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Well well!  It’s a mighty fine evening – well at least for me as I have the nice task of introducing four fine, talented – o did I say fine? – young men.  This is just like it!

Before I get carried away, meet Four Kornerz – four fantastically talented musicians whose sole aim is to use music to share their message.  Deji’s voice, the lead singer, is a cross betweeen Maxwell and Justin Timberlake .  His voice however is unique and guaranteed to take you to new heights of muiscal elevation.  The band, consisting of four brothers,  combine a sound that is so unique and yet universal that you can’t help but love them.

Enough talking from me….let’s meet them shall we? Introducing, from left to right, Deji TJ, Vidal and Daniel.

The guys answer questions on their lives and their music.  Read on and enjoy!

RW: Watching the band on stage, there seems to be a quiet confidence that seems to go beyond the crowd’s participation or involvement. What would you attribute this confidence to?

VIDAL: I wouldn’t really call it confidence.  I think it’s more of a trust in each person’s ability on stage.  The band is a unit and when we go on stage, we depend on each other to deliver. Also, I think ‘coz we really believe in and enjoy what we do when we are on stage, you never really have time to think “what ifs…” and even when things do go pear shaped, we cover each other so the audience is non the wiser.

RW: As young men experiencing and facing new challenges daily, how do you stay grounded?

DEJI: I think to a large extent, our grounding is thanks to the people around us who won’t take any silly diva theatrics.  To be honest we haven’t really reached anywhere yet!  We’re still at the infant stage of our journey so there isn’t really any room for haughtiness.  I tend to believe as a personal ethos that fame should never be the paramount aim or goal of what we do; fame should be a by product of success.

Thankfully we have a good background, i.e. growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, where our youth church provided a very strong foundation for our faith and our family upbringing has really helped us dvelop a positive attitude towards facing challenges and just staying focused regardless of what’s going on around us.

VIDAL: At the moment there seems to be an overwhelming hunger for closeness to God within the group and that’s where I think the real grounding ultimately comes from.  We’re blessed to have parents that are church ministers and don’t play when it comes to prayers and studying the word (7am family morning devotions every morning!…Enough said)

RW: What do each member of the group do outside of ‘FOUR KORNERZ’?

DEJI: I am a real juggler!  Aside from coping with the demanding but enjoyable four kornerz schedule and workload, I work full time in the city as a finance analyst in a Forbes 100 firm.  I also volunteer in my church as a youth worker and worship leader and do a little graphic design work.

TJ: I’m completing a degree in Business Studies with Business Info. Systems this year.  I also work as a session musician in a few studios in London and I’m also involved in the music department of my church.

VIDAL: Studying a Politics degree in Nottingham so you can imagine the frequent shuttling I have to do between Notts and London.  I am also quite involved with the local church and help out when I’m available with drumming etc.  I also host and organise events, e.g. concerts and showcases.

DANIEL: I just recently started a sports degree in Twickenham and that’s my main vocation at the moment. I drum for my family church when I’m down in London on the weekends.

RW: Based on your individual priorities outside of the group, how do you orchestrate your schedules so as to not interfere with gigs and appearances that might occur?

DEJI: To be absolutely honest, I don’t know how we do it! That is why I’m pretty convinced God is behind us! To a large extent, a lot of gigs are booked well in advance so in those instance it’s easy to work out calendars and diaries around exams, work schedules, studio time etc. It’s the impromptu and short notice bookings that throw things into chaos sometimes! Ha Ha.  I remember coming back from Liverpool 5am on a monday morning and getting to work by 7am back into rehearsals that same evening and back home past midnight. Up for work the next day and out that evening for the “New Sound of Gospel” Album Launch! Ha Ha. I think we should teach the SAS a few things.

RW: From watching you perform live, it seems to be Deji and Daniel that are at the forefront.  Does this ever cause any conflict between the group from the perspective of the two members that stay seemingly in the background?

DANIEL: I think people underestimate the role that Vidal and TJ play as well as the rest of the band.  Deji and I could not function without them holding things together.  TJ is like the music director and to a large extent Vidal sets the tone for the energy on stage.  We like to see each other as one big cohesive unit, each man taking charge of his assigned role.

DEJI: I remember when we were in Holland last year.  Vidal was unable to travel with us so Daniel had to drum in his place.  The whole event went very well but it was weird for me not to have Daniel by my side holding it down or to look back and see Vidal grinning and doing his thing.  TJ directs what happens.  A lot of the time Daniel and I are actually looking to him for cues and directions etc. Vidal loves to bring surprises on the drums which then inspires me to up my game and this cascades all the way round the whole band. They’re the real hard workers; Daniel and I just jump up and down and take all the credit! But that’s cool, we’re the talented ones any way! Ha ha ha.

RW: What pressures do you as a group face that you feel is unique to your ministry (in terms of being Christian artists)?

VIDAL: At the start, a lot of Christian groups used to really lay into us purely because we didn’t fit into the mould of a typical Christian music group in the way we dressed, the style of our music and even when we’d use non Christian/secular samples in our songs.  It’s funny because a lot of them are now trying to imitate our style. One constant challenge is trying to re-educate the stereotype perceived by non Christian promoters/media towards us once they realise what we’re about.  Also as a group, four kornerz imbibes various genres and styles into one big gumbo and perphaps that is a unique challenge as it’s not often easy for people to identify us under one specific genre or tag.

RW: How do you overcome these pressures and get so successful at handling it?

DEJI: There have been moments where we’d sit back and think “Oh maybe we should be more conservative or more churchy” etc but thankfully God always finds a way to remind us what he called us to do and why we are different.  That has really helped us to draw strength and stay focused.  Our goal has never been to “shock” people or push the boundaries.  Our goal is simple; to show God to the world through our style of music.  The crucial thing is to keep true to our vision.

RW: Four Kornerz are obviously a gospel group, spreading and sharing your faith through song.  What would be the appeal for someone who is interested in your sound but isn’t a Christian?  Why should they pick up your single/album?

DANIEL: It’s a no-brainer. Everyone is always looking out for ‘the new thing’.  Well I’d say this is it.  Four Kornerz is a new and positive kind of sound that would appeal to everyone.  We’ve had a wide array in terms of our audience demography; from 5yr olds to 50yr olds! And they were all getting down with the funk! So I’d say to anyone – non Christians – out there: This is what you’ve been looking for.  That positive funk sound that is guaranteed to make you touch the sky (and no we aint selling drugs!).

RW: Asa band that do a lot of live shows often times alongside people who don’t share your faith, how do you each handle women and any ‘indecent proposals’ that may come your way?

DEJI: I always find it weird when people approach us with salacious innuendos.  I’m thinking “DID YOU NOT HEAR A WORD WE SAID ON STAGE?!?!” but the simple remedy I’ve found is simply not to engage those kind of people in conversation; just smile and walk on.  Good thing we have managers who don’t take any rubbish…they’ve got our parents to answer to!

VIDAL: Last year we were at a music festival near Great Yarmouth and after our set, some young girls came up to us asking what hotel we were staying at and if we could sign their breasts! To be honest I was really surprised as it was a Christian music festival! We told them a simple “NO thanks” and carried on signing CDs and posters.  That’s really all you can do; just say no thanks and move on.  Our manager stepped in when it got a bit over the top.

RW: Do you as individuals and as a group feel limited in your options or choices as a gospel band?

DEJI: Nope. Our faith is our way of life so it’s not just a sound we’ve crafted. We’re just singing about what we believe in. Besides if anything at all, having limited options makes you more creative; it challenges you to be innovative. I don’t think we could really be successful unless we were singing about subject matter that was consistent with our faith.

TJ: No I don’t feel we are limited in our options being a gospel band. I believe it’s our calling and according to our mandate, I believe the Lord will take our ministry to greater heights and wider spans as a band and however He plans to do so, we’ll follow.

RW: Could you each please give real examples of times where you were shown beyond doubt that the faith you represent is real and that this is your ‘calling’ – where God wants to use you to exert influence.

TJ: When we were in Germany, a young lady came up to us after the show to say how much she had been touched by the whole ministration in a real life altering way and how she decided to re-commit to Christ and start attending church.  It was really heart warming to know that God was able to speak to her as she hadn’t even planned to come to that church that evening.

VIDAL: Right from the start we identified that God was trying to use us to inspire a lot of young people to follow God and to use their talents for him.  The best feeling in the world is to know you’ve had a hand in helping someone else birth their destiny.  I’ve been really priveldged to be able to mentor and influence a lot of young drummers who have seen me in Four Kornerz and followed our journey.

DANIEL: I am pretty glad that we’re doing what we’re doing because at the end of the day what we sow into people with our music is a seed and God waters it.  Maybe immediately at the gig or later on, a lot of times people drop us emails or messages on our website or myspace.com with testimonies of how they were really inspired or touched by what they heard or saw at some of our gigs.  It’s those things that help us stay humbled and confirm to us that God is using us and with us.

DEJI: From the very start we identified that God wanted to use us to influence the generation so I guess along with the vision of introducing this great God to people, we are also conscious that people might be in the audience who are thinking of going into singing/drumming etc but maybe lack the confidence to do it or some people have the gift but don’t know it. I remember a youth church we ministered at and aferwards, we didn’t really think anything of it.  A year later, we were invited back and we saw a massive difference. They saw how we did it and it inspired many of them to want to develop their own talents.

RW: randomwonders.com is an avenue designed to encourage views and opinions to be shared freely and an area where some level of influence can be exerted on issues relating to the people concerned.  With the articles on the site, could you please comment on which one ’struck a cord’ and why?

DEJI: Well I was nominated to research this out.  I think initially it was the Easter bunny. Ha ha ha. It was an interesting piece.  What can I say, it was an eye opener. There are very insightful and thought provoking topics and I’m actually spoilt for choice on which I’d say was the most poignant. I liked ‘What do women really want?’ though I’m still no closer to answering that question.  The writer always seems to have a very feisty pen when it comes to voicing her opinions, but it’s fun to read.

Well that’s the end of the interview.  I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.  Thank you to the fellas and I truly feel everyone out there, if you don’t know who they are, get to knowing! They are excellent – hence why I featured them! Till next time folks – ta da!

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