Since our local awards recognise several music styles, why don’t they also acknowledge gospel music?
On December 8, 2016, Gospel artiste Kenny Saint Best took to the
podium at Music Week Africa to question why gospel artistes didn’t
receive endorsements from telcos and other big brands.
didn’t think much about it until later in the month when I attended
‘Praise in the Park’ and saw Pita and Ifeoluwa perform. Their
performances blew me away and then it hit me – why don’t we
recognise our gospel artistes?
December 2016 was awards season in
Nigeria. There was the prestigious Headies awards and the Soundcity
The Headies held on Thursday, December 22, 2016 and there was no
category recognising gospel artistes. Same thing with the Soundcity
MVP awards. The reason why I have mentioned these awards because
they are two of the most important local music awards.
Internationally even in secular awards, Christian
singers/rappers are recognized. The BET Awards has the Dr Bobby
Jones Gospel/Inspirational award category while the Grammy awards
also has a Best Gospel Performance/Song. The Billboard awards also
has categories to cater to this genre including Top Gospel Album,
Top Gospel Song and Top Gospel Artiste.
Contrary to what you might
think, the Nigerian gospel music industry is filled with amazing
talent. And people are genuinely interested in songs by these
artistes; this is evident from events like ‘Experience’.
The Experience 2016 which had live performances from Onos, Frank
Edwards, Sammie Okposo, Chioma Jesus, Midnight Crew, Tim Godfrey,
alongside American artistes like Travis Greene, CeCe Winans and
Donnie McClurkin was attended by thousands.
2016 saw the likes of Nathaniel Bassey, Mike Abdul , Snatcha, Frank
Edwards and Nosa being listed as the top Nigerian gospel artistes of the
Do they need the awards?
I know there might be the debate as to whether or not Christian
singers really need this awards? Well in my opinion,
they deserved to be recognised for their work (the same way they need to
be paid for performances).
We never know what the future holds, but
for sure, there’s a stirring in the gospel music industry.