The year 2021 is proving to be the year for gospel takeover, with recent trends showing an increase in the number of secular music artistes releasing gospel songs.
These songs have been topping the charts and one wonders whether secular artistes make more meaningful gospels music than their peers. Consider Kuliko Jana (Sauti Sol), Mungu Pekee (Nyashinski) Gode (Yemi Alade) Elshaddai H_art the band and Maombi by Nadia Mukami are considered by many as “more gospel” than some of the tracks that gospel artistes have been releasing.
Early last month, 27-year-old Justin Bieber surprised his fans with a six-track EP Freedom filled with afrobeat, rap, gospel lyrics, and prayer. In 2019 Kanye West set the precedence when he released his ninth studio album ‘Jesus is King,’ which was closely followed by his second gospel album ‘Jesus is Born,’ wrapping up a year of transformations with another foray into the Christian music scene.
Gospel acts working with their secular peers is not a new phenomenon. Mr Seed released a song featuring Gengetone rapper Madox, comedian Kartelo, rising rapper Vuv and fellow gospel musician Masterpiece. Hopekid featured rapper Khaligraph Jones in his Testimony song. The song was received well by his fans. Such songs shun the gospel-secular barriers. And there are more:
Jehova Overdo by Chidinma
Nigerian singer Chidinma officially ditched secular music and released her first project, which, she said, was written and inspired by the Holy Spirit and personal life experiences. Chidinma, who is now signed to Eezee Concepts, the label that is home to gospel star Mercy Chinwo, said: “Jehovah Overdo” is a mellow groovy song of praise that testifies to God’s great works in our lives.
Adonai by Femi one ft. Bern Muziki
Coming off her upcoming album ‘Greatness,’ Femi One ditched her usual shenanigans in Adonai, featuring Bern Muziki. This headlining track delivers earnest gospel vibes to the masses in a rap and RnB music style. In the song, Femi thanks God for being with her throughout her music journey as Bern Muziki harmonises with melodious vocals. “The Lord took me from being overlooked in my career to overbooked, and for that I am grateful,” said Femi One.
Vumilia by Trio Mio ft. Shari Afrika
Teen rapper Trio Mio features the melodic Shari Afrika in this project and the acceptance was overwhelming. On this record, Trio Mio raps about spiritual growth and having a conversation with God at a one-on-one level. The song has so far garnered more than 220,000 views on YouTube, and with the young rapper trending on social media, the numbers are expected to rise tremendously.
Wanibariki EP by Nandy
Tanzanian songstress Nandy, signed by Diamond Paltnumz under WCB Wasafi, decided to drop a gospel only EP earlier this year. The mini-album dubbed Wanibariki is a five-track Solo Ep. The singles compiled in the EP are Wanibariki, Umenifaa, Nipo Naye, Asante and Noel ya Kwanza.