Four Kornerz: After a lengthy spell off the road the funky foursome are back

Friday 4th May 2012

Tony Cummings updates their legion of fans on the return of Afro-funksters FOUR KORNERZ

Four Kornerz
Four Kornerz

The four Nigerian-born blood brothers - Deji, TJ, Vidal and Daniel Jubal - who constitute Four Kornerz have experienced the highs and the lows of the UK Christian music scene. The highs include all manner of awards, prestigious gigs and TV appearances, overseas appearances, tours with acts like Dizzy Rascal and Corinne Baily Rae and becoming festival favourites on most of Britain's biggest Christian events. The lows include patchy record company support so that a couple of independent singles and one album (2007's 'Soulectric') is all they've managed in 13 years of taking their sassy street funk gospel to the nations. But now, after a sabbatical, the funky foursome have returned to the airwaves with Cross Rhythms recently giving much exposure to their "Superstar" (remix) single. They spoke to broadcaster Chris Mountford and Deji brought him up-to-date on what they've been up to.

"'Superstar' was our first release since we took a break. We didn't actually plan the break to be that long. TJ got married and Vidal also got married and new babies arrived on the scene. The song was the first song that we released to get back on the scene and it's a song that pretty much just says, 'Hey, celebrate the wonderful person that you are.' We take time to celebrate all these celebrities, all these superstars, when actually the real superstars are ordinary people that you walk past every day and see when you look in the mirror every morning. That's the real superstar in my opinion, because God's made us all wonderful. So that's what that song is all about. It was great because we got a great reception off that and I'm very happy about the version that you just played because that was like an exclusive version: our old producers who worked with us previously, years ago, some guys called Each To Their Own, heard the song, fell in love with it and decided to do a free remix for us. Scsi did the original mix but it's been Each To Their Own's mix which has been getting the airplay. We even got to perform it on Big Brother's Little Brother on Channel 5."

So how did an urban gospel group end up on that somewhat questionable TV entertainment programme? Explained Deji, "That was just bizarre, to be honest with you. I'm not quite sure. I think someone in the production team knew Daniel, my youngest brother, and he'd heard the song and I think one day they were talking about what they wanted to do for the show for that day, and he'd said, 'Hey, I've heard there's a really good song by this band. I think we should get them to close out the show'. One thing led to another and we were going on alongside Jodie Marsh and every other bizarre human being that you can imagine on television. It was very appropriate for the song 'Superstar'."

Did Deji think that the break has helped Four Kornerz to develop their music? "Oh, absolutely. I think, especially as musicians, it's important. People forget something that even though we are Christians, we are supposed to also tap into the wealth of real-life experience that we have. When the Bible talks about people and the word of their testimony, the word of their testimony is your real-life story and I think as a songwriter and for me personally it's very important to be able to draw on real-life experience and take some time out from the hamster wheel of the music industry and just live for a bit: let me travel, let me see what happens if I do other things apart from music and just learn from that; and it's helped a lot with my songwriting."

So what are the group's plans for future recordings? "What we decided is that we wouldn't put the pressure on ourselves to say, 'We're doing and album, let's put an album out there'. Rather we just said, 'Let just start working on great songs and keep releasing new material every so often'. So this year the plan is to release at least three to four good singles and possibly put them all together either as an EP or an album. I'm not quite sure. The next song to come out is called 'Dynamite', which is pretty much just a straightforward dance song. We've got a remix which collaborates with a Mercury-nominated hip-hop artist which isn't released but I promise when it's ready to go we'll give you guys a shout." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.


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