‘For young people trying to serve God, it is hard to have fun’. That one statement had me hooked. It’s very true, but we just forget about it and accidentally on purpose find ourselves in a club, right? Wrong.
There is a quote that says ‘when you see a gap fill it’ and that is exactly what 19-year-old, University student Ifeoluwa Adeyemi has done. After ten weeks of hard work and preparation, IA Entertainment held the first ever showcase of ‘The Grand Gospel’ in Birmingham on the 25th of November and it was beautiful, magical, amazing (insert synonym here) and most importantly, so necessary.
Held in a simple Student Union Hall, 400 students came together to enjoy an event but left taking something so much more- a heart of worship. I am not one to fully immerse myself in an experience (because overthinking is so real) but I sat at this event with my heart ready and open to enjoy and receive a blessing and I wasn’t disappointed.
From the moment, the Transcend Choir kicked off the show with a melody of West African Praise the tone was set for the rest of the evening- this was going to be ‘high-quality entertainment’ which happens to be the aim of IA Entertainment.
The array of talent on display was nothing short of phenomenal, from Femi Sax playing the saxophone to the I Am Able dance troupe all the acts were a testament to one fact; using your talents to entertain an audience while praising God is possible as a young person. However, this fact was not limited to the acts alone.
At just 19, Economics and Japanese student, Adeyemi is proof that talent is just as important off stage as it is on. The idea for The Grand Gospel came to him whilst working in Brazil as a translator for the Japanese Olympic team at the North Barra Olympic Park. Prior, he embarked on an intensive Portuguese language course in Juiz de Fora. As if that wasn’t enough, he juggled working in the finance department of a Portuguese university and teaching English to Brazilian school children.
Not letting The Grand Gospel take a back seat as a result of his busy schedule, he fine-tuned the Grand Gospel’s debut, with the help of his brother, Oreoluwa Adeyemi and friend, Stephen Asamoah.
“The Grand Gospel proves that entertaining whilst praising God is entirely possible”
This is one success story that astounds. Down to the finest details of having William McDowell tickets up for grabs and Soundcloud mixes to hype everyone up before the day of the show, no one would’ve guessed the whole event was planned in a mere ten weeks. It’s difficult not to be inspired by their efforts.
The main event was dazzling. Hilarious singer Emmanuel Tali Smith had everyone in fits, and the stage glittered with amazing acts such as Guvna B, Mike Omoniyi and Grace Ajitena. The beauty of the show and its acts were undeniable.
When asked if there are any life mantras he follows, Adeyemi’s humility was ever-apparent. “I can’t pinpoint one thing but I believe in being pro-active,” he said, “loads of young people say they will do things in the future when the situation is perfect but you need to change your mindset in the present moment.”
This is evidently something Adeyemi applies to every element of his life, bagging an internship at a top banking firm as well as preparing to launch an app and produce some original songs in 2017.
Christian or not, The Grand Gospel created something rare; a space for young people to revel in genuine joy and complete abandonment while worshipping.
Listen to the Grand Gospel on Soundcloud