Nigerian Music Artists Offer the Past Blended With the Present

Oleh: Tom
May 20, 2011

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Nigerian Christian music offers a wealth of worship songs as well as artists. The music from the Nigerian past was more biting and finger-pointing than it is today. However, one of the famous singers today is Nneka who is known as a gospel and soul artist. She is one of the new singers who is “telling it like it is.”

One of Nneka’s recent singles is entitled “Africans.” It is considered to be a blunt and raw record. The singer said she was offended herself, as an African, with the thoughts she had. The song calls for change. Nneka sings her song and threads the pieces together about how the country has the resources, but the country must act and react.

One of the unique gospel singers who hit the scene in 2007 is named Asa. Her music is known to be very artsy full of both spirituality as well as intellect. Another artist, Nigerian born Christian singer Ben Okafor has said that the new Nigerian music is creative in its beats and rhythm while being spiritually and intellectually bankrupt. This is more confirmation that the gospel music of Nigeria, the singers, the era from the past is presently going through a major transformation.

A number of Nigerian Christians feel the new songs have such negative values that they are eroding the value systems of both the youth and the adults in the country. There is some sadness that people feel that the Christian artists are not making any cultural statement with the music.

However, the Nigerian gospel music is still there; although the volume might be turned down a bit. In the 1960s the Evangelical Church of West Africa choir used their voices to let the people know what gospel music is all about. The 1970s brought the Good Women Choir, Sola Rotimi, Bola Aare, and Ebenezer Obey to name a few. One of the turning points was when Minister Dorothy James and Rev. David Mporampora transformed gospel music in Nigeria. It is believed that together they laid the foundation of the gospel sound that is known today.

The beautiful hymns, the moving gospels, all of the sounds known to Nigeria have spread the music throughout the world. Such artists as Jide Arowolo, Dayo Bello, David Ojo, Funmi Willians, and many others have taken the Nigerian music, made their own interpretations, and introduced these sounds to most every corner of the world.

The Nigerian music of worship remains a main vein in the African country. The artists from the past shared their beautiful voices and words that have carried on with the artists of today. In days past this music offered peace of mind and dedication toward a brighter tomorrow. The message continues today although some of the “new” Nigerian artists have added their own style and thoughts.

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