The Shepherd Superintendent of the Household of God church, Rev Chris Okotie, has described Chief Ebenezer Obey as a uniquely gifted musician whose talent has elevated him to a living legend.
Chief Obey turned 80 on April 3, 2022.
His musical talent has brought him fame both in and outside Nigeria. Many of his fans believe his music has a transgenerational impact
In Okotie’s tribute message made available to the media by his media adviser, Mr. Ladi Ayodeji, he extolled the talents and uniqueness of Obey’s music in flowery language.
He said, “The splendiferous tonality of Obey’s voice, his philosophical articulation of life’s realities and soul-searching melodies of his music, have elevated him to the deserving status of a living legend.
“Decades of creative artistry corroborate this position: A uniquely gifted music maestro, Obey towers above all the other great artistes who occupy the chambers of his popular music genre.”
Rev Okotie, himself a pop music icon, said Obey’s voice “carries a compelling vocal afflatus, an impartation from heaven, which distinguishes him from other minstrels in his generation.”
He explained that Obey’s music has the capacity to, “galvanize you to the dance floor, draw you into the quietude of meditation or engage your heart in the plenitude of God’s grace. These facets of his creative acumen are an attestation to his prolific versatility.”
Okotie said he is proud to be associated with such musical royalty as Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi saying, “I salute and hail a great icon and musical colossus at 80.”
Obey’s musical career
Since Obey’s emergence into the music industry, he has released over a hundred albums to date.
Ebenezer’s professional career according to Popular People, an online publication ” began with his move to Lagos in the mid1950s after being tutored under the Fatai Rolling Dollar’s band. Known for modernizing the sound of Juju by adding the funkiness of Yoruba drumming, more Western-style guitars, and drum kits, and adding multiple talking drums which was unlike what every other Juju musician was doing at the time.
“In 1964, he formed his own band, The International Brothers which later metamorphosed into Inter-Reformers in the early-1970s, with a long list of Juju album hits under the West African Decca musical label, they excelled in praise singing for rich Nigerian socialites and business tycoons.
“They had hit singles, ‘Ewa Wowun Ojumi Ri’ and ‘Olomi Gbo Temi (My Dearest Wife Listen to Me)’ which was his debut single. In 1968, he released ‘Omo wan n’re soja a fe sokun‘ which means ‘We are crying because our sons are going to war’ in a bid to console families whose sons were being conscripted into the army following the Biafran war.
“He formed the Ebenezer Obey Music Foundation Scholarship Scheme (EOMFSS) which was designed to grant scholarship awards to deserving indigenes and music students in various tertiary institutions. He was the General Overseer of Decross International Ministries.”