Back in 2010, when I first heard “You too Dey Bless” me by Frank Edwards I was taken aback. “Wow is this gospel” I asked myself. The sound I heard was so soothing, the message was on point and the rap was just simply amazing. I was definitely hooked. Research helped me to find out that “You too Dey Bless Me” is a form Contemporary/Urban Gospel Music. I delved deeper and with time I got to discover the likes of Lil Zig, Muby dey, Royal Priesthood, Christ Image, Kingzkid, Preachers, Heavens’ Connection, Regardless, Too Deep, Kaysi, Jay Shady, Ian Jazzi amongst a host of others were gradually gaining grounds in Ghana.
Urban Gospel is on the rise and there’s no turning back. Early pacesetters, Royal Priesthood released “Praise Him” in the early 2000’s and it was a massive hit nationwide. Although most churches hadn’t fully embraced the concept of Urban Gospel music, the song was everywhere including church circles. Royal House Chapel was the place to be on Sundays. Other early pacesetters, Preachers are undeniably one of the biggest urban gospel artistes in Ghana in terms of their influence, following and awards won. Their nominations at the VGMAs came as a history for Urban Gospel because, after several editions of the biggest annual award scheme of the country, VGMA finally recognized the urban gospel genre with three award nominations. The likes of Kingzkid and Perez Muzik have also been nominated in the “Unsung” category of the VGMA’s which has helped put Urban Gospel out there in one way or the other. Kobby Salm is the latest to join the VGMA train with nominations this year.
The emergence of online websites and blogs have also contributed to the rise of Urban Gospel. Gone are the days where you would find it difficult to find access to gospel music online. The likes of VPJ Global, christmeal.com, urbangospelblog.com, christianmissive.org, repjesus.com, gospelgh.com, gospelyard.com, ghchristians.com, worshippersgh.com, gospelxyz.com, gospellinkonline.com amongst a host of many others have projected urban gospel to the world out there. With just the click of a button you get to hear urban gospel tunes regardless of your location. Tell me you don’t see the work these blogs and websites are doing to help push the movement.
I tried creating an Urban Gospel directory some time ago and I’m still on it. Ask me why? You see the number of urban gospel acts in Ghana has increased drastically. I discover new acts each and every single day. So when I say urban gospel would be a force to reckon with in the near future, you must understand my sentiments. If I start listing the new acts, this article would not be finished any time soon. The number of urban gospel songs in the system today would marvel you. I wouldn’t say we are there yet though. There’s definitely room for improvement with regards to the quality of sound, quality of video and also the artworks we put out. Get me right, all am saying is we can do better. I don’t want to mention names but some acts are doing extremely well in this regard. They don’t compromise on quality at all. All their productions are top notch, the videos they put out would mesmerize you.
In a nutshell, urban gospel has come a long way. The only way is up. The early pacesetters paved the way for the new acts and the standards are definitely rising. I can boldly say that some urban gospel acts can match some secular acts boot for boot. One would ask what the way forward is, well I believe if urban gospel acts keep improving their act, they would break boundaries. Acts should be willing to learn and develop themselves, music goes beyond talent these days, knowledge is power so don’t stop learning. There’s so much we can all do to push this worthy cause.
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