Kevin Olusola, beatboxer of the 3x GRAMMY award-winning, multi-platinum selling a cappella quintet Pentatonix, has teamed up with author, life coach and entrepreneur Donovan Dee Donnell, for the debut of their inspirational podcast, “Imagine Faith Talk”, which recently launched on That Sounds Fun Network. With new episodes releasing weekly, “Imagine Faith Talk” is accessible on Apple Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts, Stitcher, Castbox (soundcloud), radio public, and pocket casts. “Imagine Faith Talk” features two men on different paths who came together with the same realization: that you don’t have to sell your soul to obtain your dreams and that the key to unlocking everything you’ve been dreaming to be was found through faith in God. The faith-based podcast features conversations for holistic success with each episode giving a deep dive into the Bible, as the two men discover how to maximize uniqueness, weaponize the imagination and leverage faith in God for success. In this TCB Exclusive, Kevin talks about how the podcast opportunity came about and why the project is so important to him personally. Additionally, Donovan weighs in on the unique opportunity and how he approaches things creatively.
Congratulations on the recent release of the ‘Imagine Faith Talk’ podcast! Can you share a bit about how this opportunity came about?
Kevin: Thank you so much! The idea for the podcast was born out of an in-person Friday night Bible study I started in Los Angeles in 2018. It was for Christians and non-Christians looking for fellowship and to learn the biblical keys for obtaining the success that God has called us for. I met Donovan through that Bible study, and over dinner at a vegan restaurant, he and I became fast friends! Once the pandemic hit in 2020, we decided to take our Bible study to Zoom. During that time is when Kor Element, our show’s producer and my friend who I met in Beijing over 10 years ago, reached out to me because he was seeking Jesus. He started attending the Zoom Bible study and told Donovan and me that this should be a podcast and that we should pray on it for a week. So we prayed, and we heard a resounding “YES” from the Lord. We developed the podcast throughout 2021, found partners to support us, and now here we are in 2022 launching the show! It’s truly incredible how the Lord works and puts the pieces together for His glory to be known!
Why is this podcast so important to you personally?
Kevin: It’s important for three reasons. One, as I came up through the music industry with my vocal group Pentatonix, I didn’t have any Christians around to teach me how to stay true to my faith while finding success in the world. I wish I had a podcast like this that could speak to the unique challenges this balancing act presents. There are so many Christians that feel called to be a “Daniel” in their industries, their entrepreneurship, their communities, etc. and I hope our podcast gives them hope that it is possible. Two, God has made every person unique, and on this podcast we want the listeners to live out of their uniqueness rather than conform to society. If you maximize your God-given uniqueness, then you can create value in the world like no one else can and God will “make room” for you to serve Him. My style of playing cello and beatboxing at the same time brought me to Pentatonix, and because of the value I brought to the band, they’ve always respected my boundaries as a Christian. Lastly, I think the Bible is our greatest life coaching tool because God created us and knows how humans work! We want to live life to its fullest with radiant joy and to achieve that, we must not only emphasize putting our “faith” in God, but also optimizing our “work”. The Bible has so many keys to time management, avoiding distraction, being present, etc. and they’re applicable whether you’re a parent, entrepreneur, student, or young professional. To see it from God’s perspective helps us put everything into alignment so we walk confidently in our calling through Him.
Is there a theme or recurring passage that you think the world most needs to hear now that perhaps has evolved from the original vision?
Kevin: Joshua 1:8-9 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Whoooo…let me tell you, these verses have rooted our podcast mission! One, there are so many places where we can put our faith; there’s a cornucopia of gurus and thought leaders out there and it can be overwhelming to figure out how to move through life. Our belief is that the only way for us to be successful in this life is to first love the Lord our God and meditate on Him. From that vantage point, we can then move forward in purpose. Also, courage is the ability to move in the face of fear, doubt, shame, etc. We all feel those emotions, and if they’re not handled appropriately they can keep us from walking in purpose. But if we have God, then under certain circumstances those emotions can actually indicate to us we’re on the right path and that it’s time to execute. So let’s all be strong and courageous like the word says!
How do you feel your past has uniquely positioned you for this opportunity, individually and as a duo?
Kevin: Donovan and I came together from two completely different backgrounds: me, a pre-med student at Yale going into music, and Donovan, an ex-male-exotic dancer who became a life coach. We both had to trust God at very vulnerable junctions in our lives, and we saw God blow our minds in ways we couldn’t have even dreamed. We learned that we didn’t have to sell our souls to obtain God’s dream for us and that we didn’t have to be scared of our call in the world. We as Christians are here to show the world Kingdom culture. So we hope our conversations and our vulnerability on Imagine Faith Talk help to equip the body of Christ to live fully and freely in Him. When we garner success, we all will use our collective influence and our lives for our most important purpose: point people to the one who matters…Jesus Christ the Lord.
Donovan: I truly believe that from childhood – up to this point – God has walked with me through a uniquely rigorous training process to get me to acutely appreciate the “me” He put inside of me. This has taught me the importance of *Remaining true to my core values in the face of temptation and challenges, to ensure to always cultivate sensitivity to His Divine Guidance and to always identify with and lean into the advantage of being His Son. As Kevin and I step into this podcast world as God’s Vessels – I believe my specific life experiences (training) will be incredibly instrumental in my ability and willingness to *Model what I preach, properly manage and steward the community we will create, keep the experience fun and never forget that HE IS THE SOURCE of our success and fulfillment.
This podcast is a bit of a different forum than your other creative pursuits. When preparing for unique creative opportunities, in what ways do you approach them similarly and differently?
Donovan: Similarly, I approach them with a simple prayer, “help me not to argue with you or compromise your guidance.” This message is speaking directly to the Divine Spirit of God that dwells within. No matter the creative outlet, I know there is a gift at work guiding me, talking me through it all one step at a time and from experience – the easiest way to ruin a good thing is to ignore the guidance of the gift or the gift-er. So that prayer or pursuit of humility/submission is present in the preparation of all my creative endeavors.
So now, the differences …When it comes to prepping to Life Coach a client, engaging in a photoshoot, writing a chapter of a book, creating a curriculum for a workshop or backstage before going LIVE on a podcast: each of these pulls at a different “staff member” in my head (those who make up my personality) and because they all satisfied my soul in a different way, I approach each of them from a different emotional place with expectations specific to that emotion. The life coaching satisfies the child and child-like wonder in me, while photography speaks to the non-conformist “artist alone in the corner” side of me. This means that in preparation I visit visually that area of my personality. In essence I’m seeking to stir up my creative juices through visualization and mediation specific to the emotion.
Who, or what, is providing inspiration for you in this life stage?
Donovan: SadGuru is someone that I’m watching online a lot who is supplying inspiration in this stage of life. His talks and posts help me to stay true to myself and aware of the illusion of living that we are tempted to partake of daily. Also, my recent “Discoveries of Self” in therapy are the motivations behind the setting of my morning intentions. I’ve discovered and reconnected with myself in a sincerely powerful way and my aim is to preserve and grow that connection.
What are you most expectant for in 2022?
Donovan: The possibility of retiring my mother and releasing her from the financial responsibilities tied to my grandfather’s estate, and … maybe even a Life Partner.