Spotlighting Creatives (Episode 6): Pius Adeniji

2023. I was preparing for my post-UTME examination, mindlessly scrolling through social media during one of those barely-there breaks. And then, I saw a video of a guy rapping on one of the streets of UI. Now this wasn’t just rap—it was a seamless interweave of Gospel drill and the Yoruba language, perhaps the first of its kind. No doubt this caught my attention, and got me digging deeper into the artiste himself. The unconventional fourth-year medical student had no idea I’d become not just a fan, but a whole air conditioner for his craft!

How does recording a song with your phone and music editor lead to a combined 400,000 plus streams on Spotify alone? What driving force makes one stand out among others who are similar? These and some others are part of the questions I had for Pius Adeniji when I got the opportunity to meet him at ABH last week.

Going by his music, I wasn’t surprised when he told me he had a flair for doing things differently. Growing up like your ordinary guy but holding on to an extraordinary dream, one that would soon come to manifest. It may seem almost impossible for introverts as Pius was one himself, but he broke out of his shell to put his beliefs out there. In 2018, Pius had already started writing Gospel music but it took him till 2021 to become more serious with performing it. By then, he had begun sharing his gospel music content, buying studio time and becoming more open about his music. He trained rigorously as a vocalist, and in addition, learnt how to play the guitar on YouTube, going all in with his passion for his art. According to Pius, “It all just happened”. He never planned for the amount of success he had achieved, the following he’s come to gather. In his own words, he just does the will of God, and lets him take control of his work.

Songwriter or Singer?

Pius considers himself more of a songwriter than a singer. As a songwriter, he can flow in any direction that calls to him. To him, “The message is more important than the music, you’re dealing with words, lyrics, not just catchy beats.” He is however not confined to the label of ‘just a singer’. He explores other genres like rap, reggae, pop, and trap. And he believes that if God loves variety, so can he. “Behold I’ll do a new thing; it shall come to light quickly; shall ye not know it? I will again make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”—Isaiah 43:19

Pius is an advocate for novelties, and that could well be one of the driving forces for his stance that secular artistes would someday routinely feature Gospel artistes. ‘God is a God of varieties. He doesn’t hold on to the old one, he encourages the new. If scientists have only explored 4% of space and 5% of the ocean, then there’s a whole lot to be explored in terms of Gospel music,’ says the Adullam crooner.

His typical song-making process.

For Pius, creating a song consists of three fundamental elements. (i) The beat (ii) The melody and; (iii) The message, in respective order. He likes to first of all listen to the instrumental he’d be working with, and if he vibes with it, attach a melody through his guitar or other creative means. Afterwards, he focuses on the message. “My songs are 100% guided by the Spirit, and the main part is the message, which I hold higher than any other part of my song.” Once he gets the message, the rest of the song-making process comes naturally.  The message is more important than the music, and sometimes, the message even drives the melody.

Holy Drill and Pius

If you listen to Pius’ songs, you’ll notice a frequent collaborator. I heard this person’s beats the first time I heard Yeshua last year. The brotherhood began in 2022 when Pius came across one of Holy Drill’s beats on TikTok, he felt something different, ethereal, ‘the Spirit of God’. He became inspired and recorded a drill song to it, posted his video on Instagram and tagged him. Hold Drill replied some time later and they both agreed to do the song later. He even recorded the video Pius shot for Yeshua. ‘It’s not every beat I can listen to, but there’s just something Spirit-filled in Holy Drill’s beats,’ Pius says. The pair have a lot of projects in the works, ranging from acoustics to visuals.

Pius’ Musical influences vs Future collaborators

He names Nathaniel Bassey, Lawrence Oyor, Dunsin Oyekan, and Minister GUC as his musical influences. They taught him to focus more on building his relationship with God, and to sing what God ministers to him. Separately, Minister GUC, Victor Thompson, AEO are the people Pius would love to have future collaborations with. 

Adullam, his most recent release, is a testimony to his walk with God. No surprise as a Gospel artist, the major inspiration comes from God. Adullam, he says, shows the importance of prayer and seeking God. It communicates the message, and yet entertains. A prayer song in a trap beat is something that he has never done, yet a masterpiece of a first for him. It is also similar to Yeshua, a previous release of his, ‘the first Yoruba Gospel drill’. 

His advice for upcoming creatives

Just do you, stay unique, and don’t try to be what you’re not. Try to be with God before being for God. It might not be easy to do what has not been done before because of the fact that you might be thinking about the opinions of others, but don’t focus on that, focus on doing what you were created to do: New Things. 

Loveth Ayegboyin


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