As January 2024 comes to a close, we approach February, a month known for the celebration of love. There has been a debate about the best time to celebrate love. Is it February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, or December 25, Christmas Day? While I have some bias toward Christmas, I have always thought that love was so fundamental that it should be celebrated, every day. In Born to Love, a music piece released by Walter Spearheart last year, he took the argument several notches higher as he sang that we were born to love.
The Nigerian music scene has been one of the fastest, growing sectors of the country, getting the attention of everyone, young or old in or outside the country. With thousands of songs released every year, few songs have the lyrical prowess and philosophical depth that can make them relevant in a timeless fashion. This is one of many ways Spearheart’s Born to Love differs from most other songs. Born to Love offers clean, hopeful, yet philosophical messages that resonate deeply, reminding us of the gospel music band – Infinity.
I am not too sure what happened to the Infinity group but what I am sure of is that millions of people remember their Olori Oko Album from 2013, very fondly. That Album inspired many youth choreographies, the music was elegant, hopeful, and inspiring. Spearheart’s Born to Love feels like the new Olori Oko, especially with the track Aye Ole which falls under the same theme of “Ending human suffering” as Born to Love.
Despite being released one decade apart, you could almost hear the two songs as if it were a musical conversation between two theologians. It feels like Peter and Paul writing letters to the Church community in Galatia, telling the people to have faith, live in love, and do the will of God. Indeed, it is a timeless conversation about how human action can bring an end to human suffering. It is about establishing the Kingdom of God as the end of human suffering. Only a few contemporary songs fit into this age-long theological discussion, like Aye Ole and Born to Love. As such, the two songs are in a class of their own.
While Infinity postulated in Aye Ole that “…Aye yi ko ma le (This life is not hard), Spearheart responds ten years later in Born to Love, singing in apparent agreement that first of all, “we were not created to suffer”. Infinity posits that lack of faith in God is what turns our good luck to misfortune “Aini Igbagbo, lo mu are eni bo wa di ibi”, Spearheart replies, saying “Suffer, suffer every day, that’s the will of man”
Infinity was very clear that however long it takes, all human suffering shall end “bowu ko pe tit iya aye wa o n bo wa dopin”, and Spearheart adds that we can immediately bring all suffering to an end by exhibiting our innate disposition to love. “To live is to love, to love is to give…” and by doing the Will of God, “Ti a ba se ife Olodumare, aye ma dabi orun (If we do the will of God, the earth will be like heaven).
This noble idea has birthed Spearheart’s Sweet Life Culture. A culture of consciously living by the Will of God on earth as it is in heaven. A culture of loving your neighbour as yourself. A culture in which everyone affirms the living conviction that “we were not created to suffer” and therefore, we cannot suffer, but also backs it up with acting right, living by the Will of God, thus creating for themselves a pleasant or sweet life on earth, as it is in heaven.
Many people have complained about the lack of depth in the music that we consume nowadays but the reality is that there are beautiful songs with deep lyrics being released all the time. We just need to be a little more deliberate in seeking them out. We need to be paying closer attention to the message in the music and its effects on the listeners. Born to Love is a delightful sound with the right rhythm, a catchy chorus, and interesting inter-weaving between Yoruba and English. With Born to Love, Spearheart conveyed a deep message of hope. That to live is to love, and to love is to give and that in so doing, we can end human suffering and live a pleasant life on earth, as it is in heaven.