I was 8 years old when I first realized I wanted to sing. I was selected out of hundreds of kids to perform in a Christmas concert at the JK Randle Memorial Hall in Lagos, Nigeria - a true honor! Of course at the time I was too young to really understand what an honor was exactly, but I was excited because I was going to be singing my all time favourite Christmas carol - Silent Night, and into a microphone!
I had never used a microphone before that concert. As I stood there in the beautifully dim-lit concert hall with the glare of spotlights obscuring the faces in the crowd, I heard my own voice amplified beyond my own recognition of it and I’ll never forget the feeling of utter freedom and bliss. The applause was great, it was the icing on the cake, but the cake, the whole cake, was standing up there singing into silence. I filled the silence and became the music, and that day as I walked down the stairs and headed back to my seat where a proud music teacher and my mum awaited, I thought to myself “Oh boy, I can’t wait to do that again!”
Many years in school and church choirs followed before I eventually started writing songs of my own and performing in London’s open mic circuit which would lead to other opportunities, but to this day, I still hold on to that feeling, that moment that I realized I wanted to be a singer.
Joseph Kosoniola Randle was a Nigerian businessman, socialite, and philanthropist from Lagos. Randle’s Memorial Hall became a venue for staging cultural shows & plays, hosting some of Nigeria’s most illustrious drama companies.
I find it apt that the Memorial Hall has left me with these precious memories, because in its history it was created for just that purpose, to enrich the lives of Nigerians and to be a place where people gained memories, experienced new things, achieved and attained joy.
In short, here was a venue in which numerous dreams were born, developed and fulfilled. Here was a stage where as an 8-year-old I joined the ranks of the dreamers and the performers.
So that’s me, that’s where my passion for singing was born. Hold on to your childhood dreams, they never have to ‘grow up’; they should never have to die.
Many years later I still recall that special night when self-doubt, apathy, or other obstacles rear their ugly heads. In moments of creative silence, it’s that rendition of Silent Night that lights up the darkness.