We had the opportunity to get this piece from a major voice in the Nigeria gospel music scene – Mr Kayode Olusoji. And here is his piece on the industry’s present part and future.
Hello friends, I am honored to be a part of this twitter conference #Audacity2Lead. The major plus to a nation, an organization, a society or a home is the presence of good and great leaders. When great leaders are absent in a society, then crisis, corruption, and backwardness is imminent and inevitable. Show me a nation with great leaders and I will show you a nation that has the potential to thrive well.
My strong believe is that, leaders are not naturally born, they are made. You and I can be leaders in our own domain and make positive changes as much as we can, for a better society and a brighter future. I therefore salute the courage of the organizers of this twitter conference #Audacity2Lead
Music in Nigeria
Let us narrow it down to music in Nigeria, which is the area I am supposed to speak on. Music is a very powerful tool that can be used to shape our nation and address the ills of the society. We can use music to curb corruption, promote love and peaceful coexistence and it can also be used to teach morals in our society. As musicians, our musical talent is a powerful gift from God which can bring outstanding results, if it is well utilized.
I am a Performing Artist, a Song Writer and a Music Business Consultant. I am also a Christian. I sing songs that glorify God, edify souls and transform lives. I am an advocate of edifying music. Our talents are special gifts from God and He will call us to give an account one day, just like that Master told those three servants to come and give accounts of their stewardship about how well they used their talents. It is pathetic that one of the servants hid his talent and got an unpleasant reward.
Today, I am sure that many are not maximizing their musical potentials just like that unprofitable servant, while some are busy using their talent wrongly by engaging in music that is causing more havoc to the society. Even though, the challenges are numerous, but there is a great prospect that we will soon overcome these challenges.
Gospel Music is improving but…
Nigeria Gospel music today is growing at a fast pace compared to the past. Presently, we have many Christian TV stations; many great Music Producers, many highly talented Video Directors and the quality of productions of both audios and videos have improved over the years. Artists are getting more creative day in day out and there are several platforms been created by people for artists to express themselves. We have some good internet radio stations and we have many Christian bloggers.
However, we still have a long way to go if the future of Nigeria Gospel Music will be brighter. This is one of the reasons in Woodclef, we developed some innovative ideas and services that will better enlighten music professionals, particularly those in the Gospel Music Industry. We are rolling out these ideas and innovations one after the other. One of our innovative ideas is the Music Business Intelligence (#MBI).
…Are we taking advantage of the Music Business opportunities?
We need to understand the trend in Music Business and we therefore need some level of education in that line. For instance, today, we don’t have many well structured Record Labels for gospel music today. We are not taking good advantage of the music business opportunities in our environment. We have various gospel artists out there with individual efforts and who have good skills but talents is not enough. We need good Record Labels to manage these talents and these are areas where the church and Christians who are buoyant enough can think of investing in these talents so that they will not stray away. It is very clear that we are not taking advantage of the music business opportunities in our environment.
How many of us in the music business can write a good Music Business Plan, good Promotional Plan, or Marketing Plan . Many of the artists don’t have good Talent managers and the big question is how many well trained or good Talent Managers are out there? Truly we have great talents and we are just growing in numbers on daily basis but we don’t know how to turn our passion into profits. For instance, do we readily get good sponsors for our gospel events? Do we have adequate Concert Promoters in the system? How many Gospel Artists are Brand Ambassadors of Blue Chips Companies?
We can collectively look for a way out and take over the air waves. I am sure a quite number of us are tired of this unwholesome music that has flooded our air waves today. Can Christians try and key in into every aspect of music business and make it work well?
Sound Engineering and Music Training
Today in many churches, we build structures without considering the input of professional Sound Engineers. In like manner, many churches don’t have residents professional Sound Engineers. There is no formal music training for the choir members and many don’t even appreciate the importance of training their musical workforce for such an essential task. If the Nigeria gospel music is going to improve in the future, we need to curiously look into all these aspects.
Nigeria gospel Music Distribution Channels
We also have the challenge of distribution channels for our music. Even if the price of musical CDs in Nigeria is not commensurate to the level of investment that goes into the music like we have in some advanced countries, what can we do to at least proffer some solutions to the distribution challenges? Actually, globally now, online sales is leading the trend with ITunes in the fore front. We thank God that recently; PayPal lifted the ban on their operations in Nigeria. I believe that will bring a great succor to artists in Nigeria, because the challenge of online distribution of our music will be solved to an appreciable extent. However, more awareness still needs to be created in Nigeria about online purchase of music.
Have we realized that putting our music on online stores is not enough? We need to draw the attention of our fans to the stores via good promotion both online and offline. Social Media, Print Media and Electronic Media will be very useful in this regards.
If the future of Nigeria Gospel Music will be brighter than the past or the present, then Christian and churches need to invest more in music and business of music. Thank you.
A Performing Artist & Music Business Consultant