Trailblazing Gospel singer, Shola Allyson-Obaniyi, popularly known as Eji Owuro, is not a pushover in the Nigerian music industry. She is one gospel singer who plies her trade of singing with caution and as such has successfully stayed out of scandals like some of her colleagues.
One great asset you can't take away from the elegant and soft-spoken singer is her sonorous voice. Sola’s attempt at trying her hands on the sound-track of one of Bimbo Oshin's films, Eji Owuro, together with some of her own compositions, shot her into limelight thus becoming an instant celebrity as the album sold out beyond expectation.
Of course talent alone is not enough, and Sola is not oblivious of this fact, she is not one of those singers who depended only on her talent to build a musical career. She holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Music from The Polytechnic Ibadan, though her father had thought she would grow up to become a lawyer because of the way I talked and analysed things, but here she is today, a musician.
Sola Allyson-Obaniyi was a studio back-up singer to many artistes, many of them very popular like Stella Monye, Daddy Showkey, the late Gbenga Adeboye and Yinka Ayefele. She was, in fact, a member of Kayode Olajide's band.
While speaking on the secret behind her success, the MTN Project Fame Regional music instructor and Judge, said in a recent interview with Daily Independent newspaper “there is no magic wand. It is the help of God. Eji Owuro enjoyed tremendous acceptance beyond expectation and imagination, but then, all my albums after then, Gbeje F’ori, Ire, Im’oore and Adun have also been accepted tremendously. It is just that I have the privilege of being sensitive to how God wants me to deliver the message he sent me with. And when you tread the path you are made to tread, not minding whether it would be popular or not, expressing yourself like yourself, your world listens and looks your way, and you are called “unique”, “distinct” and so on.”
Sola has this to say about her voice “my voice is a heavenly endowment. By erudition, I am a Musicologist, by profession, I am a Singer. The link shows I have been given the spiritual and physical help and skill to retain my voice. I try as much as possible to stay close to The Giver of the gift for the gift to get oiled."
Coping with stardom is not a problem for Sola, for her stardom is not a bed of roses. But as one referred to as “star”, she said “you have a choice. All of us have the capability to define the way we want to live our lives, but being a star does not define who I am. I am a woman who knows who she is in creation, what she’s made to do and sets boundaries for herself which she’s always conscious of.”
Thoughts of quitting or taking a break from music is not an option for the Eji-Owuro crooner, “No, I have never thought of quitting music. I didn’t choose to go into music. My maker chose me for music. I have had experiences, sweet, bitter, all. It has been more than 25 years of being a professional singer of which I have enjoyed 10 as a “star”. Challenges have come, but I believe all these are experiences that sharpen and shape who I should be. I am always learning. And I shall get better. Doors have opened for me. Men and women have blessed me greatly, materially. I have enjoyed goodwill. I have been privileged. But I believe this is just the beginning. Greater things will come my way, in ideas and in opportunities. I hope for the best for a great change and a more fulfilling career.
Aside singing, to unwind, Sola believes her voice is an instrument, and she “plays” it and also plays the piano/organ to unwind. As a graduate of Voice Major and Piano minor, with performance as area of specialization; one of the best the Music Technology Department of The Polytechnic, Ibadan ever produced, she also listen to radio a lot. Every work of art is unique and Eji-Owuro accords everyone respect for their creativity. And sometimes, “I listen to no music, depending on the spiritual frequency around me. There should be silence when you need to listen and receive.” She said.
I enjoy being a woman. So being a wife and a mother is an experience I am privileged to enjoy. It is not straightforward, there are curves and corners, but then, life comes with curves and corners as a whole. My husband is my friend; our children are God’s gifts. I appreciate our relationship and treat as precious.
Stardom, marriage and motherhood have not slowed Sola down in any way, rather they have equipped her more and opened her to her the more. Trials, triumphs are great experiences for her. Walking the path she’s made to walk without coincidence, nothing just happens and she has not been slowed down, rather she’s filled with joy in the innate ability she possesses to do all at once.