As Ghana heads to one of its most crucial election, renowned Ghanaian guitarist Prince Matthews popularly known as Hakeem is set to release his new single ‘We are One’.
Speaking in an interview Prince indicated that the only sure way to sustainable development is first, a peaceful environment and a people with a common goal to make it happen. The message of peace and unity is not only needed during election periods but as a nation there is so much we can achieve in a peaceful environment. He also believes that music plays a very significant role in spreading the message of peace.
The song emphasizes peace with string and vocal expressions. The song is a perfect blend of his unique style on the guitar and passion for music. He is one of the best, if not the best on the strings in Ghana. Gifted with exceptional musical talent Prince has played with musicians including Donnie McClurkin, Vashawn Mitchell, Kwame Yeboah,Isaac Aryee,Nii Okai, Cwesi Oteng, Joe Mettle, Pastor Helen Yawson,Joyfulway Inc, Eugene Zuta,KODA, No tribe, Uche Agu, Irene Logan, Sarkodie,Mary ghansah, Marvin winans, Deitrick Haddon, Michelle Hammond,Micah Stampley and many others.
“We are One” promises to be a binding chorus as Ghana heads to the polls this December.
Talk about her tone, her stage presence, her composure, her confidence all put in one urn, you have Minister Negar. You should remember her from Denzel’s annual concert “Touching God’s Heart” where she led “YES YOU ARE THE LORD” with Minister Danny Nettey two years ago. Although she’s very young, Negar was actively involved in the birth of contemporary gospel music in Ghana having closely worked with the likes of Rev. Tom Bright-Davies and being a lead singer of Global Gospel Inspirers(GGI), a group that emanated from Tesano Baptist Church one of Ghana’s foremost contemporary choirs, made up of young talents.
Growing up she loved singing not really knowing what plans were set for her in the future. Negar began singing in secondary school as a soloist where she sung at Scripture Union programs and at the International Central Gospel Church, Akosombo. She was discovered by a group of young men and women who encouraged her and with the help of the pastor, became a regular minister at the church services of I.C.G.C, Akosombo.
Evolving into a praise and worship leader, she has graciously stood on the platforms of many churches leading God’s people in praise and worship.
She has graced the platforms of GPCC, Heartbeat Music, God’s Family Music Ministry along side other ministers as Alvin Slaughter, Patrick Duncan, No Tribe, Uncle Ato, Denzel Agyemang-Prempeh, Naa Mercy and a host of others.
Desire to Worship, the flagship worship Service of Nissi Music Incorporated, a ministry she started and leads, is held every year. This she has done with some of the finest of GH gospel musicians: Eugene Zuta, Joe Mettle, Quesie Boate, Denzel Agyemang-Prempeh, Naa Mercy, Uncle Ato and the PL Crew. Talking about this year’s concert, she says it is unprecedented. She calls it “GRACE EDITION” and its happening live at the Tesano Baptist Church next month June.
Negar Wujangi is also the music director of Tesano Baptist Church.
STORY: NICK SOLOMON
A major issue confronting the gospel music industry is how to finance their activities. This issue has left a lot of gospel music artists in a dilemma and has led to poor ministry doctrines, carefully planned canal methods of taking fees for ministrations and too many divisions. It has led to breakups, breakaways and caused so many artists and singing groups to emerge. This has weakened Christian testimony in the community.
This issue of finance has led many gospel music practitioners to device many ways and gimmicks of raising funds for so-called ministry work. Some of these methods include pledges/vows, levies, seed faith, borrowings, etc. I know by now you will be asking the question I am expecting you to ask: Is there a biblical correct way of raising money for the purpose of sponsoring Christian events and projects? The answer is YES!!!
This article seeks to show the biblical way of financing your singing ministry and events and can also set for us a pattern of provision for our personal living. I will start by first laying the biblical foundation for divine provisions for anyone God has called into His work. These biblical principles and practices as we will find out exemplified in the lives of those who went before us. I will treat this topic in a series of articles i will be posting every Tuesday.
The first truth we must embrace is that God is the owner of everything and everyone in heaven and earth. Angels, powers, men, women, kings, music, stage, lights, venue etc… (Psalm 24:1,Psalm 50:10-12, Haggai 2:8, Exodus 9:29, Deuteronomy 10:14, 1corinthians 10:26,28. We must understand that our God owns all things and He exercises His sovereign providence over everything. Since He owns everything and everyone, he rules over everyone and administers everything after the counsel of His own will to fulfill His own purpose. (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; Ephesians 1:11). He created all things for His pleasure(Rev 4:11).
The above scriptures make clear the divine ownership and authority over all creation.
PSALM 24:1 KJV-The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
PSALM 50:10-12 KJV– For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the worldis mine, and the fulness thereof.
HAGGAI 2:8 KJV – The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts
It is important to know as a fundamental truth that God owns everything on earth and in heaven. All silver and Gold, Dollars, Pounds, Euro, Ghana cedis, Naira, CFA, all the money in a thousand bank vaults, in your wardrobe at home, your money safe in the office, just as the cattle on a thousand hills; all lands and mineral resources, every skill, competency and human aptitudes and geniuses are all His exclusively. When we embrace and live in the light of this truth, we will know how to depend on His loving providence and submit to His authority in all things. Knowing that we owe our very life on earth to His kind disposition means that all His endowments in our lives must be employed to further His own purpose on earth.
With this premises, I believe you have understood who owns your very life and the gifts you have. It is my prayer that the Holy spirit will reveal the truth in this article to you. Please keep watching this space as i post a continuation of this article here next week. God bless us all!
STORY: NICK SOLOMON
After months of hard work and dedication finally the super collaboration from Niiella’s camp featuring the one and only 2015 GMA award winning Joe Mettle is here. The title of the song is Obiara Nni Ho and is a simple song that can be sang by anyone. It’s sure to cut across as it’s quite worshipful and yet has a catchy beat.
The song which simply says there is none like our God in the dialect of twi was written and composed mainly by Niiella and also by Joe who wrote the second verse and helped with the overall arrangement. Niiella says she took inspiration from how good God has been to her and how he has been the constant factor in her life in spite of everything that has happened, nothing comes in comparison to him, hence the words “there is none like you”.
The song was recorded at Groove House Studios in Kasoa and some of Ghana’s finest musicians came together to make the piece what it is today; namely, Opoku Agyemang Sanaa of “God Can” fame, Emmanuel Bludo, Charlie Keyz and Francis Kwaku Osei the owner of Groove House himself. One of Ghana’s fast rising choirs Overflow assisted with the backing vocals and their MD David JLoopz helped with arrangements also.
The song is set to be released in a few days on the 24th of November 2015. It’s almost upon us. So tell a friend to tell a friend!
Watch the teaser :
Capped as Ghana’s most sessioned drummer, Emmanuel Bludo was honored at this year’s edition of Harvest Praise for his dedication and hardwork during his time as a member of the church and choir. Harvest Praise is a concert organized by Harvest Chapel, a campus based ministry in KNUST.
Emmanuel Bludo is a member of Ghana’s finest gospel music band, The PL Crew. A Biochemist who graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with first class honors. He constantly gigs and has recorded various songs with Eugene Zuta, Joe Mettle, KODA, Tagoe Sisters, Helen Yawson, Nii Okai, Joyful Way Inc, Harbour City Mass Choir, Akesse Brempong and other great gospel musicians in the country. He has played for a lot of great gospel musicians outside the country with the likes of Lionel Peterson, Juanita Bynum, Alvin Slaughter, Ron Kenoly, Sonnie Badu, Ntokozo Mbatha, Mahalia Buchanan, Nqubeko Mbatha among others. We wish you all the best in your endeavors.
The Gospel Music Industry over the years has faced major challenges but before I get into that and how some of these predicaments can be rectified, let’s begin with a ride through the genealogy of Ghanaian Gospel music. It chiefly begun with people who were inspired by the great commission of Christ to evangelize through music. They translated the word of God into melodies attached with great Ghanaian rhythms heavily laden with percussion beats and Yaa Amponsah melody ( original guitar piece that is used as the foundation for many Ghanaian music).
Pioneers of this music includes Bro. Asiamah And His ‘Som Nyame’ Gospel Band, The Ahinsan Happy Gospel band, Esther Nyamekye, Prof. Kofi Abraham, Yaw Sarpong, Wofa Asumani, Comfort Annor, Mc Abraham, YABS, Helena Rabels, Joyful Way Incorporated just to mention a few. Then came another breed of the Genre in the early 80’s with a fusion of contemporary music through to the late 90’s. These breed included , Tagoe Sisters, Bernice Offei, Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Amy Newman, Rev. Thomas Yawson, Rev. Kusi Berko, Elder Mireku, Stella Seal, Rev. Mary Ghansah, Soul winners, Danny Nettey.
In the early 2000’s The Baton was handed over to another generation of gospel musicians who fused a bit of the generic rhythms and foreign styles to meet the rising demands of the new Ghanaian whiles the old folks were adapting to the new trend of the industry. For the past 15 years, some of these new faces have been, Christiana Love, Cindy Thompson, Esther Smith, NanaYaw Asare, Nii Okai, Evangelist Diana Asamoah, Philipa Baafi, Lady Prempeh, Uncle Ato, Joe Beechem, Ohemaa Mercy.
In recent times, the industry has witnessed a crop of Gospel musicians who have incorporated foreign styles and beats into our conventional styles, this kind they call Contemporary Gospel Music. Some of these songs has a mix of genres like RnB, Pop and ballads. In the last five years, such record producing artists include Cwesi Oteng, Joe Mettle, No Tribe, Eugene Zuta, KODA, Joyce Blessing, Sonnie Badu amongst a few other contemporary choirs.
I was surprised to find available copies of Gospel songs recorded in the 70’s by Bro. Asiamah And His Som Nyame Gospel Band and The Ahinsan Happy Gospel band on the famous e-commerce platform, eBay. The shocker made me conduct a thorough research into the commercialization of Gospel Music in Ghana and why the current breed of Gospel musicians are struggling to breakthrough into the mainstream music scene. Speaking to a few of the successful pioneers, I discovered these were people who had a sense of direction guided by industry technocrats who helped to shape their art and brands. These industry experts knew what talents/gifts were when they came across one and in a short space could turn raw talents into valuable assets. A few names come to bare with respect to these artist managers.
Kofi Apeadu, manager of the Daughters Of Glorious Jesus, Rev Thomas Yawson, manager of Tagoe Sisters and Winfred Daniel Nii Adjaye, former manager of Sonnie Badu.
In recent times, artists managers like Kwesi Ernest, manager of Kofi Sarpong and Joyce Blessing has also taken the baton and achieved a great deal of success in the industry. Charles Sarpong, owner of Cebex Music Production and manager of artists such as Selina Boateng and Cecelia Marfo cant also be left out of the equation. These guys work hard and make huge monetary investments to put an artist out there on the market and they are major stakeholders of the financial inclusion associated with the music industry.
In the modern Gospel music environment where artists like Joe Mettle, Koda, Danny Nettey, Denzel, Akesse Brempong, Francis Amo, Pastor Isaiah, Eugene Zuta, Cwesi Oteng and a lot more exist, the industry is been faced with great challenges. Most of these artists have no management systems. They are their own artist managers, brand managers, event managers, production managers, creative directors, publicist and what have you. They find it difficult to differentiate between business and ministry as they call it. These artists have failed to hire the services of technocrats to handle the commercialization of their art. They cry out loud on radio stations and other platforms about sabotage, fairness and indiscrimination denying themselves of the fact that the biggest part of the problem exists internally.
My question to all these contemporary gospel artist is, who will buy your product if no one knows it exists? Certainly not me. They spend all their investments on concerts rather than promoting the songs to be heard around the world as a form of evangelism. Truly if the real essence of producing Gospel music is to preach the word of God through songs then I don’t think recording songs, sharing them amongst friends, playing them on sunny fm and sweet melodies and having annual concerts is doing enough in preaching the Gospel and impacting the world at large. The annual concerts are filled by same audience that cut across every concert and that brings patrons of these environment into a very small circle with a delusion that once the songs are been sung in a few modern day churches, the songs are known. This frame of mind has influenced the actions of the contemporary Gospel artists and has deterred potential investors from plying the industry.
Truth be told, If these artists don’t realize the dynamics in music business and adapt to standards, the industry will continue to suffer and might go worse. Apt managers must be hired for the job of pushing one’s art, music and brand to join the mainstream music industry. Success has already been achieved, no need to reinvent the wheel. It can be done because it has been done before. Gospel Artists should be willing to listen to technocrats and adjust to constructive criticisms to help shape their career and build a better industry to transcend generations.
Watch this space for an extension of this article…
STORY: Nick Solomon
Eugene Zuta is one of Ghana’s fast rising gospel sensations within the last decade. From a very humble beginning in Dansoman as a member of Trinity Presby Church and Mount Olivet Methodist Church, Zuta has gone through the mill to become the toast of several Christians and gospel music lovers in Ghana and beyond. His latest hit ‘Wo so’ currently enjoys massive patronage in churches, Christian gatherings and on radio. It’s a simple worship song that talks about the greatness of God and extols his awesomeness. Noted for his humble and calm disposition,
Eugene Zuta is an intensely spiritual young man who believes that Gospel music should center on Christ and his message of reconciliation. “Jesus is the reason for our being. He’s the only reason why we are called Christians. It’s always an honour to sing about Jesus, for Jesus and touch lives through Him. I am a product of the grace of Jesus and all I can do to show my gratitude is to declare Him to the world through my music,” he told citifmonline.com in an interview. During the 2004/2005 academic year, Zuta served as the music Director of Echoes of Calvary, (GHAFES-UCC) and was a key leader of the University of Cape Coast Mass Choir. He led Echoes to record and release its second album, Calvary Nnwom in which he wrote and composed most of the songs on the album, including the hit track Okasa. With over ten years in music ministry and counting, the Wo so hit maker believes that more than ever, the time has come for gospel musicians to depart from the “show mentality” and proactively weave their songs and ministry to transform lives for Christ.
Zuta has two albums to his credit Woye Onyame (You are God) and Adoration on which he has the hit track Wo So (You are Great) and He reigns. He has over the years collaborated closely and ministered on several platforms with his close brothers in ministry, Nii Okai, KODA, Joe Mettle, Uncle Ato, and Minister Danny Nettey, among several others. He has also featured on the albums of choirs like, E’mPraise and the Legon Interdominational Choir (LIC). In 2012,
Zuta founded the Eugene Zuta Ministries, with a focus on reaching out to meet the needs of young people spiritually, physically and mentally. On the 19th of April this year, Eugene Zuta ministries will roll out its maiden gospel explosion dubbed Adoration 2015 at the National Theatre. The event which will feature some of Ghana’s seasoned worship ministers, according to Eugene Zuta, is going to be a platform for God’s children to come together each year to worship as a body and as a family. “God laid on my heart to annually organize the Adoration worship programme as a platform for families, work colleagues, friends, churches, students and individuals to come together and worship Him; to forget about all else and extol His majesty, to lift Him up above our troubles and focus on His greatness. So I personally believe that Ghana is set for a major divine intervention on the 19th of April as we lift up the name of Jesus.
Nobody should miss this experience for anything. The team has started preparations in earnest and very soon details will be out.” Zuta revealed. Eugene Zuta is married to Awo and they are blessed with a beautiful baby girl called Keilah.
SOURCE: Mawuli Tsikata/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Last year was a good one for the most wanted choir, I like to call them. From an ice-breaking single release to a launch of an album and loads of ministrations, E’mpraise is living their brand promise. The group promised to put up a show annually following the mammoth success of the last year’s concert ABSOLUTE WORSHIP come this July.
Now the big question is, ARE WE GOING BACK TO THE NATIONAL THEATER? The concert and album launch they put up last year received a high patronage causing lots of patrons to go home because there were no enough seats to accommodate them. The 1200 seater auditorium was almost full by 3pm for a show slated to commence at 4:00pm. Extra tickets were sold to contain individuals who didn’t mind standing to enjoy the show and that strategy wasn’t a failure as multitudes resolved to that offer. That might have put a lot of money in their pockets…lolz. The strategy also left a lot uncomfortable due to the ventilation crisis at the National Theater and heat was something the audience had to compromise to enjoy the show.
If E’mpraise decides to produce a concert this year as they promised, a bigger and better auditorium should be considered to house all its fans and regular event patrons. ABSOLUTE WORSHIP was no doubt the most successful gospel music event of the year 2014 and we must say Kudos to E’mpraise and all its alliance.
Well let’s see where the organizers, IMPERIAL MOTIVE, will take us this year to join E’mpraise in Absolute Praise and worship.
STORY: NICK SOLOMON
Known for his witty way of coming up with songs that gets everybody talking, KODA is set to release another hit just after Ghana’s Independence day celebration. The release date he fails to reveal now but Nicksolomonblog will go the extra mile to uncover that information for you our loyal readers.
The song which he titles CHIMO from sources reveal that it is a borrowed word from Nigeria, specifically Ibo which means God. The song also features his wife, Ewurama who is also a singer with an album to her credit.
Kofi Owusu Dua Anto(KODA) was recently nominated in two categories at the launch of the 2015 Ghana Music Awards held last friday at the La-Palm Beach Hotel where he also performed a few of his tunes. The categories which includes Gospel Song of the Year and Best Male Vocal Performance of the Year are quite tough groups and we wish him luck.
In the mean time, be getting ready for CHIMO!!!!
STORY: NICK SOLOMON