TOMS RIVER – Callers to Toms River Township’s local government offices may notice the voice on the other end of the line bears no hint of any distinctive Jersey Shore accent.
Truth be told, the person manning the phones from the local clerk’s office also doesn’t sound like he’s from “up north,” New York, or Philadelphia. Instead, the colorful lilt in Davies Adepoju’s friendly inflections suggests he started his life in a land far away.
Adepoju, 34, takes his job answering and routing phone calls to the proper municipal departments quite seriously. He cares about people and assists them in finding the help they need as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian native admits he would also love his voice to become recognizable in a far different way. A talented vocalist, Adepoju hopes his songs will captivate listeners with their relatable lyrics and catchy beats that tell a story of their own.
Even before he immigrated to the United States, Adepoju had musical aspirations. His “Rap Scandal” music video showcases captivating scenes through his homeland and interactions with everyday people.
This raw and powerful piece includes images of hungry and wide-eyed children following still shots of uniformed men armed with machine guns. The rap lyrics move rhythmically fast and seemingly address political concerns while invoking prayers for God’s protection.
“There’s a lot of corruption in Nigeria,” shared Adepoju. “It’s also not safe there.”
Adepoju said he wanted to do music right after graduating from high school. However, his mother told him that she wouldn’t support his ambitions unless he went to college first.
Even after he completed a degree in Political Science and International Relations at Crawford University in Nigeria, Adepoju said his mom still wasn’t in favor of him pursuing a career in music. Instead, she wanted more for her oldest son.
As far back as 2015, Adepoju had already decided that America was his dream country. A devout Christian, he credits God for making his journey to the United States a reality.
Adepoju said he happened to be on Instagram after three days of praying and fasting. As he was scrolling, he came across a post from a lady he knew casually from his college days.
“I saw a picture, and I liked it,” said Adepoju. “She immediately sent me a message, and we started to talk online.”
The woman, Motunrayo, was born in the United States and was of Nigerian descent. However, her family moved across the globe because of her father’s embassy job. Montunrayo attended the university in Nigeria when her dad was assigned to the African nation.
When Adepoju reconnected with his old acquaintance, Motunrayo was in the United States working on her master’s degree.
“We started chatting and then started dating,” Adepoju shared. “She decided she wanted to come back to Nigeria.”
The romance between the two evolved, and in 2018, the couple married in a civil ceremony. Ultimately, they moved to the United States – after a church wedding and a honeymoon in Dubai. Adepoju reiterated that their chance meeting was both God-sent and incredible.
Although Motunrayo had a management job in a family business, Adepoju had no intentions of letting his wife support him. He found a job in a fast-food restaurant and then worked as kitchen help in a larger establishment.
Adepoju made sure to get his green card to allow himself to work legally in the United States. He’s now hopeful he will soon qualify for citizenship in the country he continues to think of as “great.”
Not accustomed to sitting idle, Adepoju enjoys running and constantly looks for some way to do good things for others.
“One day, my wife saw on Facebook that someone was giving out food,” said Adepoju. “As a church person, it came to my mind that it was a church giving out food boxes to people during COVID.”
As it turns out, the food distribution was going on right near Adepoju’s home. The first person he encountered was Terrance Turnbach, who was then a Toms River councilman.
According to Adepoju, he offered Turnbach his help and feels certain the then councilman didn’t expect him to come back to assist with the food distribution. After Adepoju returned for the next three subsequent weeks, Turnbach mentioned a job opening in the township government’s office.
“He actually invited me to his law office and made sure I had my permanent resident card,” Adepoju shared. “It’s funny because I was working with him and the mayor (Maurice “Mo” Hill) handing out food and didn’t realize who they were.”
While he loves his job working for the clerk’s office, Adepoju remains passionate about his music. He wrote a song called “Frontline Heroes” dedicated to the many people who worked during the pandemic.
When Adepoju began worshiping at New Life Church in Toms River, he joined the band. He plays the conga drums at weekly services.
However, it’s Adepoju’s “Weather for Two” that appears to be a hit waiting to be discovered. The music sounds like a bit of a Reggie-island mix, although it’s actually considered Afro-pop according to the artist.
“‘Weather for Two’ is a phrase used in Nigeria when it’s raining and cold,” described Adepoju. “It’s when couples cuddle together to get warmed up.”
The entertaining part of Adepoju’s explanation is that temperatures rarely hit below 65 degrees in Nigeria. Perhaps it makes better sense that the video for “Weather for Two” is shot on a snowy day in Ocean County, New Jersey.
A love song with a danceable beat, Adepoju’s verses place him where he considers his home as far as the largest metropolitan city.
“Tell her that we’re home together now,” the songwriter sings. “I’ll be back to my New York. Tell her that we’re home together now.”
The old cliché that home is where the heart is rings true for Adepoju and his bride. The couple expects their first child in July and is enjoying their version of “Weather for Two.”
His songs can be found under the moniker K-Stritz. If search “k-stritz weather for two” or “k-stritz frontline hero” in a search engine, you can find his videos on YouTube.