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Husband and wife team step into spotlight

WINNING TEAM: Femi and Roucheon Iloyi

FEMI AND Roucheon Iloyi, otherwise known as gospel outfit Royal Priesthood, are a good example of what a Christian couple can achieve when they focus on fulfilling God’s purpose for their family.

Married for 11 years, and parents to three sons, Kieyen Shiloh, 7, Khaliyl Elisha, 2, Kaeydan Rueben, 7 months, the couple’s profile went through the roof when a video of their middle son, rapping with his father went viral.

To date, the video has received over 2 million views, was broadcast on leading US programme The Ellen Degeneres Show, featured on numerous websites and inspired US r ‘n’ b star Eric Roberson to visit the Iloyis so he could meet their son.

Such has been the popularity of the video, that a ring tone Femi produced of his son’s rap has sold over 40,000 downloads. When asked why he thinks the ring tone has proved popular Femi replied, “I think people want to support us and saw that there were no middle men. People saw that we were independent.”

Roucheon is currently enjoying her own moment in the spotlight. Her debut solo album Love Royelle, released in April, has sold over 2000 copies on download and on USB, and she recently won the Mother of the Year award at the first ever Woman 4 Africa awards held at London’s Kensington Town Hall.

She puts her family’s current spate of success down to hard work and persistence. “We’ve been pushing constantly for a long time. We’ve had a consistent attitude to our work, and people get a feeling for it as well.”

Femi and Roucheon have performed together in their urban gospel act Royal Priesthood for many years and as a result have garnered a growing following across the country for their live performances and inspirational music. The couple also run their business Fero Media together. It is a hub that provides video production, music production, sells clothing and makes documentaries. And Roucheon has her own jewellery line.

Roucheon is not the only award winner in the family. In 2010 Femi won MTV Show Us What You’re Made Of competition for his film Broken Silence, and has worked with leading gospel and secular UK artists including Phoebe 1, Big Brovas Greenjade and even produced The Voice UK semi-finalist Jaz Ellington’s very first video.

Both Femi and Roucheon have utilised the power of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote their brand and in the process have seen it play a major role in raising their profile, making people aware of their music and business, and promoting their family values which are under girded by their faith.

They advise gospel artistes seeking to make people aware of their music, to utilise the power of social media. Roucheon said “You can reach 1000 people from your front room, and if you have a great idea, backed with consistency and hard work you can achieve. Social media has given the power back to us so we can reach people direct.”

Although the Iloyis are focused on building a successful business and raising their children, they do believe in giving back. Femi sometimes gives talks to talk to young people, or supports initiatives to feed the homeless. “People don’t get that it’s more blessed to give than receive” he said.

And due to that attitude, and their hard work, the Iloyis are enjoying a special season of success. Long may it continue.

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