Michael Oware Sakyi, aka OJ, is one of the msot prolific gospel artists in Ghana. After releasing his debut album, Adom Ne Odo which had songs such as Obi Nya Wâ€™aye and Koso Na Koso in 2003, OJ did not go the way of other new artistes by following up on his success with a new album. Instead, he got lost for five long years and has now resurfaced.
â€œI have been around but itâ€™s just that the places I have been to are not covered on radio or TV so people donâ€™t hear of me.â€ OJ, however, pointed out that the real reason why he had not been active on the music scene was because he was in school.
â€œI was at the University of Ghana and I wanted to finish and finish well with good grades, so I wanted no distractions,â€ he explained. OJ was also involved with the British Council on a project that involved extensive touring.
â€œThe tour began in September last year and ended in March 2008. Before I even got selected for the tour, I had to go through a lot of things which took up a lot of my time. I wanted to have enough time for my album so I put it on hold,â€ he added.
The second album that his fans have been waiting for has finally arrived titled Ete Sen.
Asked if the long lay-off has affected him in any way, OJ said: â€œNot at all, I have not been affected. In fact, public response to this album has been very good. Compared to the debut, I think this has been better in terms of sales. This makes me realise that people appreciated the good work I did on the first album which is why they have received this album so well.â€
Ete Sen is generally an improvement on the first album, Adom Ne Odo. Unlike Adom Ne Odo on which almost all the songs were in the slow vein, Ete Sen has more up-tempo songs though not danceable.
OJâ€™s songs induce inner reflections in people because of the lyrics which are thought provoking and he says his inspiration is from the Bible, books he reads and from life.
Like Obi Nya Wâ€™aye on the first album, the title track, Ete Sen, is from personal experience. â€œAfter my first album was released, I became so busy giving performances, travelling and doing other things that I drifted from God.
Before the album, I at least had time to do my quiet time and pray but this reduced after the album came out. One day, I made time to pray and I heard a voice asking me to assess my life before and after my success. I got the lyrics from there,â€ OJ said.
The song asks how things are from our beginnings to our present and OJ paints a lot of scenarios and situations that will inspire us to really think about our lives and what we have done so far.
Emmere Bi Beba is a song that gives hope to anyone who wants to give up because of difficulties. In the slow vein, OJ encourages and says that it is not about how one starts but how one finishes.
He says that a time is coming when everything will be alright and all hardships will be things of the past.
He tells us to trust in God because nothing is impossible for Him, His promises are sacred and He will make everything beautiful in time.
Fa Asem Kye features Moses OK and offers advice on forgiveness. It says it is the people we love who hurt us, so we should be able to forgive.
OJ says that a lot of peopleâ€™s prayers have not been answered because of their inability to forgive and forget. â€œWe should forgive people when they hurt us and that it may be us who would be asking for forgiveness one day.
Other notable songs include Abamu Awie, Obema Wâ€™aye Obi, Medo, Wâ€™adom and Ebenezer.
OJ says that for as long as God will use him, he will continue to preach his word through music, encourage people and teach them about God.