Growing up, I listened to the likes of Sammie Okposo, Keffee, TY Bello, Panam Percy Paul, Ayefele and Tope Alabi. Yes, Tope Alabi! Tope Alabi is one of the underrated powerful gospel artists. Not only does she have a unique style, she also has an angelic voice that literally pierces through your soul.
Tope Alabi also known as Ore ti o common, and as Agbo Jesu was born on the 27th October 1970 in Lagos State, Nigeria to Pa Joseph Akinyele Obayomi and Madam Agnes Kehinde Obayomi. She is the only daughter out of the three children in the family. she hails from Yewa, Imeko of Ogun State. Tope Alabi pursued her educational attainment with seriousness and dedication as it deserved. Between 1982 to 1984 during her secondary school days, her interest in music and drama led her to join the then “Jesters International” (Jacob, Papilolo & Aderupoko) group at Ibadan, where she got her initial training and experience in drama. She worked with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Ibadan as a correspondent under the supervision of Mr. Yanju Adegbite, between 1990 & 1991. She also worked with Center-spread Advertising Limited, Ilupeju area of Lagos in the year 1991 – 1992. After having various work experiences, Patricia Temitope Alabi came back into the theatre Art profession as she joined the prestigious “Alade Aromire Theater group” in 1994. There, she was able to distinguish herself as a gifted and talented actress and singer.
I was visiting a friend the other day and she raised the topic of how underrated Tope Alabi was and at first, I was like that is not true! turns out, it is kind of true. You hear a lot about artist such as Nathaniel Bassey, Tim Godfrey, etc. being invited to come and minister in churches but not very often do you hear of Tope Alabi being invited to a church program.
Did you know Tope Alabi has composed over 300 soundtracks for Yoruba films? Or that she has over 11 albums and 32 singles that will take you to another level of worship? (at least I think so). All her song I believe are hits back to back! Her latest album is titled Yes and Amen, and contains 12 tracks. It is definitely one you must listen to.
One of the things I like most about Tope Alabi’s song is her ability to put a story in a song. Not just any story, but one with actual life lessons. Yes, she sings in Yoruba, but we all have that Yoruba friend that can interpret for us. Also, she incorporates English as well.
Although Underrated, she is one you should listen to while driving home, eating, having a chill day or even a stressful one!
If you all are as curious as I am you must be wondering why she is not getting the recognition she is clearly deserves. Could it be because of her unique style? Could it be because social media have a specific standard for promoting artist and think she doesn’t meet that standard? Or could it be because she doesn’t conform to rules society have made when it comes to the music industry?
These are questions I want you all to think about and also open your mind to accepting “different” not just in the music industry but even beyond.
What are your thoughts on this? Drop your comments below!