GK Real: London-based group offer urban gospel with Nigerian fire

Friday 4th November 2005

Tony Cummings quizzed Karl "Nova" Njoku of R&B and hip-hop gospel team GK REAL

GK Real: London-based group offer urban gospel with Nigerian fire

More and more British-based gospel groups are making it onto CD though, it has to be said, many also seem to disappear after their debut album (where are you now True Solace, Chorale, Global Zamar?). One group who seem to have a better chance than most to stay around for the "difficult second album" are London-based six-piece GK Real. Their debut 'It's All About You', distributed by Spirit Music, has picked up plenty of plaudits from the critics and its appealing mix of R&B, hip-hop, traditional gospel all served with a hint of Nigerian passion stands up well against the big budget American gospel offerings. In fact, it was produced by an experienced mainstream producer Emmanuel Edwards who is one of the members of GK Real. Band member Karl "Nova" Njoku explained how the group came about.

"Emmanuel was contracted to Universal Records as a producer, producing for the likes of Another Level, Misteeq and Jamelia. He grew dissatisfied and had a vision to make an impact with gospel music. He formed independent label, Rockhill Entertainment (the same outfit who produced 'Seasons And Times' for Margaret Nana Tandoh). Emmanuel approached each of us, Gozi 'Gozonkeys' Okogwu, Remmie Odumesi, Ayodele Ajana, Lanre Fajumo and myself, and asked if we would like to be part of a gospel project. We were (and still are) part of the House On The Rock's City Mass Choir. Gozi and Emmanuel were part of the church band and the rest of us were worship leaders."

Nova continued his potted history of GK Real: "We all started writing together in December 2002. "It took about nine months to record 'It's All About You'. We recorded the studio part of the album in Rockhill Studios which was at Peckham at that time. The live part was recorded at House On The Rock in Wembley and finished off at Rockhill Studios. At the start we didn't have a name for the band. One day we were in the studio and Remmie was doodling on paper and playing with our initials and came up with GK Real and I just came out with 'God's Kingdom is Real" and it stuck."

The group are much, much more than a product of the studio. Said Nova, "GK Real have played a lot of gigs since we came out. From the Hard Rock Café in London to Jesus House For The Nations in Washington DC all the way back to small churches in London as well as mega-churches. We have even performed at Holloway Prison! We have gigged in Liverpool Cathedral (that was great!). And we're about to do the Festival Of Life at the Excel Exhibition Centre in November and in December we are going to our home nation Nigeria to gig at the biggest gathering of people! It's called the Holy Ghost night!"

Already GK Real are cementing plans for the future. "We will probably release a live DVD and record some music videos so that we can properly contend in the urban marketplace with the secular artists! We want to spread the Gospel through our inspirational and heartfelt music! Also each of us is very creative and have a lot of projects in the pipe-line. Also expect our second album next year by God's grace. We just want to keep creating lots of crossrhythms (pun intended!) and keep making waves for the Kingdom of God!"  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.

Reader Comments

Posted by Chima in Nigeria @ 00:35 on Sep 22 2014

I love the song,from my heart. It happens to my grandma favourite song. pls can I get the lyrics of the song. Thanks.

Posted by Emmanuel in Ibadan,Nigeria. @ 13:21 on Jul 13 2012

Hi Gk Real,i must confess i just heard about u through the song "FROM MY HEART" and i really love u guys.I'll love to be one of your member cuz i have the gift to sing and also the calling to win souls for Jesus through songs and i believe i can fulfil my purpose with u guys.It'll be my pleasure if u can reply me as soon as possible via my e-mail.pls do all u can to help me.thanks and God bless.

Posted by Deborah in London @ 20:12 on Jan 16 2011

Ayo wats ure FB name.

Reply by Ayo-Dele in London @ 00:26 on Jun 5 2013

Hi Deborah,

So sorry, I'm just seeing this :-( My name on FB is Ayo-Dele. Looking forward to hearing from you.

[report abuse]

Posted by Patrick Delaney in Ireland @ 16:56 on Jul 12 2010

I think PR Nova should be fired by a "Cannon" LOL, for mindlessness neglection for not mentioning "REVELATIONTV"-"Church Without Walls".The video that was made there was pure quality and the sound was excellent.As a fan of GK Real and Revelationtv,I think it's only fair and proper that you should include them.Shalom aleichem.

Reply by Karl Nova in London @ 13:38 on Aug 7 2010

This interview was before we recorded anything with Revelation tv. Also what we recorded with Revelation TV wasn't a proper music video, it was a special appearance of us at Revelation studios. It wasn't a standard music video like you see on MTV etc etc

As Ayo said I'm not the PR for GK Real and everything stated in this interview was my opinion and actually correct for the time it was stated.

[report abuse]

Reply by Ayo-Dele in London @ 11:47 on Jul 30 2010

Hi Patrick, REVELATION TV was not left out intentionally and Karl Nova is not in charge of PR he's a member of Gkreal, i believe he was just expressing the desire of the group on putting out good products, the video shot by RT was and still is great quality. It was a general comment that has been taken out of context. Massive thanks always to Revelation TV.

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Posted by joanna in watford @ 19:40 on Feb 1 2010

I realy like the song "from my heart". can i get lyrics from this song? please?

Reply by danny reid in london @ 19:27 on Jul 16 2011

please can i have the backing track for 'my everything ' as i wish my 14 year old daughter to perform it in church. please assist me with this and i am happy to pay for this if need be.

[report abuse]

Reply by Ayo-Dele in London @ 11:02 on Jul 30 2010

Hi Joanna,
We are currently working on getting the lyrics online however if you need them urgently I can email it to you. I'm on FB.

[report abuse]

Posted by Jeremy in Surrey @ 14:57 on Jan 30 2009

In my opinion, this is one of the best produced, versatile, enjoyable, uplifting, inspirational, amusing and well recorded CDs in it’s genre. The arrangements are immaculate and the prodigious talent and commitment of all participants shines through.

As owner of the building in Peckham in which Emmanuel recorded this great album, though I am in no way part of the target audience for this great CD (I am not a Christian, not young, not black, not even a believer) I am a musician and have always ‘got’ gospel in a big way and I am convinced that this album would be a huge crossover hit if only Emmanuel could get it more widely heard.

Posted by Joseph Bola Okedare in Nigeria @ 12:00 on Oct 15 2008

Hello, gk. real, how are you guys doing? how can i get your latest album.

Posted by Karl Nova in London @ 08:03 on Sep 19 2008

When we say contend in the marketplace. It simply means that our product i.e CDs or DVDs or whatever we release will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder in quality with anything that is out there.

R&B is a sound and style of music. The content of our music is gospel and shaped by our Kingdom worldview.

Finally we don't know what gospel hip hop is and never made any comment about that.

any other questions direct them here


remain blessed

Karl Nova

Posted by saheed in peckham @ 14:06 on Oct 15 2007

ha wat up gk.real! u said We will probably release a live DVD and record some music videos so that we can properly contend in the urban marketplace with the secular artists (are u saying your goin to conbine with secular artists? one more thing i thought R&B IS SECULAR MUSIC and is thier such thing as gospel HIP HOP please txt me bck

Posted by godgive in events @ 12:03 on Mar 29 2006

hello brothers and sisters so ineed just to get some imformartion for yours groups for concerrt and event in geneva SWITZERLAND,let GODbless you all

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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