Enough of “emotional complaints” – tell the artists of Gospel
Kwame OB Nartey of Vision 1 FM
Ghanaian Gospel artists were challenged to work harder to compete globally because laziness and complaining were no solutions to the global recognition mission.
The appeal, made by Kwame OB Nartey of Vision 1 FM and Kofi Donkor, manager and husband of Gospel artist Celestine Donkor, came at a time when some Gospel artists were raising concerns about the influx of foreign Gospel songs into Ghana.
Talk with Graphic Showbiz in separate interviews on Tuesday, February 1, Kwame OB Nartey and Kofi Donkor pointed out that Ghanaian Gospel artists were apathetic in catching up with current trends.
According to OB Nartey, they were better at what he describes as “emotional complaints” and were quick to label constructive criticism as hate for their works. In his view, this perception stems from years of nurturing Gospel artists who weren’t challenged to leave their comfort zone.
“Now the question is ‘why all our churches; Orthodox, Pentecostals and Charismatics singing these foreign songs?’ Have our people wondered what makes magic for others, when it does not make significant inroads in other countries?
“Are they attentive to the content they produce? The quality of the production, the marketing strategy and even the advertising of the songs? It seems that our artists don’t pay attention to the process.
Read also: I have nothing against secular artists – OB Nartey
“What they do is they release the songs and expect the songs to generate numbers, conversations and make waves on their own, but it doesn’t work that way.
“It is the responsibility of every artist to ensure that any lyrics or content they provide is marketable. You don’t just pick anything and expect the same mileage and results as others who have meticulously followed the process.
“Our artists need to get up and work because otherwise they cannot generate positive discussions about their work and prevent others from taking over their space.
“These strangers are aggressive and hard-working, so you don’t expect to be praised and pampered for doing less than they are doing,” he said.
He pointed out that the “noise” about the domination of foreign music was an “agenda” initiated by some artists who decided to follow new trends without acquiring the required knowledge of this system.
“I haven’t heard the Tagoe sisters, daughters of glorious Jesus, Helena Rhabbles, Hannah Marfo and the elders complain about any foreign domination or penetration.
“So if you’re an artist and want to stretch your tentacles beyond just being a ‘local champion’, you have to be willing to learn and practice what’s needed,” he said.
Read also: Enough thank you – Célestine Donkor tells the churches
Despite his objections, Kwame OB Nartey blamed lack of investors and poor regulation as major factors blocking the progress of Ghanaian gospel music.
Kofi Donkor is manager of Gospel artist Celestine Donkor
Confirming most of OB Nartey’s claims, Kofi Donkor didn’t mince words, describing some of the acts of the Gospel as lazy people who want good results for no work done.
Moreover, in his view, the church and event organizers have stifled the creativity of gospel artists with “rules” that do not bode well for them.
“The system of using mats at events where Gospel artists don’t have the privilege of playing with their own bands isn’t the best, but the most interesting thing is for Gospel artists who don’t have a groups.
“There have been instances where certain Gospel artists have gone to events and thought, ‘Can you let me play with your band after you?’ It’s quite interesting because if you’re really serious about your job, why are you going to play with a band you’ve never rehearsed with?
Also Read: Gospel Music Is Not Charity Work – Mary Ghansah
As Africa’s representative for Trace the gospelKofi Donkor mentioned that he was disappointed with how Ghanaian gospel groups are not taking advantage of these digital platforms to promote their brands.
“Be certain Trace the gospel showed me how our people are not aggressive in getting their music out of the borders of this country. I got calls from people in Nigeria and other African countries but our people don’t care because they don’t even see the value in it.
“I remember there was a time when a prominent Ghanaian gospel artist asked me about the benefits of putting his music on TV trace? Like seriously? Times have changed and gone are the days of bringing tapes to Kantamonto to sell.
“Our employees need to learn the new system if they want to enter other markets and that comes with hard work, not laziness. We have been in our comfort zone for a long time and need to conquer new territories,” he said.