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2017 Review

I know I am late to the party and everyone’s 2017 review is in, but hear my excuses and you can let me know in the comment section if they are valid.

I was ill from the 24th of December till the new year, I believe my body was determined to put me on compulsory bed rest. Knowing myself I wouldn’t have rested otherwise. Fast-forward to the new year, I seem to always be on the go and the changes in my life are hitting super-fast, they didn’t wait for the dust of the new year to settle in before life as I knew it started changing. Best to say the few days of 2018 have become an emotional roller coaster 

I apologize again for not getting my 2017 – year review in sooner 

Here we go;

At the beginning of 2017 I started a monthly goal setting task, which entail sharing my goals for the month with all my readers and sharing at the start of the next month if I was able to achieve set goals. I kept up with this for about five months before I fell off the wagon of sharing, I kept setting monthly goals I just didn’t share and report on them.

My monthly goals were basic, so I will be doing my review based on the monthly goals I set for myself.

Most recurring goal was to read two new books every month, I did achieve these goals because I read over 25 books in 2017, but I will not share all the books I read, I will just talk about four of the books I read that resonated with me and made me think deep about life and my choices. If you want a comprehensive list, please let me know in the comments below.

The first book on my list is one I have recommended to everyone I know, it is a well written book and the characters will stay with you long after you are done reading the book.

The book is Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo. I started reading this book one raining Saturday morning and didn’t drop the book till I was done reading it. Akinleye and Yejide have constantly found their way into my dreams.

The second book is Ghana Must Goby Taiye Selasi, this was my last read of 2017, I love the way Taiye Selasi explores family dynamics and the effect of isolated decisions on the whole family. 

The third book is Every Day for the Thief by Teju Cole, one of my goals for the year was to read a book written by Teju Cole. Every Day for the Thief came highly recommended and I wasn’t disappointed. The book is a love letter to Lagos and by the time I got to the last chapter I saw Lagos through new eyes, it made me slow down and notice the city I call home. 

The fourth book is The Right Kind of Crazy by Adam Steltzner and William Patrick, this book challenged the way I think about my job, team work and my contribution to the society.  I had an important career decision to make and reading this book at the time made me have a better understanding of what I want for my life.

Another goal for the year was to listen to a lot of new music and I think I achieved this, I will be sharing my top five albums of the year. 
  • Wonder by Hillsong United 
  • Good God by Folabi Nuel
  • Stark by Bemyod
  • In Memory of Forgetting by Wanawana
  • We Say Yes by Housefires    

My goal to visit new places was almost a total fail but I didn’t give up on it. Two of my memorable trips last year were to Badagry with my friends over the independence weekend and a road trip to Ogun state with the band RepJ360. Oh, I got to visit Dubai for the first-time last year and it was a beautiful experience. 

Events that will stay with me this year, RepJ360’s first concert, the Stark album listening, Art X, and Night of Worship. I know I need to experience more things this year. I will start by participating in the Lagos City Marathon.
2017 was a year of learning, unlearning discovering more about myself and I am glad I got to go on the adventure with you.

Here is to a great 2018!!

Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil – Week Five by RepJ360

The notion of love is one that has been clouded by many ideas for a very long time. Chief of which is the “ride into the sunset” idea of love – at the end of the movie the man and the woman ride into a picturesque sunset which insinuates happiness, peace, prosperity and all the other good kinds of things. Sadly, when we get that moment in the sunset in real life (if we get it), the sun will rise again the next day and there would countless more sunrises after that. We are not equipped to handle what comes next, because in our heads the movie should have ended. So when things start getting hard and less picturesque we automatically start to think some is wrong and therefore we need to perhaps end it. But know this; Love is not always “lovey-dovey”, love is not always sweet words and grand gestures. It is a battle that we wage, it is a decision that we make, it is an action that we take or an action we choose not to take. The world would continue to sell the idea of easy love which is momentary, but God is calling us into an eternal love, a peace that is inexplicable, and it is worth the fight. Just set your hearts on love and love will show up.

This Week: 
Take Over Me, because I know Love Alone Is Worth The Fight.
You Are the only one that can make it worth it.
I will Be Still as I wait for More Of You so I can Touch The Sky. Thank you for your Ancient Words.

This week’s playlist is available on the Deezer music streaming app: 
All playlists are available on Deezer, just search “tobyvanjohnson” and you’ll find them under his playlists. Don’t forget to share with your friends and especially your enemies.
Follow us on Social Media for the daily update @RepJ360 (on everythiing).
Devotional Playlist is a daily devotional were we, RepJ360, recommend a song that has touched our hearts, taught us something or reminded us about something. We believe one of these songs a day would keep the flesh at bay so give them a listen. At the end of seven days we compile them into a playlist for the week. So as not to infringe on the property of the musicians and minsters that made the songs we cannot share them with you, instead we create playlists on the music streaming platform Deezer. We hope you enjoy the songs as much as we have and we hope even more that they light up your day so you can light up some else’s.  – We, RepJ360.


Headphones and Epiphanies – Moyo’s Story

At first glance I would have picked my 5 favourite songs and extolled their virtues boisterously to no end. In that path lies a couple of obstacles, first of which is that I have no favourite songs. I love music with a passion so fierce it seems a betrayal to single out any one(s) over the other(s).

Of course there are certain genres I prefer to others, certain artistes or bands I prefer to others, certain albums I dig over others but I’d be hard pressed to pick favourites. The closest I come to doing such is when I put a particular song on relentless repeat, in my memory those songs end up being the soundtrack to that particular point in my life.
As I write this it dawns on me that I could as well write on those events and their corresponding musical scores… but nah, this post is not for that.
Second, I have an eclectic taste in music and I want THIS to be a reflection of that, left to my own whims I’d probably pick and write about songs of love in all its varying flavours (because Moyo is a hopeless romantic)…but nah, neither is this for this post.
To surmount these obstacles, I take inspiration from the desultory devices of the timeless gods of shuffle. To further sweeten the pot, I’ll be writing whatever these songs bring to mind in the time it takes for these songs to live and die. Along with my epiphanies are my favourite excerpts from the song lyrics. Bear with me if you see the entire lyrics there, some things are too good together to take apart. Brace yourself.

Hillsong United – Look to You
Yayy! We get an easy start! Brethren, if you’re yet to listen to a Hillsong song (chuckles) you haven’t lived. And really this is as good a place to start.
Somewhere on my virtual bucket list is going to Australia and experiencing Hillsong worship. I am truly indebted to their ministry, days when I’ve been at the fullness of my humanity, full of myself – self-pity, self-loathing- unable to see past my pains, my desires, my doubts, they’ve been the voices of God teaching me to worship, to glory in adversity, treasure and experience everything life brings to fore. Hillsong has been indescribable help in giving me an eternal perspective. I can’t begin to mention all they’ve ministered to me.And this song best shows that.

Tedashii ft. Tauren Wells – Paradise
Oh my days! I just realised Tedashii wasn’t referring to his wife when he wrote this! Probably was speaking of Jesus. Always assumed it was a love song, well a love song for the Mrs. The song has a bit of melancholy and along with its lyrical theme reminds me that despite being a recluse in the making, my happiest moments are usually as a result of human interactions. And that is sad, it irks me that I’m seldom happy on my own. Pfft!

1 Last Autograph – See Ehn
Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to the Nigerian Rock Music Scene! Bruh! 1 Last Autograph is frigging awesome! And for now See Ehn remains their magnum opus. I had this song on repeat for a week, so now when anyone says See Ehn to me, I always respond in a death growl.
1 Last Autograph’s Sickle Cell Amnesia EP really left me wowed, I lowered my hopes but not only was I left impressed, it left me hungry for other Nigerian rock acts. I thoroughly enjoyed the growls and in me they have a fan. Lyrical content was also impressive, embodied what I have come to expect of rock music, and it is pretty easy to identify with the theme.

The National – This Is The Last Time
The National! Yayy! *twerks in reverse*.  This song gets me every time. I’d give an arm and a leg for Matt Breninger’s vocals ( Definitely not  my arms or legs).  It reminds me of my long walks from school home while I was serving in Jos, about 5 km. Played a lot of The National during those times, funny thing I find certain emotions get me moving. Of which when I start moving, I’m afraid to stop. Deathly frightened of no longer moving. So I usually put songs like this that can evoke such emotions on my running playlist.
Oh! I remember the day I danced from all the way home from school. Lolabonga, the looks on people’s faces was worth it. Odd though I was really bereft while I did it, and I’m glad for that it’s a great memory to have and I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off if I was happy ( by dancing I mean something between a slow shuffle and a waltz).

Nelly Furtado ft. TimbalandPromiscuous
This song is such a jam. Hehe. Holds so many memories for me. Picture me, precocious kid whose parents just got DSTV into the house. Despite all efforts I binged on Samurai Jack and Megas XLR and co for a month.
My parents ban me off TV and I wanted to die, Fortunately they put a caveat with the ban : I can watch TV when my next door neighbour Ayomide comes around, O! what joy! But I was so naïve and I let Ayomide know the power he could wield and that’s how he became Comptroller General of the TV remote.
It took me 2 terms and some of my most cunning wiles to wrest back my power but that’s a tale for yesterday. Anyway, his first day of rule he doesn’t even let me watch Kids Next Door(It was the Battle Ready Amour episode and I had heard loads about it). Nigga changes the channel to some other stupid one called MTV Base and that was when I first heard this song. This piqued my interest in music. For this I’m grateful. Huhuhu. Good times.

This is not a song review, if it looks like it is, blame it on the unkind gods of shuffle. So maybe I took advantage of the pause button a few times.

You can click below to listen to the songs on the playlist