For so long hip-hop music has been labelled the devils music and we have seen churches that prohibit this form of expression as a mode of worship. Nelson Leon Ogundowo steps on The Platform this week to tell us about his love for God and how he expresses that love through rhyming verses and gold necklaces.
ThankGod: Tell us about yourself.
Leon: My name is Nelson Leon Ogundowo but people call me by my stage name Leon Remnant. I'm the last child of 6 children in my family, I'm married, and I’m Nigerian but reside in the USA.
ThankGod: Define your style of music, and what is your message?
Leon: My style of music is hip hop and my genre is gospel. My concept is bringing the word of God to the world and especially the youths in a modern style with hard hip hop beats blended with African Afro hip hop. Music to me is an art so I'm bringing in whole new ideas and concepts to the Nigerian industry and Hollywood. But my message is Jesus, and nothing else. Even when I talk about something different in my music it has connections with Jesus.
|Leon with his wife|
ThankGod: Tell us about your album Street Disciple? Are you signed on to any Music Label?
Leon: My album street disciple is my first official album. Although i dropped a mixtape in 2013 which i titled street disciple mixtape. All my fans love it and i shot 2 videos off the mixtape so after the success of the mixtape we decided to work on putting an album out. The album is based on preaching the gospel on the street. We have to take it to the street. TMG a label in Oklahoma City is managing the album which i believe is a dream come true in my career.
ThankGod: When and why did you leave Nigeria for US?
Leon: I left Nigeria for America due to an open door from heaven. God want me to come here for a purpose.
ThankGod: What do you think is lacking in the Gospel Music Industry in Nigeria?
Leon: I think what is lacking in Nigeria music is lack of support from the audience. People who call themselves Christian will rather support secular music than gospel music. Gospel music couldn't grow bigger because people embraced songs that has no value or meaning to their life
ThankGod: What inspires you?
Leon: What inspires me is my everyday encounter and experience with God. My type of music is based on what I'm going through, my experiences, people around me and what I've learnt in the bible. I write my songs to inspire and motivate people that God is not dead.
ThankGod: Who is your mentor?
Leon: hmmmmm mentor? Well i don't think i have a specific mentor but i will say i love what Lecrae is doing and the whole 116 crews. They're able to bring hip hop to the gospel music and is a beautiful way of preaching the gospel to our youths because most of them don't want to listen to what our church Christians call gospel music.
But i believe if the content of the song and messages are about Jesus, that's gospel music. The rhythm can be hip hop, funk afro or whatever we call it
ThankGod: Which artist will you like to work with if you've the opportunity?
Leon: I will love to work with some international artists if i have the opportunity. Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, Mary Mary and presently I've worked with Nigerian Rooftops Mcs And Provabs which are big gospel hip hop artist in Nigeria
ThankGod: Aside music what else do you do?
Leon: Aside music I'm a student in the United states of America. I will soon earn my bachelor degree here.
ThankGod: Any challenges doing music in the US?
Leon: My challenges here are people here are so different from Nigerians. They don't really embrace the word of God like Africans and i believe we, Christians, have a lot of work to do. We need to tour around the world and preach the good news to people who are lost in their own thoughts. I just dropped an album street Disciple and i will start my campus tour very soon.
Currently I'm working on another joint album titled Open Heaven with Fatt Beats which will be dropping before the end of this year. I'm working and all Christians should do the same. We need to take the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ serious. Sometimes it’s really difficult to show people the bigger picture and what it means to be born again because, they're lost in sin and they don't want to change and embrace the cross.
We have to pray for them preach and let the power and grace of the power of the Holy Ghost minister to their hearts. God will finish the work in them in as much as we do our own parts as his servants.
|Leon at the stadium supporting the Nigerian team|
ThankGod: Final words?
Leon: Thank you for the interview, God bless you
(Images Credit: Facebook.com/leon.remnant, RoofTop MCs, 234next)