by Akan Ido
IKAY is a songwriter and worship leader. He has birthed other praise and worship songs, with musical/ministry influences from Pastor Yemi Davids (Senior Pastor, Global Impact Church), Israel Houghton, Pastor Wale Adenuga, Hillsong United, Olumide Ogunade (ID Cabasa), and a host of others.
IKAY is carving his own niche in the gospel music industry and he’s one to watch out for.
As he gets set to introduce new music to his audience, Edo-born IKAY – also known as Ikpemhosi Amakhabi – speaks about his background, his education, and his foray into music.
Who is Ikay?
Ikay is first of all a Christian. A worship leader, psalmist, Gospel artiste and God-lover. My name is Ikpemhosi Amakhabi. I am from Fugar, Etsakor Central LG of Edo State. A graduate of History from the University of Benin, Benin City. I’m from a sweet family, wonderful parents and I am the first of five amazing siblings.
What was life like growing up?
You know that joke comedians usually say that “they were so poor that poor people called them poor”? I never laughed because it was sort of true for me. Life was hard. IT WAS HARD! I still don’t know how I went through university, but GOD IS EVER MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL.
Ours is a Christian home. My parents were strict disciplinarians and we were brought up in dignity, honesty and pride. This however, didn’t stop me from getting addicted to television. I was a cartoon freak. Still am.
I love music. Well, who doesn’t? Maybe some weird people out there. But I love music. Not to sound vain, i grew up loving the sound of my voice too. Before i even became Born Again, I joined the church choir just to find expression. There God found me.
I have being in many choirs and music groups and even participated in a musical competition called Circle of Stars where I emerged as runner-up.
I currently work with a bank. Yup! You could say I am one of the many that are “round pegs in square holes”. My passion had to find expression. And here I am.
Why Gospel music?
I really can’t imagine myself doing any other thing. I love God. I believe my gifts are for His worship and glory. One time I tried to write a love song for my wife before we got married. Didn’t work. I kept putting in phrases like “I worship you” in the lyrics”.
Why Soft Rock as a choice of Genre?
I love rock music. You know, you can express better any subject you love. If you hate maths, there is no way you can teach maths well. If you don’t fancy football, what in the world are you doing as a soccer commentator? Listening to great songs by Hillsong United, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Israel Houghton and the likes with lyrics that would touch heaven and bless man, I was like “I want to do that”. I want to write songs that are ever green. Songs that would go beyond pleasing your flesh, in the form of dance, but also enrich your spirit. Soft rock does that to me and I hope it would for a great number of people that would listen to my songs.
Who/What Inspires You?
Primarily, the Holy Spirit. All inspiration that would last come from God’s word. Also, God brings people and factors that would be vehicles of inspiration and ideas along your path through life. One of those vehicles are my Spiritual parents, Pastor Akinyemi and Pastor Bimbo Davids, Senior Pastors Global Impact Church, Surulere, Lagos. Their ministry has been invaluable in the moulding of IKAY. My music story cannot be complete without mentioning the input of my leader Ogunade Olumide (ID Cabasa) whose advice and drilling birth the recording artiste I have become. And of course , Oluwatosin Amakhabi (yup! That’s my sweetheart).
Any musical influences?
Mentioned couple of them earlier. Hillsong united, Israel Houghton, Don Moen Chris Tomlin, Pastor Wale Adenuga of Fountain of Praise, Eben, FLO Nathan and many more.
By God’s grace, my debut album would be ready before 2013 ends. Work is ongoing at the moment and two of my singles are currently running and enjoying radio/online airplay. A video is in the works for Akamaranma (Beautiful hands), my debut single.
Any words for aspiring Gospel artistes?
Go get it. Do it now not soon but NOW. Let your focus be on Christ and His message of love for His people whatever the chosen genre. Be hungry for God’s word and wisdom. Its the Humble that get exalted.
– Listen to ‘No be lie’ here:
– Listen to ‘Akamaranma’ here: