When it comes to gospel music in Nigeria, there are some general beliefs and myths like we call it, that many have come to accept as true but as you will find out they are wrong and have given people from Nigeria and maybe Africa a bad impression and image about what to expect from gospel music.
So without wasting much time, we will dig in and debunk these Myths About Gospel Music, find them listed below;
1. There’s No Money in Gospel Music
I think this is the oldest of the Myths About Gospel Music and fears many have had and straight from the 70’s through 90’s to now, a whole lot of people still stand by the opinion that “there’s no money in gospel music“. Well that is not true because gospel music artists have been known to be very successful in Nigeria and the world. And today as it is, there is not a better time to be a gospel artists than before, hence this belief no longer holds sway, yet old folks may hold on to it.
We have gospel artists such as Chioma Jesus, Sinach, Frank Edwards, Top Alabi, Eben, Onos Ariyo, Nathaniel Bassey who are very successful examples of successful gospel singers and making a paying career out of it. The industry today is much better connected than before both locally, internationally and also due to technology and the internet. There is money in Gospel music and in case you didn’t realize the secular world and platforms are looking for ways to cash in on the market of gospel music.
2. A Good Gospel Song Will Promote and Spread Itself by Itself.
This is easy and this myth stems from church folks, who belief in leaving everything including their songs for God to spread it. It is a flawed plan for gospel artists who have a desire, vision or mandate to share their message to the world and maybe earn returns doing so. Your music or intellectual property are like products created for a market or audience, and how will these people get your material if you don’t use tools and channels to send it to them. Before the internet and media, we would take our recordings to where people gather and distribute, now using media and the internet we have people gathered from everywhere, state, country or continent in places to interact, learn, buy or more, not limited to distance. Promotion means getting your song to these bigger niche-centered audiences/markets faster. It will cost money to do so, and it is worth it if you believe in what you have and the gifts and calling of God on you. Read the parable of the talents and substitute your music/gifts for the talents and you will get a whole new reason why you shouldn’t hide your songs in disguise of this myth. And if you didn’t realize yet, the church stage you minister in is platform for promotion. By this we debunk one of the Myths About Gospel Music.
3. You Need to Be Called Specially to do Gospel Music
This myth is told by church folks in church to singers who intend to go into the path or rather career of gospel music. It is by no means a wrong advice if you look at it. There are many who were called and handpicked by God to do this. But it has been used by church folks and some singers to make others seem they aren’t qualified or good enough to be gospel artists or used by older church singers to make people feel they are more important than their younger peers. But lets look at this, does God call the good singers and not the bad singers, if so then God selects based on skill or potential in music.
In my opinion, anyone who can sing and desires to go into gospel music fully, has automatically defined his field of mission and therefore God wants and seeks to use them for his ministry in that chosen field. Just like God wants to use bankers, cooks, dancers, engineers in their various field of choice, he wants same with singers and music artists.
Believing this myth has led astray talented singers who may think they have heard God call them in a dream or loud voice, then they go into secular music because eventually some have to follow their music passion and desire. So, any Christian who is gifted in singing, can be an artist and everyone who ventures into music as a path for their life has a calling on them to preach the gospel in their music.
That being said, there are exceptions where a few other gospel singers will be called and anointed for special responsibilities as gospel artists by God through the Holy Ghost and that is either for the furtherance of the gospel or a service to the Church. It is not to be used as a title to be superior, but its a calling to serve in humility.
4. Gospel Music is Not Business, But Ministry
While there are so many who belief that gospel music is solely ministry and many more others who say it’s the opposite, we can easily explain our opinion using the previous myths about gospel music we debunked. The bible says we are called into the Ministry of Reconciliation, which means every Christian is called and mandated to preach the gospel. This means if a Christian recognizes their music gifts and have a desire and passion to sing, what should they sing about if not what they believe in and that is God’s word – Jesus. This means their ministry of reconciliation field is music. This proves gospel music is ministry for all. [Gospel = Ministry]
But lets take a look at music separately. Music is a career, it is an intellectual property that is written, produced, refined, packaged for a an audience, a market and eventually sold. This makes it business and therefore even gospel artists want to make money from their intellectual property so they can make a living or have money from it to produce more. [Music = Business/Career]
This brings me to conclude that;
Gospel (Ministry) + Music (Business Career) = Gospel Music (Ministry in your Business/Career)
5. Promoting Gospel Music on Radio and TV Doesn’t Yield Much Result
The use of new age platforms for getting your music out there such as Digital music platforms, streaming, social media, and lots more has created a bigger scope of opportunities for gospel artists to use in connecting with people, sharing their music, inspiring the world and ultimately selling their songs. But traditional media tools and mediums are still very much relevant especially in Africa, a whole lot of people depend on radio and TV for their information and entertainment. Media is very important and on the big picture, it seems quite very expensive to get your songs popular via radio and TV, because the system may favor secular music over gospel. But that does not sway the fact that it’s one of the major ways to reach the most of people in Africa.
Investing more in TV and radio massively will produce the desired result over a period of time. But I advice that you draw up a plan and budget spanning over a period, defining exactly what you want to achieve at every point calculatingly. Find out what radio and TV channel periods have peak audience traffic for gospel music and other related audiences and how to penetrate them. Go armed with a plan.
These are just the 5 Myths debunked, and we hope you grasped this. Let us know more myths that are not true or true about gospel music and we will share it.
Also let us know your opinion on this using the comment section below. Do you agree with us or not. Thanks for reading and we encourage you to share.