Nigeria is reported to be the most religious country on earth. A vast majority practice Christianity and they make use of songs to propagate their faith. In every christian gathering, songs of praise are sang to exalt GOD. In christian homes, during morning devotions, songs of praise and worship is sang. Nigerian Christians tend to hold church service sometimes everyday of the week. And in these services, songs of praise and worship are sang. If these gospel songs are patronized, why then are they not still as popular as the secular songs?
Why Aren’t Gospel Songs Popular Like The Secular Songs?
After a brief research we have come to a conclusion why.
1) It Appeals to Just Christians Alone.
This is an obvious reason why gospel songs aren’t popular as secular songs. The gospel songs appeal to just Christians alone. You don’t expect a Muslim to buy, play or listen to a christian song. That is a potential market lost for the gospel artistes community. On the other hand, secular songs are listened and accepted by all. A Muslim ,a Christian, an Ifa worshiper even an atheist will gladly listen to tunes from Burnaboy, Johnny Drill, Tiwa savage e.t.c. This religious limitation has kept the growth of gospel songs in check unlike the secular ones that keep on spreading like harmattan fire.
2) Little or no Publicity
When it comes to publicity, gospel artistes absolutely do not do enough. They do not make good use of the internet or social media pages. They are never seen trending on twitter or are they seen trending on Instagram. Even the top gospel artiste like Tim Godfrey, Chioma Jesus, Tope Alabi, Mercy Chinwo etc., hardly ever trend. The only gospel artiste to trend recently was Nathaniel Bassey in his Hallelujah Challenge. Nathaniel Bassey could only achieve this through the power of Instagram. Now his Olowogbogboro and Hallelujah songs are played in every corners of Nigeria.
3) No Fan Engagement
Gospel artistes are not known to engage their fans. Only the mainstream artiste like Tim Godfrey, Nathaniel Bassey, Tope Alabi and Mercy Chinwo have functional social media handles that keep their fans engaged. Most do not have these artiste have ghosted social media pages and barely keep their fans and followers engaged. In such situations, a listener, may not get information on when these artistes release a new song.
4) Reliance on CD marketing.
It will be disappointing to know that gospel artiste still rely on CD Marketing in 2019. Nigerians no longer buy CD plates. Now everyone simply scroll through the internet to download songs. It would have been better for the gospel artiste community if they deal more on digital marketing as against CD marketing. This will afford them the medium to reach more people and hence populate gospel songs.
5) Low Use of Social Media.
In 2019 it is expected that every businesses and franchise be actively involved in social media. But this isn’t really the case for our gospel artiste. Barely a few make use of social media. Due to this reason, they have not been able to build a fan base. Now you get to hear a song but you do not know the face behind it or even the name. How do you expect the songs to be popular in such scenario?
6) Difficulty in Downloading Songs
It is with sadness i write this. After hearing a song i liked in church during the choir ministration, i go home and decide to download same song from the internet, sometimes it feels like i am writing Physics in W.A.E.C. So difficult! Downloading gospel songs is quite tasking. Very few sites host gospel songs. This difficulty tend to stir off possible listeners, and thus possible publicity is lost
7) No uniqueness.
Nowadays in a bid to make profit off their music, gospel artistes have gone commercial. When you listen to their songs, although you hear ‘Jesus’ here and there, you really can’t see the uniqueness from the secular ones. Since these gospel artistes tend to copy the pattern of the secular artistes, why not just stick with the original. This has cost the gospel music community growth.
8) Double standard life.
We have heard cases of supposed gospel artiste who were caught doing ‘secular’ things. It is known that these gospel artiste tend to castigate secular artiste for their ‘sinful’ lifestyle. So when gospel artiste gets caught up in scandals, it tend to cast a doubt in the hearts of previous listeners. This tends to dent the growth and spread of gospel songs.
These are few reasons we think gospel songs aren’t as popular as the secular songs. If the gospel artistes are willing and ready to break more grounds this year, they should go back to the drawing board and restrategize. They should also be ready to spend money on promotion and tours.
Share us your thoughts. Why do you think gospel songs aren’t as popular as the secular songs? What do you think should be done to savage this situation?