Poor Acceptance of Gospel Music in Nigeria, Who should be blamed?
Gospel music is a kind of motivational Christian music that has become a major part of Nigerian music. In the 1960s the Evangelical Church of West Africa Choir was popular, and in the early 1970s Bola Aare, Sola Rotimi, Good women Choir, were notable. Also, in the early 1970s & 80s Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa's choir, The Christian Redeemed Voices were known for their gospel sound.
Panam Percy Paul in the early 90s, Tope Alabi, Lanre Teriba (ATORISE) Asu Ekiye, Keffi, and Sammie Okposo were notable in the late 90s.
A number of gospel artistes have released albums that are quite commendable such as Abimbola Awolumate's Everlasting Arms (AMAA), Foluke Umosen, Soji Israel, Segun Obe, Samsong among others. Artistes like Rooftop MCs, The Bossman, BOUQUI, Frank Edwards and Segun Ogundeko (The Lord's trumpeter) are also very well known for their gospel hip hop styles.
Over time, many Nigerian gospel artistes have devised means of delving into secular music or feature secular artistes in their songs in order to survive in the business.
The likes of Kenny Saint Best (featured Terry G, Dagrin, others in her songs), Lara George featured Lord of Ajasa), Kefee (Timaya) and others are examples of gospel singers that have dragged secular artistes in their various songs in a bid to make commercial success.
Most of these gospel artistes use this strategy to sell their songs to a larger fan base which comprises the youth. At most churches they perform at, they either not get paid or get a paltry amount of money as honorarium, which most times goes as transportation fare.
As a way of staying in business and pay their bills, they go secular where they have hope of getting good paid shows from show promoters as against the 'you are working for God' reward they get from churches and pastors.
The question now is; who should be blamed for the growth of the gospel music in Nigeria? Could it be that the gospel artistes themselves do not have good songs to sing and as such, like doing remixes of other people's songs? Could it be that the beats are so local which does not follow the trend of what the youths like? What could actually be the problem or who should be blamed? This is a million dollar question which needs an answer in other to improve the gospel industry.
As you our readers continue to ponder over this issue and try to give answers or solutions, we will try to get a gospel artiste to give his own opinion on what could be the reasons by behind it and possible way out.