Gospel Music Artists have gained more recognition and quite a number are beginning to enjoy the good life in recent times. From all-expense paid trips to fully sold-out concerts, brand endorsements, sponsorships and so much more, they sure are now enjoying the benefits of sticking to their calling.
However, you would agree with me that the narrative was completely different a few years back and although the industry has recorded a very interesting turn-around there is so much more room for improvement.
For people who love gospel music like me or if you have followed some of your favourites for a while, you will notice that the advent of social media has greatly impacted the gospel music industry.
We now have our gospel artists on bigger platforms within and outside the country and their music keeps getting airplay across the world. Most noteworthy is the fact that, most of them can now hold their own flagship concerts with thousands of tickets being sold and a huge support by brands and sponsors.
All these were not the case before now and a lot of them are still yet to get their spotlight. I know quite a number of gospel artists who would floor the vocals of our most celebrated contemporary vocalists yet they still have no platform to showcase their gift. So in this post, I just want to celebrate every gospel artist out there striving to find a platform and build a brand. I hope that everything works out in your favour!
Here are my 7 Reasons why Gospel Artists are the real MVP’s
1. Gospel Artists often have quality lyrics
Let’s be real, gospel music often contains more inspiring and edifying lyrics than the average “feel good” music beats with no lyrical content that we have all become accustomed to.
They spend the time to work on their lyrics and produce something that doesn’t just have a good sound but also has deep meanings that resonate with your soul.
Songs like Dunsin Oyekan’s “If All I say is Jesus” or “Oceans” by Hillsong are just a reflection of how deeply thought out gospel lyrics are. You have to give it to them because most of them actually know what they are doing when it comes to writing quality lyrics.
2. Gospel Artists mostly do Live Music
Gospel concerts both locally and internationally have one thing in common, live music! It’s very different from our contemporary artists who play their audio tracks half of the time while pointing the mic to the crowd to complete the song.
Gospel artists rehearse and properly plan for their concerts.
When you pay for their concerts you not only encourage them but you get great value in return. Attend a concert by Tim Godfrey, Onos Ariyo, Travis Greene, Hillsong and all you’ll get is pure divinity and quality live music.
Great sound, great value and a deeper connection with the audience. They definitely do it better when it comes to live music concerts in Nigeria.
Those who attend the Experience, Onos Live in concert, Bee Jay Sax’s concert, RCCG Marathon Messiah’s Praise can definitely testify that live music is way more appealing to the ears than singing alongside studio recorded audio.
3. Most Gospel Artists are self-sponsored or without a recording contract
Until recently, most gospel artists had no access to recording contracts, most record labels would not even give them attention because their music was said to have no “public appeal”.
I’m glad that things are a lot different now and more gospel artists are being signed on recording contracts. It’s also great to see that churches are also rising up to support their artists and help them promote their music.
Before now, many of them had to pay with their sweat for studio hours, audio production and resorted to using their church as their video shoot location hence the crappy production we used to see back then.
Nowadays the quality of gospel music videos can very well compete with that of their contemporary counterparts. If you have watched any of AdaEhi’s music videos (The singer of Only you can do what no man can do) you would see the level of professionalism. From the costumes, the location to the editing, I would give her the accolades she deserves. Most of the artists under the Loveworld Music label always get an A game in their audio and music production.
4. Gospel Artists are usually criticized for charging fees
Until recently most of them had to work for FREE. They transport themselves with personal funds to program venues alongside their backup singers, keyboardist, and drummer. Sadly, sometimes all they get in the end is a “God bless you” and maybe a bottle of malt and a takeaway pack for each person.
I strongly belong to the school of thought that a labourer is due his wages. I always like to hear when gospel artists tell their hosts that they will be taking a particular fee to cover their logistics and expenses. So whether its a wedding, church programme or concert I think they have the right to quote a fee. And they should be paid percentages upfront and balance after.
It’s a job although most of my spirikoko brethren would not agree with me that’s how I see it. No one would invite KWAM1 to their ceremony without first counting the cost, so why would you think one of my faves Tosin Bee would sing at your wedding for free? Brethren, we need to change these narratives ASAP
5. Lack of Recognition & Support
I was so glad that Nathaniel Bassey’s Hallelujah challenge was widely accepted and a lot of people came on board, it’s encouraging to know that a lot more people now reckon with gospel music. Although I believe that there is room for improvement, imagine if we accord them the kind of regard that we give to the Davido’s and Wizkid’s of this world. Many times we hardly support them as we should. They release a single and beg people to help spread the word but only a few do it.
When we see them we famz them but it all ends there. We are not interested in them as much as we are in these other people. They deserve our love and support more than anything. Regardless of how they are treated they still keep pushing. It takes a lot to continue doing something when it feels like no one really cares.
6. Holy Spirit inspired Music
Another reason why I would say gospel artists deserve more accolades is that they are backed up by God. At least we know the genuine ones out there, those whose music doesn’t just leave you dancing.
The ones whose music make you reflect and consecrate your soul back to God. Listen intently to the lyrics of songs by Nathaniel Bassey, Onos Ariyo, Tope Alabi and many others I can’t mention right now you would know of a truth that only the holy spirit can inspire such music.
Their worship sessions bring souls to the kingdom, their concerts inspire people to be better worshippers not to get drunk and get raped.
I know we have heard all these recent stories of music concerts (not gospel concerts tho) that ended in gang-rapes. Our gospel artists give us more value-adding content inspired by the holy spirit and trust me that alone, makes all the difference.
7. It takes a longer time for them to make a name for themselves
I always marvel when I see a contemporary artist who started in just 2 years and can now afford the best of luxury cars. It breaks my heart when I see some of our own who have been into it for several years still jumping buses to go for invitations.
I know that the industries are slightly different but I still feel that if they are rewarded as they should, the quality of life for them would be much better.
There’s a lot of patience and endurance that goes into becoming a successful artist but for gospel artists, the road always seems to be rougher and longer.
I would encourage more influential Christians in the society to support upcoming gospel artists who actually have the gift and are serious about taking it to a higher level to get on bigger platforms.
Your good works are not unnoticed and the rewarder of diligence, the almighty himself will definitely come through for you.
Kindly share with me some other challenges that gospel artists have and let me know who your favourite gospel artists are.