Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nigerian Gospel Music Artistes To Watch Out For in 2015

Nigeria's rapidly growing Gospel music industry did not go unnoticed in 2014. With 2015 in full gear already, this article examines those artistes who are poised to make a splash in the music industry this year.

Nosa

Shadrack Nosakhare 'Nosa' Omoregie made one of the biggest news nationwide in 2012 when he was signed on to Chocolate City, a label known for its keen interest in secular artistes. Nosa also released his heart-warming gospel-cum-inspirational album "Open Doors" on the label and it was a hit, with singles such as I'II Always Pray for You and I Go Stay earning him a mention beyond Gospel circles. The Edo-born singer, song-writer and producer was one of the most decorated gospel singers last year. Let's hope he brings his 'A' to the middle of the hall this year.

Preye

Preye was, indeed, a revelation of 2014. His debut album "My Script' produced a song which became a national favourite in no time, in the form of Ebezina. It even made it into the MTN Caller Tunes chart. The inspiring song enjoyed wide acceptability and was sang by most choristers, worship leaders and gospel artistes nationwide. Will he continue on the same path in 2015? Only time will tell.

Solomon Lange


Solomon Lange made his huge presence felt in 2014 with the album "Grateful" and, according to various sources, it is considered a trend-setter. However, the talents of the abundantly talented Abuja-based gospel star are best enjoyed live on stage.


Nikki Laoye

For multiple award-winning urban contemporary Gospel artiste, dancer and song-writer, Oyenike Laoye Oturu, 2014 was "da bomb" in her career. The 2013 Hip Hop Awards Best Female Vocalist Award Winner released two smoking singles Only You and 123, her chart-bursting dance single. Her fascinating dance steps and vocal prowess made her one of the most sought after Gospel artistes (both in the gospel and secular scene) within and outside Africa.

She was crowned Best Female African Artiste Award at the African Gospel Music Awards and Best African Inspirational Artiste Award at the African Music Award (AFRIMA). She also smiled home with Crystal Awards' Best Worship Song award (for Only You) among others.

Beyond her musical feasts, the passionate humanitarian and founder of Angel for Life Foundation was commissioned an 'Ambassador' of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRM). More accolades should come in 2015 if she keeps up the good work.

Tope Alabi

Tope Alabi caused a few tongues to wag when she got embroiled in a love scandal with controversial preacher, late Pastor Ajanaku. Save for his death, the rumours would have gone on unabated.

It did not stop her album Angeli Mi Extra (My Angel Extra) from being bought off the shelves. Alabi's crowd-pulling concert Praise the Almighty, featuring gospel stars Midnight Crew, Psalmos , Big Bolaji, Funmi Sax and others made 2014 special.

Though many might find her music difficult to appreciate in 2015, after the ugly episode with Ajanaku, her latest album Oruko Tuntun is not doing bad.

Obiwon

Obiora 'Obiwon' Nwokolobia Agu made astounding headlines in 2008 when he got born again and dumped secular music for Gospel music. This rare transformation of the 2007 Vocalist Of The Decade Award' winner of the Nigeria Music Awards (NMA ) was boldly expressed in his second album which was his Gospel debut entitled Rebirth. Though over 70 per cent of Christians and Gospel music fans found it difficult to believe that his professed 'change' was genuine, with faith in God, persistence, endurance and hard work, Obiwon the once "rejected stone" is now the head of the corner.

His hit single Hail My King featuring Eben, Joe Praise and Kenny Kore ruled the airwaves endlessly in 2014, earning him the Best Collaboration Award of the Crystal Gospel Awards in 2014.

As one of the protagonist of the year, the soulful singer 'stole' the show at the 2014 Nigeria Gospel Music Awards (NGMA). He bagged five outstanding awards with his album Gold Water, to set a new record in the NGMA and Nigeria Gospel Music. 2015 has got a lot in store for him.

Akpororo

Jephta Bowoto, popularly known as Akpororo, has become a household name in the entertainment industry. The bold, blunt and talented humour merchant made 2014 'happen', not only with his creative Gospel jokes, but with his interesting foray into gospel music. Akpororo released his own version of Donnie McClurkin's Days of Elijah and it was a mind-blowing hit. His rendition of the song in his hilarious waffi style made it popular and a must-play in every show he attended. The lanky, Delta-born comedian held his debut comedy show tagged 'Akpororo's Night of Music and Comedy' and it was a huge success. He also shone like a million stars at his third stint at The Experience, the world's biggest Gospel concert beamed live globally.

Frank Edwards

Franklin Edwards Ugochukwu, the Mma Mma exponent could be said to be one of Nigeria's hottest Gospel singers presently. The multi-talented artiste with classical hits such as Oghene do, Superstar and You too dey Bless Me, has held the Gospel circle hostage with his inspiring songs and rich vocals. The versatile, Enugu-born versatile song-writer and producer recorded some matchless feats in 2014. Will he repeat them in 2015?

Kenny Kore

Former Infinity lead singer, Kenny Kore (Kehinde Akinbode), won the Best Songwriter of the Decade Award at the 2013 edition of the COSON Awards.

Kore was among the positive news makers of the Gospel world in 2014. According to some, his latest album NOAH, was a breath of fresh air. With confirmed hits such as Oghene, Amtiramipada, Your Peace and Noah. The album touched lives and got a MEGA Awards for Best Afro Hip Hop Album of the year. Kore's penchant for mixing his traditional roots with a unique urban sound can only take him higher in 2015.

Nathaniel Bassey

The accomplished Nigerian Jazz artiste-turned Gospel singer and worship leader made his presence well felt in 2014. The popular song writer, composer, instrumentalist and music graduate had one song which made it into the nation's many churches. The song, Okaka came in handy for more than a few praise sessions. Widely hailed for his dexterity on the trumpet, Bassey was also present in almost all the main Gospel concerts within the year. His worthy debut presence and five-star performance at The Experience only leaves more to be seen in 2015.

Buchi

Despite suffering a big setback, when his studio was razed by a mysterious fire outbreak, Buchi, as usual, had a great year. Apart from performing within and outside Nigeria, Buchi was on a soul winning pact. He conquered many Nigerian campuses with his anti-cult and anti-violence crusade project, Ceasefire, taking it to a whole new level.

The Gospel Reggae pioneer collaborated with ex-Jamaican-born Dancehall Queen, Chevella Franklin for the Reggae hit, Healer.

The Abia-born melody-maker also attained the golden age of 50 and he splendidly celebrated it. Would more recognition come for this legend in 2015?

Sinach

Prolific praise and worship leader and multiple award-winning artiste, Osinachi 'Sinach' Kalu, moved from glory to glory last year. The globally esteemed songwriter, composer, producer and superlative vocalist, released a chart-busting album, Sinach Live in Lyrics Theatre, in South Africa. It was described as a "Gospel Music Treasure" by respected Gospel singers and pastors like Pastor Katty Woghiren, Ahaoma Kanu and Julius Gbayanga (Editor, Today's Music Africa magazine). Just like her previous albums, the new work produced another smash-hit entitled, I Know who I Am.

Sinach's rating rose when she performed at the world's largest gospel concert, The Experience in December 2014. It is hoped that she will build on this crescendo in 2015.

Sammie Okposo


The foremost Nigerian Gospel Music superstar and Globacom Ambassador was, as usual, on top of his game last year. Outside his musical exploits, he remarkably intensified his humanitarian efforts to further bring hope to the society through his Sammie Okposo Hope Initiative (SOHI). Last year, he sponsored the education of a handicapped student, Abiodun Olumide, studying Business Administration at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH). Musically, he was very active with his vision of exporting Nigerian Gospel music to the world.


Okposo undertook a huge successful world tour that took him to Turkey, America, the United Kingdom and South Africa. The UN Ambassador of Peace released two hot singles No Wahala and Only Halleluyah. Thanks to both songs, he claimed the Best Gospel Video Award at the 2014 Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA). He was once more crowned 'Africa's King of Gospel Music' at the Crown Gospel Awards. He won the Best African Gospel Artiste Award at the exquisite ceremony. The year 2015 should be an even better one for him.

Other artistes to watch out for include;

Esselyte, Chioma Jesus, Raz Phil, Kunle Ajayi, Rosemary Chukwu, Funmi Aragbaiye, Henri Soul, Mid Night Crew, Taiwo Oladoye, Psalm Ebube, Mama Fasoyin, Kunle Omo Alafin - Orun, Tehilah Crew, Okiki Jesu Fuji, Aity Dennis, Asu Ekiye, Eben, Monique and Sabina Umoren

-- This article was sent in by Isaac Daniel. He is the Editor- in- Chief of the Nigerian Gospel Entertainment News Agency (NIGONA)

Culled from allafrica.com

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