Temitope releases transformational album

Biola alumnus shares his heart in his newest album, meant to resemble the heartbeat of heaven.

Kate Bomar, Staff Writer

Biola class of 2012 alumnus, Temitope, released his second album, “Meji,” on Jan. 15. Translating to “two” in his family’s native language of Yorùbá, the album focuses deeply on unity and reconciliation. While writing this album, Temitope wanted to create a music movement to empower the church to be reconcilers through loving themselves and others. 

THE PROCESS

Temitope started working on “Meji” before COVID-19 and the country’s many political crises.

“We didn’t go into the album thinking that racial tensions would be high, and that we’d need this unity,” Temitope said. “It was just something that God has put on my heart. When God puts something on your heart, it’s obviously for a reason.”

Temitope has been writing music since he was in college and now has over 53,000 monthly listeners on Spotify

“You have to take the little wins and celebrate every number, holding lightly that it might not last forever,” Temitope said. 

STORY BEHIND THE SONGS

Temitope mentioned how the process for the first song written, “A Place For Me,” remains one of his favorites off the album. This was the only song off the album written in person with other people, while the following six were written individually or over Zoom

In January of 2020, Temitope had the opportunity to go to a writing conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where he recalls it being the first time he was not in the minority. Temitope carried a lot of prejudices toward many people, but this conference completely changed that perspective. 

“Everyone sees the world differently and this concept really sparked a lot of interest in diversity within the writing process,” Temitope said.  

Another song close to Temitope’s heart is “Be the One,” written about his third child who he and his wife lost. This song recognizes the beauty of one realizing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made by God for a purpose. It represents walking securely in one’s calling, and the beauty of inviting other people into one’s life to sit with them in their pain. 

“The loss of our child to us was an invitation to be with God and to meet with other people in a unique and new way,” Temitope said. 

Previously afraid of letting people into his life, Temitope learned that God uses others who are shaped differently to help him experience more of who Jesus really is. 

INSPIRATION

Revelations 7:9 touches on how every nation, from all tribes and all languages, will be standing before the throne and before the Lamb. God made each culture and person unique, and this idea  inspired the whole album. 

“The table of heaven is going to be filled with all kinds of people, because God’s heart is for all kinds of people,” Temitope said. 

Along with David Funk, a producer for Bethel Music, there were many other musical inspirations behind the formation of the album. Johnny Clegg, Fire From The Gods, Josh Baldwin, Common Hymnal, Jon Guerra and Salif Keita were all big inspirations in his life and toward the album. 

“I want my music to be easy enough for a 1-year-old to catch on to, but also deep enough for a 100-year-old to sit with,” Temitope said. 

WORD TO STUDENTS 

If Temitope was able to speak directly to Biolans who want to follow in his path, he would tell them to prepare themselves for a long run and to walk in God’s plan for their life. Everyone is their own individual person, and the industry needs more people who are different. 

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS 

Despite COVID-19, Temitope still plans to make connections and empower the church through music to talk about reconciliation. As for touring, he expects it to be put on hold, like many other artists, however he plans to write his third album. He is passionate about pairing music with experiences, and will continue to provide visual ventures.

“The music to me is the lecture, the experiences are the internships, and the marriage of both of these will help the church be ready to face real world problems while providing real world solutions,” Temitope said.

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