[VIDEO] Why I Switched From Gospel Rap To Trap Music – Rema

Rejoice Dumebi Ewodage  
Updated April 24, 2022


Over the years, the church has birthed many music stars; whether or not they remain in the gospel genre or they eventually seek other paths.

The story is the same for rave of the moment, Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema.

While he began his music career in church and as the leader of a group, the Rap Nation, the demands of life and family pushed him to explore other paths as a young teenage boy in Benin City, Edo State.

“A lot of people felt like it was when I got signed that I started deviating or whatever, no. Actually, life was tough in Benin and I’m not that guy to ask the people in church to pay me because I was doing God’s work,” he told Ebuka on Rubbing Minds on Channels Television.

“Right there in Benin, I started going to competitions, bars, lounges, political rallies, just trying to get on the stage or hold a microphone to at least get sprayed some money to come back home and just feed my family. We were going through tough times, I lost my dad, lost my brother, so I needed to come through for my family. That was when I started spacing out little by little until I just exiled”.

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Rave and Roses singer, Rema performs on stage (File Photo).

Next Rated

His career reached a tipping point when he decided to post his freestyle version of a song by D’Prince and Davido in 2019.

According to Rema, it was a boring Thursday afternoon and although he had made several remixes prior to that day, luck would eventually shine on him after he tagged D’Prince on his latest freestyle.

“At that time I was just scrolling and I saw that D’Prince dropped a song with Davido and I hopped in. I called my producer at the time, to remake the beat and I did a freestyle in my friend’s car and that was it. I tagged him and he commented, reposted and he sent a DM and that was it,” he said.

After Rema got signed with D’Prince’s record label, Jonzing World; a subsidiary of Mavin Records, he went on to release his debut EP Rema in 2019, which peaked at number 1 on Apple Music Nigeria.

Since then, the 21-year-old has released other EPs and hit songs such as Dumebi, Bad Commando and Ginger Me with his unique sound which he categorizes under Afro-rave and Trap – subgenres of hip-hop.

He would then go on to win the Next Rated award at the 2019 Headies.

Although Rema has had his fair share of criticism, he believes many have now warmed up to his sound.

His mother, who at the start of his career, did not understand his switch from gospel to circular music, is now also one of his biggest supporters.

“I didn’t really do much explaining, I just told her to trust me,” Rema said, explaining that many of the things he sings about are things that those who consider themselves ‘holy’, still do behind closed doors.

When asked if his mother accepts this ‘new’ Rema, he said: “Yes. Even when she saw  my tattoos, she was like, it’s your decision, it’s your life as long as you don’t over do it or go astray.”

Love Life

For the first time since his three-year-career, the soft-spoken artiste, dropped a full body of work: Rave And Roses.

The 16-track album details love, addiction, and fate.

“I swear this album has different moods, different stories,” Rema told Apple Music. For him, “it’s that bridge to bring the fans closer to Rema”.

While he has yet to have many collaborations with Nigerian artistes, the young star says he has his eyes set on fellow stars, Joeboy, Omah Lay and Benson (formerly Buju) among others.

As with every other celebrity, Rema’s love life is one that many remain curious about. But he says he is neither dating nor looking for love right now and when he does find a worthy partner, he intends to keep her away from the watchful eyes of social media.

Responding to comments about a photo of his fellow label mate, Ayra Starr which he recently posted, he said there are no strings attached and he was only celebrating her for how amazing she is.