Today, on Christian musicians’ corner, I will be featuring an interview with A4C. In this interview, he shares how his motive for doing music has shifted from chasing stardom to pursuing purpose. A4C is a Christian Hip pop artist, street evangelist and children coach. He is the founder and leader of the Rep Jesus crew, a creative- based discipleship movement in Jos city. I met A4C in 2016 at an event for children where he performed and I have since followed his music. So, let’s dive into the interview.
Spirit: Let’s start with the stage name. Now I know A4c means “All For Christ”, how did you come about the name?
A4C: Before I adopted A4C my stage name used to be ‘Psychofan’ which came from my high school days. Psychofan was gotten from Psycho’s fan. Back then, I had this strong argument about maltreating mentally ill patients, so I stood for them in a way. An old adage says, “Your name precedes your character”. That was exactly what began to happen to me. Eventually, I started behaving like a mentally ill person, though not pronounced.
In 2008, my sister got married and her husband, Evan Joseph Musa (of blessed memory) grew fond of me. So, we spent a lot of time together. This led to my conversion from secular to Gospel rap in 2010 and also my decision to drop dance and take up music fully. Now, back to the question, my sister’s husband was cool with almost everything I did and stood for, except my name ‘Psychofan’. We had severally disagreements about the name. On one faithful night, we debated on the name psychofan for over two hours and he made it clear that he didn’t like the name. That night, the Lord called me out in a dream “A4C”. I didn’t understand, and I didn’t know the meaning. Early the next morning I told Mr. Joseph that I had found a new name. When he asked what the name was, I told him A4C. Moments before then, I couldn’t recall the name but the moment I opened my mouth to answer Mr. Joseph, it came out of my mouth. Mr. Joseph asked me the meaning of A4C and in complete ignorance also, I told him “All for Christ”. The whole thing was just supernatural. Since then A4C has been undergoing transformation and living a life that totally belongs to Christ.
Spirit: Wow! That’s a great testimony. Please can you share with us a little about your childhood days before music?
A4C: I was born into a Christian home with very good moral values but I grew up in a morally decayed environment. A place where every child wanted to be like Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xhibit, Bone Thugs, Wutang clan, 2pac and the rest. So it didn’t take long before i join the train. During my junior secondary school days, I realised I could dance without stress. It was more of a gift. My friends had interest in dance too so we formed a crew at home. The crew had students from different schools so it gave us an edge cos we could fuse the famous step dance from Kuru with the breakdance from FGC Jos. Other dance genres like Salsa, Calipso, were part of our routines. Soon, we started living our dreams, partially. We were invited for social events from various schools. By the time we finished Secondry school, we were already getting opportunities in radio stations. We toured the clubs in Jos with Ray Power’s famous Djs, Mr brown, late G Connection. But as time went, and with the exposure, we began to realise how limited dance is and our childhood dreams fueled our passion to delve into music. So we recorded our first track as a crew (de Exclusives) in 2006. All we wanted was ‘blow’ and become famous so we jumped at every opportunity we got. In 2008, the group had a fall out after the maiden edition of Malta Guiness street dance competition which we dropped out at the semi-finals. After the split I had a slight change of friends which gave me time to think, change my priorities and refocus, then I took the decision to do Gospel in 2009.
Spirit: Wow! You really had an eventful childhood. Are there people you would say motivated you to start rapping?
A4C: Like I said we grew up seeing the likes of Snoop, Dre, Bone Thugs etc. When I got to Science school Kuru (Jss 1), I saw someone rapping in real life, for the first time in my life, outside TV or radio. It was a senior (Radio DNA) and he was very smallish. Back then, he was known as Kas K. Eventually, I realised there were more guys around me that could rap. The likes of Daniel Dean Abuku (who was two classes ahead of me), Ngwal Mariyom (who was my closest friend in Jss2) etc. All these gave me the confidence to try rap too. From Jss 3, I started writing and rapping but I couldn’t do it in school cos I wasn’t confident enough to rap alongside those guys. So, I only tried rap at home during holidays. After secondary school, a friend of mine introduced me to a foriegn Rap group called Cross Movement. I learned a lot from them and the likes of Da truth, Flame, Ambassodor, etc
Spirit: What were some encounters you had in your early days of your music career?
A4C: Really, it wasn’t easy then and it’s still not easy now. Some of the challenges I had were lack of finance, access to good producers, lack of platforms, especially when I switched to gospel. One of the biggest challenge I had was that my family didn’t really believe in what I was doing, so I got little or no encouragement.
Spirit: I can imagine. Now, despite all these encounters you continued. Why? What is your motivation?
A4C: What kept me going at first was the dream to become a super star someday. Then I got caught in God’s web of purpose and now, I can’t stop even if I wanted to. Finally, there is this peace and satisfaction I derive only from doing music.
Spirit: Interesting! Now, let’s talk about Rep Jesus Crew. What’s the inspiration behind it? Maybe a little story about why and how it all started?
A4C: In 2014, when I would say I received the Rep Jesus vision, all I wanted was put up a show to declare publicly that I have switched to Gospel. So, we tagged it Rep Jesus. In 2015 we had another concert at Plateau Poly and it was still tagged Rep Jesus. The idea began to grow from just a declaration to an awareness and getting more people to follow suit. 2 years down the lane, contrary to what some people expected, we were still doing gospel. So we staged another concert tagged ‘The Streetz Rep Jesus’. This was followed by the release of the album Rep Jesus in November, 2016. After the rep Jesus album, the burden became heavier but this time it was redirecting me to children. I had no idea on children ministry (actually I still don’t) but after I prayed and made consultations, I decided to give it a try. In 2017, I started training 6 children to be part of my stage performance. By December, 2017, we had our first performance together at the ‘Son of David’ video premier. And that’s how we adopted the name Rep Jesus Crew. We had so many engagements that year it was a new wave of entertainment. Some people accused me of initiating children into cultism cos of our art and costumes. Haha. Prayerfully and obediently, we persisted and today we’re celebrating 5 years of existence as RJC.
Spirit: Wow! I normally don’t do this, but can you share some of the things you’ve done in the past as a crew?
A4C: Yeah. In 2018, we recorded our first single (Our God is Great). We participated in the first Ecwa talent show and was made Ecwa TV ambassors. We performed at PRTV Christmas tree lightening, NTA Christmas funfair, Jos museums Christmas fun fair, Mista Ali Christmas funfair. We also hosted our first chapter of Carols According To Rap; an event that featured over 40 artists. In 2019, we staged Da revelation concert. By then, our number had grown from 6 to over 20, with more engagements and activities. We grew in number, skills and character throughout 2019 and we did monthly evangelism which we called ‘Street rehearsals’. We did that in upto 10 streets within Jos metropolis. We also hosted our second chapter of Carols According to Rap (which was an outdoor event). In 2020, the outbreak of Covid 19 made us pause our monthly evangelism (street rehearsal). We lost partners and gained new ones though not as we would have wanted. It was a trying moment for us but we held on. Thanks to people like Priscy and Pamzat that were already on board to help me out.They really made me feel I’m not alone. It was still in 2020 that we started the Rap Worship Experience (RWE) journey. We are still holding on and growing after close to two years now. By God’s grace we have grown to over 60 in number currently. We’ve planted close to 20 House of prayers (Hops) among children outside the RJC circle. These HOPs are in schools, workshops and within the communities. We have grown beyond just performers to disciples taking up the Great Comission among children and teenagers.
Spirit: Wow! Are there some of the challenges you face with regards to leading a Christian rap crew and being a Christian rapper yourself?
A4C: First of all, RJC is not just a rap group but a creative- based discipleship movement. Having said that, few of our challenges are:
- One of our biggest challenge is funding. The movement needs a lot of finance considering the fact that it is creative- based and targeting the non- income earners. The burden of financing projects mostly bounce back to me since we are not currently under any sponsor or financial partnership.
- Another huge challenge is the slow transformation. Sometimes I become frustrated when I see my boys behaving in certain ways. I’ll be like “una suppose don grow pass like this now haba!” But I remember how I was before God changed me and how many times I’ve fail Him even in my current stage.
- There is also a huge generational gap between the older generation and the emerging. A lot of the older folks find it difficult to connect with our art, so they kick against or talk down on what we’re doing.
- Another challenge is denominational differences. A friend of mine once told me “You don go put yourself for cult say you dey do Christianity.” He further stated that as long as we identify with a particular denomination there are certain platforms we will never get, and he asked “Is that one not cultism?” I became conscious of that fact and realised he is right in a way.
Spirit: I’m sure there are times you feel like quitting. What do you do at those low moments of your life to keep going?
A4C: Almost everyday, I feel like quitting. But any time I look back and see how far God has brought me, I just know I can’t quit even if I feel like.
Spirit: Are there benefits you’ve enjoyed as a musician because of your faith?
A4C: Time and space will not permit me to talk about the benefits. However, here are a few
- I’ve met some great men of God that played and are still playing major roles in my transformation journey. I used to be a drug addict, but through this God has dealt with that issue in my life and I am completely free and sober.
- Music led me to my Purpose. Today I am gladly living it.
- Music has opened business doors for me. As a Builder, Electrical installer and teacher I have a lot of people, who were thrilled when they discovered that I have other lucrative abilities asides music. These people have either connected me with Jobs or given me Jobs in my field.
- We launched a merchandise brand For RJC in 2021. Through music we were able to sell over a hundred T shirts, hoodies, neck chains and bangles. We still hope to sell more.
- Through music I’ve had access to people and places I would have never had in my life. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be interviewed by Jeplune music, Ecwa TV Africa, NTA, PRTV, Rhythm FM or Peace FM as a builder, electrical technologist or a teacher. But through music, I’ve enjoyed this privileges and even more.
- Music has given me opportunity to connect and disciple children and teenagers within and outside Jos
Spirit: That’s interesting. So, what should we expect from you with regards music in the future?
A4C: What to expect from me is cleaner and refined music that addresses common issues faced globally. And to add to that, also expect emerging Artists from RJC that will influence global entertainment positively.
Spirit: I like the sound of that. Any final words of advice for upcoming Christian Musicians?
A4C: My little piece for Christian creatives is, “know that you represent a high authority, therefore you must be represent Him well both on and off the stage. Stay connected to the Father for without Him we can do nothing.”
Spirit: Wow! It’s been a great time talking with you. Thank you so much for your time A4C.
A4C: Special appreciation to Spirit 3:6 and the entire Jeplune music team. God bless you for all you do for the kingdom.
This where we will wrap up this interview with A4C as he has shared his journey so far with purpose. You can follow A4C on Facebook.
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