methods, the truth remains that Mike’s style appeals to the average person, it turns the street to church, it draws souls to Christ, it helps wean energetic Christian youth from secular music, it blesses, teaches, entertains and it has won him several awards in the gospel music industry.
Here are five instances where the award winning singer has taken God’s Gospel to The Street.
- 1. Morire: In 2013, when the singer Terry G’s sound held sway across the Nigerian music scene, Mike came up with an equally robust traditionally-flavored sound that immediately surged in popularity in both the secular and gospel side of the aisle. Several awards and a massive amount of airplay later, the song quickly put the name Mike Abdul on the lips of adults and children alike across the nation and several parts of Africa. Morire, loosely translated as “I have seen goodness” had Spaghetti Records Monique on the track and featured an electric blend of church bells, strings and rippling percussions that stood toe-to-toe with the then reigning secular styles in terms of depth and musicality. The lifting words of prophetic praise was chorused by teens and octogenarians alike and served to stamp Mike’s name across the entire music scene for the first time outside the group Midnight Crew.
- 2. Oh My Jesu: Just when we were about getting over the game changing Good-2-Go album released in 2013, the Crystal Award winner wowed his critics again to a dancehall single titled Oh My Jesu (OMJ). This further proved his passion for propagating gospel through his music
- 3. 30BillionHalleluyah: Late in 2017, the stakes of the kingdom were raised even higher when Mike Abdul with his label mates Monique and Adam introduced the world to a big-bang groovy jam titled 30BillionHalleluyah, it was movement that ushered many people into the New Year. Produced by Tyanx and visualized by LexTen, it won the award for the Best Video of The Year at AGMMA 2018.
- 4. Jesu Mi Da: At a time when vulgar words and unruly slangs had become inseperable from mainstream music production, Mike, not long after releasing his IRO HALLELUYAH album, linked up with fuji crooner Bidemi Olaoba and producer Puffy-Tee to deliver a people-flavoured sound that went viral on IG and garnered loads of airplay. With a quick tempo, heavy beats, and spiritual lyrics that got the young dancing, Mike, once again, gave both the street and the church a new slang in Jesu Mi Da. The song actually spoke about our stand as children of GOD and the potency of His Word inside of believers.
- 5. Eyan Jesu: Amidst the global pandemic and to celebrate their 8th anniversary, Spaghetti Records manufactured a new spiritual sound for the street. Spearheaded by the ‘Lord of Gospel Dancehall’ himself, the budding talking drummer also had singer Monique giving out amazing street punchlines with Bidemi Olaoba and Adam not left out on the edgy track. The team leveraged on hashtags to promote the single in a well thought out marketing campaign and already, the June 2020 single is looking like another culture-shaper. Every note of Eyan Jesu, and every rhyming lyric, just like his previous hit tracks, further cements Mike Abdul’s focus on spreading his gospel sound far beyond the church and to every nook, corner and cranny of the continent. This writer thinks that it won’t be long before the credentials of this gospel maverick will be celebrated on the global secular stage.
Written by Ayo Deji Samson
Content Writer, Blogger GospelXperience