Eldorado Loves... Iyke Onka
A friend of mine played a rock song that sounded so good… Just as I was about asking him where the artist was from, I heard ibo creep into the song. That came as a shock, like seriously?… He’s Nigerian? How come I’ve never heard of him if he's this good?....
Nigerian Born Iyke Onka is one of the hidden treasures in not just the gospel genre but in music in general. There’s something about his throaty, soft and yet strong voice that captivates you… His vocal delivery is described, as “velvety deep with some soft and lovely coarseness at higher octaves.” I say his voice is simply gorgeous and captivating. It makes you want to stop and listen, like the piped piper that lured the children out and then caged them. But in a good way this time… his voice draws you out and just as you’re bobbing your head, you’re captured with the message…
“Something you would expect from a cross influence of music artistes like Bono(U2), Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Seal, Lighthouse Family, Michael W. Smith, Third Day and Jeremy Camp. Iyke Onka’s lyrical style is a beautiful balance of poetry and simplicity. His content is completely gospel and inspirational and his vocal styling focuses more on melodic arrangements and good diction, enabling him to navigate his audience through the various emotional contours of his songs”
I totally endorse that statement. I get so excited when I find new music. There are treasures hidden under the cover of 'gospel' label… many wonderful singers who haven’t been discovered or celebrated like they should (no wonder you find people leaving the church choir for street anthems of drugs, sex, money…)
Some people are still stuck with the idea that gospel music(especially Nigerian gospel) is clap clap, talking drums and what you find on the wazobia cds… with less than perfect production. So no one's buying, no one's promoting... Maybe the 'gospel' should be dropped and songs/albums released as just Rock/R&B/HipHop et co. Lure people in, and when they play the music, they get hit with talent and with the gospel/uplifting message of the songs.
Ikye's two albums 'Another Miracle' and 'Fly High' are available on itunes.