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Ore’s Playlist March 2017

I wasn’t going to have a playlist this month because of the ongoing series ‘’Headphone & Epiphanies’’ and because I didn’t listen to music a lot this month, I am trying to practice the teachings of Brother Lawrence presented by Steve Case in the book ‘’God is here Connect’’, he teaches not to glorify the means we use to connect to God, understanding that the means can only carry us for so long.

So I tried to connect to God without music, in my thoughts, prayers and conversation with people, in the course of the month I realised that songs began to mean new things to me, the lyrics felt like I had never listened to them and I saw more of God, not only in the songs but in my everyday life, through  my emotions and in my daily struggles. I really enjoyed the joy and peace of God even on bad days, and this month had a truck load of bad days, but what I have learnt and I pray I never forget is to take the deliberate steps to dwell always in the presence of God even in the most mundane moments.

  • Elevation Worship – There is a Cloud: I am a ‘’next phase’’ kind of girl, I am always thinking of what comes after and I tend to lose hope when I can’t see what is coming. This song reminds me to have hope, to understand that God has got me covered always.

  • Elevation Worship – O Come to the Altar: This song reminds me of God’s great love for us that we can always come to him in any state we are and we will be accepted. I don’t think  a reminder of God’s love is ever too much, if anything, I think we don’t talk about it enough.

  • Elevation Worship – Do it Again: Many times we forget God’s sovereign power, we can’t see pass the mountain in front of us, the song sings of God’s faithfulness and reassurance in God’s sovereign power and we all need to remember this every now and again.

  • United Pursuit – Let You Go: I really like this song, it tells a story of a place we have all found ourselves in our Christian walk, where fear still rules and we hold on tight to our religious rituals instead of embracing the truth the bible teaches. The song sings of us letting go of all these things and embracing God, letting God control and direct us.

I pray you enjoy these songs and they bless you!

Let me know how your month was in the comments below and song suggestions


Headphones & Epiphanies: Muyiwa’s Story

This is tough. Tougher than writing poetry. When Ore hit me up to ask if I wanted to get on this of course I said yes. But in the back of my mind I knew whittling down to five songs was an impossible job. So I just didn’t do it. Can’t do justice to such an impossible job I thought. So…I just left it. 

But then you know what they say about commitments and how you have to commit and shit. 

So I took the easy way out. Pulled up my music folder and picked from A through Z the first five artistes that best fit the requirements of what Ore asked for.  I only got as far as B. 

All American Rejects – Another Heart Calls 

Skipping 2 Chainz, 6lack, 30 seconds to Mars and Adele I happened upon All American rejects and my heart skipped a beat like when you happen upon an old heart throb. Alongside the Plain White Ts who didn’t make it on to this list, this band helped me through my one heartbreak. Picking one song out of the catalogue was tough but this song, through the years, is never far from my tongue. The lines, “what can I do, say it’s true, I’ll never ask for anyone but you” in particular have been subject to abuse by me in my abrupt outbursts of song as I go through the day. Honourable mention, Gives You Hell.

Awolnation – Sail

The first version I ever heard was a remix done by Kendrick Lamar and Ab Soul and the moment I heard it I knew I had to get the full version. And now for the past three years, it’s in all my playlists. 

BOB – Cool Side

No it wasn’t the Bruno Mars feature song or the Hayley Williams one. It was this mixtape. It was summer 2010. And it was this track. That year for me it was BOB >>>> Drake. And it wasn’t close G. Thinking back on those times..I’ve got tears  man. God is good.

Billy Joel- Down-easter Alexa

The chills I get from listening to this song bruhh. Listen. It’s the perfect record. 

BJ The Chicago Kid – Can’t Say No

This one is the most recent of the five to pop into my playlist. Particularly close to my heart because it rings so true. And the delivery is perfect. I consider myself a lucky man to have listened. That’s all I’m going to say on that. 

So that’s five. And it’s a damn shame.  

Headphones and Epiphanies: Kike’s Story

First off, since Ore practically threatened me into doing this, I’ll break all the rules and do it my own way. I can’t particularly think of songs that changed my life, I’d love to think of them as songs that take me to “a different place” whenever I listen to them.

As I start to write, I can only make out three  in head and I doubt that my stories would be juicy (sorry Ore, but you asked for this).
  • Love Don’t Cost A Thing – J.Lo
  • Hear Your Mama Hear Your Papa – Mike Okri
  • Agolo – Angelique Kidjo

You are probably wondering what decade I was born in, not to worry, it isn’t that far off, and yes it’s all three songs put together as one.

So here’s the story – I danced to these songs in my early days between primary 3 and 6. The good kind of dance oh! real cheerleader pompoms, amazing costumes, large crowds (unilag stadium to be precise), face it my primary school was lit!!! I wasn’t much of a dancer, but back then if you could put your right arm up and arrived in the same spot after a twirl like everyone else, you got with the program.

But talent always stands out, and that’s exactly what Morayo Aina did. While the rest of us lined up in rows blue jeans and white tops, Morayo would stand alone in black and white front line and center, she was a good dancer. But beyond that, Morayo was my friend (one of the squad members). She has really good black skin-the kind people refer to when they say black is beautiful, she had perfect white teeth and was just the right height. Morayo also seemed to know a lot about adult life (which at that time was what junior secondary school was all about), looking back I think her elder sister filled her in on all the details.

I like to think that Morayo and I shared a special friendship outside the squad thing. At the time I lived in one of those houses you passed on your way to everywhere, so practically everyone knew where you lived (so annoying). Morayo would stop by my house on the way to block rosary meetings and we would talk about the last episode of Passions and who we thought had a crush on who in school. One of my favorite memories of her was this thing we used to have in school. Once a year, a white Reverend father would come to school and we would  have a mass right there on the assembly ground under the hot sun but at the end there was always communion. Although the “white flat thing” like we always called it was no substitute for bread, we still always lined up to receive it (after hours under that sun, even chalk started to taste like bread). Morayo would argue that we had no right, we were not baptized and many other reasons (like I said earlier she knew a lot of grown up stuff). But this oyinbo man came only once a year and when has a little bread ever hurt anyone, so we took it anyways.

Like every other process in life, we all moved ahead to secondary school and off I went to boarding school. Towards the end of 1st term holiday, two of my primary school friends “stopped by” to say hi. They went to day schools so they kept up with what went on in the neighborhood. “We just came to tell you that Morayo’s family was involved in an accident and she died”. I can’t remember which one of my friends said it or how I felt afterwards. I look back on that day and wished I didn’t live in that house that just happened to be on the way to everywhere else, then maybe they wouldn’t have stopped by. At least then I could tell myself that Morayo moved to another country and she is married now that’s why I can’t find her on Facebook. I could also tell myself she still loves to dance and perhaps like me she is wondering how the dab became a viral dance move.
But Morayo did leave earth, some would say a little too early, some would say  she had not achieved anything. I would always remember my amazing friendship I had with Morayo in the short time it lasted, it measures up to and possibly surpasses some of my friendships that have lasted 10 years and longer. Only good friends would check up on you every single time they passed by, never taking offence that you didn’t return the favor, only good friends would warn you of how wrong it seemed to take communion without confessing your sins and not get mad when you took it anyway.

So to those who think Morayo didn’t achieve anything because she never got to pass JAMB or graduate from University, or get married and have kids, I say she was a great friend and an amazing human being. I would always remember her for bringing laughter my way, and I can’t think of a better way to be remembered or a better achievement.
Sorry it had to be a somewhat sad story.

For Morayo.


Headphones and Epiphanies – Tobi’s Story

I love sounds, maybe not as much as some people I can imagine, but I can definitively say I love sounds. Not in that unrealistic way people claim to love – like you could never get annoyed by it, or like something doesn’t change about that love down the road – it has changed, it has annoyed me but I still love it. I try to be as truthful as possible; you know, the truth has a way of lightening the load.

So, let me define what I mean by sounds – – actually, I don’t think I can. Sounds sha; kpa kpa, po po, pi pi, gbesh!… Stuff like that. Of course, it differs; mood, environment, head-space – I’m human, Let me live. So, it is this love of sounds that has given rise to an eclectic taste in music, [Eclectic; a word which here means deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources] which I am quite proud of, if I might add. And along this road, that is, this journey I call life, these sounds have created markers of sorts, check points if you will, which when re-heard cause various kinds of reactions – unbeknownst to the people around me (LOL! I like that word “unbeknownst”. Unbeknownst… LOL). For example, I heard the sounds from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time recently and I could have sworn I was sitting on a soft bean bag, which is what I sat on when I played it, whereas instead I was sitting on a most uncomfortable wooden chair (Gosh! I can’t wait to play Breath of the Wild). I think that there is the definition of nostalgia. Here,… below, I have five (5) songs that I have explored with my headphones (because that’s what songs are to me – an adventure – discovering new sounds that you won’t have heard if you weren’t looking), five songs that have caused a very sudden realization of truth – Epiphanies – or Eureka moments… Sometimes.

RepJ360 – I’m Yours [The Peace In Surrender]

RepJ360 is a band that means a lot to me, partly because it’s my band but also because they are trying to do something that is different in an unlikely space and it is hard. In making this song I was reminded over and again that when you surrender yourself to the One who made all, a peace will come over you. So much so that when you’re owing a producer money, and you have none, you won’t worry because you just know He “got your back”. Yes, I believe hard work will pay off, but I also think that’s a misnomer [Misnomer; a word here which means a wrong or inaccurate name or designation], it really doesn’t have to be hard.

“…I am Yourrrssssssss…”

The Liturgists – Vapor (A Meditation) [Vanity, Peace]
I’m coming to realize that I’m a person that seeks peace. Not because I’m troubled, but because I see chaos around me daily – I live in Lagos Nigeria, if that means anything to you. So, when my brother sent this track to me I was very appreciative of it because it made the “vanity upon vanity…” idea more real to me and it presented it in a way that is realistic – you don’t have to be a Christian to understand it.
Of course, we often look at the notion of “vanity upon vanity” as a depressing thought but indeed it is freeing because it reminds us that the things that cause us worry are all going to the dirt with everything else. So why worry, when you can ‘not worry’. 
“…finitude, after all, is what makes life sweet. Christmas time can be such a magical and wonderful time of the year because it only happens once, not in spite of it.”

Casting Crowns – If We Are The Body [No judgment, Love is a verb]
The very first Casting Crowns song that I heard all those years ago, I can almost remember the smell in the air that day as I lay down on the bunk bed in the room I shared with my cousins, using earphones that I didn’t own with an MP3 player I coveted. I was probably fourteen at the time but the lyrics struck me as hard as they do now. I think it was from that point on that I began to lose some of my respect for the church. I was pained that people did not feel safe in the presence of fellow believers and non-believers felt judged when in their company. I asked myself is this what Jesus caused, had he come to elevate a few and then scorn the rest. – – So why is the “body of Christ” so judgmental, so sanctimonious and so picky of who they show love to. From then on, I have refused to be any of those things, because Christ wasn’t any of those things and because love knows no sin. It’s hard work. 
“If we are the body, why aren’t His hands reaching…”

Switchfoot – Thrive [Prosperity is a state of mind]
I’m sure a lot of us know that we were made to thrive not just survive. A common saying that has been going around, especially among people of faith. But we don’t seem to believe it, my mother says that the most unbelieving people are the “believers”, and I think it’s true. If only we believed half of the things we hear in church, we would practice them and we would be the better for it. This song kind of put all that prosperity talk into perspective for me, it’s not in what you own but what you do with it, how we approach it that is. That’s it. I’m not sure if I communicated that properly. Maybe some other time. Check out the song though.
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive, a warm body don’t mean you’re alive.”
Hans Zimmer – The Dragon Warrior [Life can be an adventure]
You know how literature is defined as a mirror of life. Maybe you didn’t, okay, Literature is defined as a mirror of life. It’s actual not far off from the literal truth. This song for some weird reason says to me, “go out there and grab it”. It has no words but Mr. Hans Zimmer knows how to really get you inspirated [Inspirated; a made-up word which here simply means, inspired]. In case you didn’t recognize it, it’s from the animated movie Kungfu Panda 3. 
Your life is a really great movie. You just need to allow yourself to live it.

Turns out my list is not as eclectic as I made it sound. Maybe one day I will share my music library, that’ll definitely show how diverse my palette is [Palette; a word here which means taste] or you could just follow me on Spotify or Deezer (Toby Johnson) I’ve got some neat playlists, and you could also check out the full playlist for Headphones & Epiphanies on Spotify or Deezer

Perhaps the ideas above are a little hifalutin [check your dictionary], or maybe they aren’t, who knows. You could find out. Maybe you could have a couple of epiphanies of your own.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on my social media: 



Headphones and Epiphanies – Josh’s Story

Music can be a beautiful and sweet escape from reality or sometimes the cruel revealer of our ugliest realities. The words, the rhymes, the melodies, the highs and lows; music is almost an exact replication of life.

Now that I’m done been deep (smh), let’s get down to business. Here are some songs that mean something to me – five of them.

Oritsefemi – Double Wahala
I know it’s not the deep song you were expecting but stay with me, there’s a story to this. So it was a while ago and I was out with a girl – a love interest, and we were having a good time. There was this TV playing in the background but I don’t think we were giving it much attention.
Then Double Wahala comes on. I didn’t know a lot of Nigerian songs back then but I’d heard this one before and I liked it. So I told her I liked the song but didn’t even know who sang it. Thank God she knew and she told me it was Oritsefemi. The name is a little confusing so I didn’t quite it. What’s the best way to teach someone how to pronounce a name? I don’t know what your answer is but she just picked a pen, took my hand and wrote the name on it. Okay, I don’t know if you went ‘awww’ just now but every time I remember that scene my brain goes ‘awww’. And I always remember that scene whenever I hear Double Wahala. So now, Double Wahala isn’t just a Nigerian jam to me, it is a love jam. It’s okay to shake your head, I am too.

Trip Lee – To Live is Christ
I grew up with very conservative Christians. Let me explain. I grew up on hymns and ‘clap-clap’ choruses. Christian music was always a classical piece sung standing still. Unfortunately as I grew up I developed a liking for all sorts of genres, most of them unavailable in the Christian world. Imagine my shock when one day I stumbled on “To live is Christ”. It is a very well done rap song based on the book of Philippians. I was amazed. I fell in love with the song. It was my introduction to Reach Records and Christian Hip Hop. Today I know more than a dozen Christian rappers and my music library is filled with Christian music in several genres. Such joy.

PSY – Gagnam style
I don’t care how spiritual you are, you have to know this song. I was serving (NYSC) when this song became popular. I remember how I’ll be playing FIFA with my friend Dave (shout out to my guy from back in the day) and Gagnam style will come on MTV Base and Dave will just jump up, switch the TV to DSTV and we will rock to the song. ‘Rock’ usually meant trying and miserably failing to do the dance. The song was mighty. It had more than a billion views on YouTube, a very big deal. Here’s what this song did for me. Most of the world had no idea what PSY was saying but we loved it all the same. The dude wasn’t American or some popular, sexy pop star. He was just a guy. Gagnam style was the proof that anything could be done by anyone. All our perceived limitations are just that – perceived. I shake the world from anywhere; even Nigeria.

Mustafa Ceceli – Husran

How did I find this song? I was YouTubing, looking for French love songs. I’d found some but you know how you start looking for something and you just waste all your data checking out random things. Husran was one of the songs just below the song I was checking. Like most music buffs would, I decided to just check this song out and was I glad I did. I absolutely loved the song and promptly downloaded it. After listening to it a few times I then googled the song. Found out it was Turkish and since I didn’t speak Turkish – not yet – I had no clue what the song meant. This song just proved something to me, music is a universal language. And sometimes, there’s more to music than the words. Now, I have some Spanish songs, Portuguese and even some languages so funny I don’t even know what they are.

Dunno – Dunno.

I’m sorry I don’t know the title of this one or who sang it. Maybe you know, here are the lyrics.
“What no man can do, God has done it all for me, that is why I testify, I serve a very big God o. He made a way where there’s no way, opened doors no man can shut, that is why I testify I serve a very big God o.”
This song is the story of my life. I think that pretty much explains all you need to know about why it’s on this list.