By Seun Oyewole
Toyin Oyewole, popularly known as Toyin Oyes, is an award winning gospel artiste whose musical talent is, no doubt, a gift from God. Meanwhile, rather than go secular, he chose to explore this talent to glorify his Maker.
Oyes, as he is fondly called, discovered his talent at a tender age which saw him becoming a chorister in church at the age of ten. He passionately pursued his dream of not just becoming a singer but also being able to player different kinds of musical instruments: piano, drum set and guitar among others. Unlike some people who ventured into music by virtue of inspiration from great musicians, while it is a family business for some, Oyes doesn’t belong to either groups but his passion for music is a divine gift which cannot be contained.
As a little boy, he would sing choruses at home and in school such that he was punished several times because he was often taken as a noise maker. The little boy wasn’t deterred. While other boys were playing football, he would look for sticks and buckets to make beats for his songs but what a lot of his fans don’t know is that this handsome young man from Ilesha, Osun State was actually given birth to in a church. It wasn’t actually the plans of his parents to have him delivered in a church; however, during an evening service at Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Isegun, Idimu, Lagos, his mum went into labour and was assisted by midwives who ensured a safe delivery at the church. Suffice to say that it was a divine arrangement which would always serve as a reminder for him as to where and how God wants him to utilize his musical talent.
Third among four boys which his parents are blessed with, Oyes developed in the church choir as a tenor singer until he met his mentor, Olayimika Babatayo, popularly known as Atabatubu; a versatile gospel artiste cum broadcast professional. Oyes joined Atabatubu’s Band in 2004 as a backup singer until he gained admission into Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti where he bagged a bachelor degree in adult education.
While at EKSU, Oyes formed his own band, ‘Toyin Oyes and His Apple of God’s Eyes Gospel Band’. The zeal to progress his musical career not just as a performer but also as a recording artiste saw him head to the studio to record his first song titled “Odun Yi Adara” (this year will be great) which was released in 2014.
According to him, Praise From Inside was conceived as a platform for people to gather and worship God in His Holiness through praises. He said, “As a Christian, it is my duty to spread the gospel of salvation as our Lord, Jesus Christ commanded in the Bible. So I thought of how best I could go about it using my talent and that was how the idea for Praise from Inside was birthed. I should have started some years back but I held back due to financial constraints, however, I chose to take the bull by horns this year and I am glad it was a success. I received support from people I have never met in my life and I am really grateful to God and everyone that made it a success.”
Designed to be a yearly event, the maiden edition tagged Praise From Inside 1.0 was held at Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Imole, Ijegun, Lagos and it paraded a host of gospel artistes and instrumentalists such as Muye Jesu, Akobi, MC Kanby, Sis Bernice Opaleye, Oluomo Mato, Akorede Great Star, Sam Deejay Sax and of course his mentor, Atabatubu. “I decided to have the first edition at my childhood church because that was where I had the first opportunity to sing and learn how to play some instruments. The church has contributed in no small measure to my musical career through various kinds of support”, he informed. Aside music, Oyes is also a professional photographer. He is on Instagram @toyin_oyes and facebook @toyinsings.