Nigeria’s Gospel singer songwriter, Tonia Shodunke has done her country proud in far away Hollywood, Los Angeles in USA by winning the best Gospel song at the July 2016 Akademia awards.
Ijoya by Tonia Shodunke got selected out of 100’s of submissions and won the best gospel / Christian song. The Judges (amongst was Ken Wilson veteran record executive formerly of Arista Records, Columbia and MCA to J Records and Warner Brothers, and who has shaped the careers of legendary artists such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Seal, Sade, George Michael and many more), had this to say about Ijoya & Tonia, ‘Tonia Shodunke’s rootsy elocution is marvelously adroit to this spiritually inflected dance jam – ‘Ijoya’ is itself a perfect example of songcraft’
”IJOYA” (meaning, ‘It is time to dance’) was composed by Tonia Shodunke and produced by music maestro Phat E. The up tempo song illustrates the uncountable reasons to be grateful to God because DANCE can not be taken away from praise.
Tonia Shodunke is a unique recording contemporary gospel artiste, song writer, praise worship leader, author and a pharmacist. Born as the seventh of eight siblings to the family of Late Mr T. I. Okoh, Tonia was given birth to in Maiduguri, Borno State in Nigeria and hails from Ika South LGA of Delta State. Her passion for music began at an early age and brought her to being an integral part of various choirs including the Victory Voice, Sound of Praise, The NFCPS choir, RCCG Mass Choir, and Winners’ Voice in Kano and Abeokuta, Ogun State in Nigeria.
Musically she has been influenced by Darlene Zchech, Cece Winans and Yolanda Adams and has been privileged to minister alongside the likes of late Isaac Rowland, Tope Alabi, Bola Are, Samsong, Eben, Solomon Lange and many more. She is married to Pastor Shofela Shodunke and is a proud mother of two wonderful children.