The Kenyan gospel industry has drastically changed over the years to something many people don’t seem to understand. The quality or rather the mode of music writing is not so appealing and it’s pretty confusing. It has adopted a lot of pop culture influences, you cannot tell a gospel song apart from a club banger.
A while back, gospel music was ever uplifting with messages that related to many people’s lives and what we go through and parents even taught their kids the ways of the world through such songs. I for one feel blessed to have been born in an era where gospel music was full of teachings and the music still speaks to me to date.
The likes of Gloria Muliro, Eunice Njeri, Christina Shusho, Reuben Kigame, Esther Wahome and The Kasangas (although this generation would not know who these are), have over the past released music that is touching and that can be related to in every aspect. These are people we can gladly say, we know exactly what they are doing in the industry and whom we can call gospel artistes.
Over the years, everything has changed and many artistes who claim to be gospel artistes have been releasing more of club banging music rather than music that speaks to the soul. Some of the newbies in the industry have clearly just messed everything up in the name of releasing music that is understood by the current generation.
Many have got it all wrong and are hiding behind the name ‘gospel music’ not understanding what comes with it.
For about a week now, Willy Paul and Size 8 have been victims of public scrutiny after they released a song dubbed ‘Tiga Wana’.
Critics have branded their song as pure secular with many claiming it has no meaning. After all, mentioning God like three times in a song doesn’t necessarily make it a gospel song. Of course, their close friends were quick to defend them from the wrath of social media.
Of late, secular artistes have been releasing music that actually falls in the gospel category and many have related tremendously to the songs. The likes of Collo Mfalme, Nyashinski, Sauti Sol among others are a perfect example of such artistes.
Collo has been a music guru from way back when he was a member of the all male rap trio, Kleptomaniax. The members later on went their separate ways to focus on solo careers. He made it public a few months ago that he has turned a new leaf and he’s now saved. He even went ahead and released a song dubbed ‘Bazokizo’ which is a dance song and many have loved it and the feedback is positive. Considering he has been in the industry for years, he is bound to show everyone who the Mfalme is.
Nyashinski was also a member of Kleptomaniax. He then moved to US. After returning home, he came back with a bang releasing ‘Now You Know’. He later on did a song that has been played over and over again on TV and radio. The song ‘Mungu Pekee’ has been well received by music lovers and the message is pretty clear. The song clearly is inspiring in every aspect.
Sauti Sol have been driving us nuts with their music. The moment they hit the stage, they always cook up something that all of us are amazed by. But then they went ahead and released a song ‘Kuliko Jana’ that has been warmly received by their fans. The minute you hear that song, you heart warms up and you feel at ease. It inspires you. It sends butterflies free in your stomach. It’s like God is speaking to you face to face.
These three artistes have done better songs that can be categorized as gospel than most of our artistes in the gospel industry have done. So what could the problem be? Are we hungry for money and fame forgetting what we are supposed to do? Or are they genuinely in the industry for the art and to truly inspire the fan?
You be the judge of that!