Oladunni (L) and Olayeni (R) Oladipo perform at the Whittier Street Health Center’s International Gospel Concert hosted by Dr. Bobby Jones. (Chris Aduama photo)
Sisters Oladunni, 12, and Olayeni Oladipo, 10, are rising stars. Both sing for the Boston’s Children’s Chorus, and last year they released their debut album, “The Mighty One,” recorded at 12th Note Productions in Roxbury.
The album is a soul-stirring gospel record with original songs written by their older sisters, Olaitan and Olamide, who along with their youngest sister Olajuwon, also sang the background vocals.
The Oladipo family is a tight knit bunch based in Canton, Mass. They hail from Nigeria by way of England. Their mother Yemisi (Yemi) manages the girls while also making sure that Oladunni and Olayeni practice their music and complete their chores.
The family took notice of Oladunni’s impressive vocal chops at age 3 when she sang Mariah Carey’s “Can’t Take That Away.” Two years later she landed her first public solo performance singing “Great Big Stars.” By the time she was 8 years old in 2007, Oladunni was performing with the Boston Pops on Gospel Night.
Since then, she’s performed with the Boston Pops several times, sang the national anthem at Fenway Park and put on a show at the State House. When she’s not performing, Oladunni — who is extremely shy off stage — likes to be in the kitchen making cookies and other baked treats.
Olayeni also began singing very young. At age 5, she joined Janice Allen’s Inspirational Freedom Choir. Two years later she joined the Boston Children’s Chorus and was quickly elevated to the upper level choir. She sang a number of duets with her sister, including appearances on Touch 106.1 FM Radio and on Dr. Bobby Jones’ Gospel show.
She is a gifted songwriter who has co-written a number of songs, including “Obey Your God” featured on “The Mighty One.” Dedicated to music, she rises early to play the piano every morning before school. Outside of music, Olayeni loves clothes and even taught herself how to sew. She also plays basketball and lacrosse and is working on a kid’s magazine.
“I like sewing,” Olayeni said. “But I don’t always have the chance to. I have my own sewing machine and I tried making some shirts and pillows and a dress.”
The list of performances for the Oladipo sisters goes on and on, but somehow their mother has managed to make sure the kids lead a normal life.
“There aren’t too many challenges — striking a balance is what I try to do,” she said. “I support them and hang back. Education is also important.”
Both Oladunni and Olayeni love school and claim their friends don’t treat them any differently than they treat other kids.
“We don’t really talk about it,” said Oladunni. “If they have found out, they haven’t treated us differently.”
Part of that is how they conduct themselves. “We don’t make a big deal out of (performing),” Olayeni explained.
But in their short lives the Oladipo sisters have accomplished quite a bit. They’ve been interviewed by the host of WCVB’s “Cityline” Karen Homes Ward, been guests on NPR’s “Here and Now” and Channel 7’s “Urban Update.” Selected performances and the recording of their album are posted all over YouTube, and they’re working on a new single.
Their mom puts it all into perspective. “You never know what God has planned for you,” she said. “We enjoy what we’re doing and the response is surprising. We try to never say no. We’re humble, it’s our nature.”
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