It has become quite ordinary for Gospel artistes to feature secular artistes on their songs and vice versa. This has sparked mixed reactions among music lovers across the world poking holes on the genuineness of Gospel artistes who take this lane and secular artistes’ agenda on the other hand. GEORGE D. MWENDWA looks into this stalemate.
Gospel artistes collaborating with their secular counterparts has become a norm across the world since there are no laws that restrict both camps from coming together to make music. However, fans from both camps can’t keep calm as they’ve sent tags wagging on whether this is a good trend.
A few months ago, gospel dancehall singer Hopekid featured rapper Khaligraph Jones in a song known as Testimony. Interestingly, it was received well by his fans despite having been an unexpected move.
Willy Paul now turned secular, is believed to have triggered the current collaboration wave between gospel and secular artistes when he featured Sauti Sol on Take It Slow back in 2018. He also collaborated with bongo singer and former Wasafi Classic Baby (WCB) member Harmonize on a song titled Pilipili opening up his long tale of Gospel to secular transition. He would then unleash more bangers with the likes of Nandy, debuting their first single called Njiwa and later released another hit dubbed Halleluyah. He also worked with Rayvanny on a song dubbed Mhhh announcing his identity as a fully fledged secular artiste.
His staunch followers still hold that they are fans of his gift and vocal prowess not what he decides to sing.
Bruz Newton, the Bazokizo hit maker, has now turned to secular and holds that great music speaks to the soul and it doesn’t matter whether it’s gospel or secular. “I think good music is good music but some “holier than thou” Christians lock out some people and label them as sinners not worthy to collaborate with. I personally felt like I was boxed in a small space and needed to explore my ability more. Therefore, it won’t be news if tomorrow I’ll collaborate with a gospel artiste on a gospel song. As long as the song is morally right and entertains your audience then a musician is a musician regardless of their camp,” shared Bruz.
Gospel singer Bahati recently put his fans in a dilemma on whether he’s still in the gospel camp or has signed his crossover. The Mama hit maker first worked with wasafi signed artiste Mbosso in a song dubbed Futa and then followed it up with Bora Nife featuring Tanzania’s mellowed singer Aslay. Bahati would later team up with genge tone group Boondocks Gang on a song titled Taniua, which elicited a lot of debate among fans and music critics especially where they misquoted the words of Jesus Christ on the cross.
“You can play with anything while doing art but never play with the word of God. That’s how people attract curses into their lives when they begin to take the gospel so lightly to an extent of blaspheming,” ranted an outrageous Mr T.
Bahati’s chronicles, however, didn’t end here he released his new collaboration project dubbed Kererembe with genge group, The Kansoul (Madtraxx and Mejja) so far garnering over 300,000 views on YouTube. When social media was still high with chin wag on how he could be hinting his switch to secular he released another collaboration this time featuring controversial Genge tone group Ethic dubbed Bambika. In the midst of all the back and forth on social media Mejja came out in defence of Bahati claiming that no one should be judged for working with whoever they feel they can deliver with.
A faction especially his young fans say he was once an inspiration to them, but has since lost his way and his content is becoming unpredictable and lacking spiritual content.
Starmpid Kibali, a gospel singer and city preacher, is firmly against the idea of these two camps coming together in song. “Christians should neither sit in the counsel of sinners nor should they be unequally yoked with non-believers. What does light have to do with darkness? Let’s love and preach to them but collaborating with them is simply taking the world to the church instead of the church to the world. Most of these gospel artistes are after money and relevance and their hearts are for sales not sales which draws the line between ministry and industry,” revealed Starmpid.
Most recently, gospel singer Mr Seed released a song dubbed Kwa Hao featuring up-and-coming gengetone rapper Madox of Boondocks Gang, comedian Kartelo, rising rapper Vuv and fellow gospel musician Masterpiece adding to the list of musicians who’vetaken this lane.
Internationally Tasha Cobbs Leonard got herself into trouble when she collaborated with renowned secular rapper Nicki Minaj on a song dubbed I’m Getting Ready.
“I’ve seen the Nicki that is off the stage and that Nicki has a great relationship with God,” Cobbs Leonard said. “My assignment with this song was for a particular audience. Some [of the listeners] have never experienced God ever and she exposed that audience in her way, to the God that she loves.”
“The testimonies that have come because of this —I would absolutely do it again. I’ve had thousands of people say to me ‘This is the first time I’ve ever bought a gospel album. This is the first time I’ve ever felt God. I didn’t believe in God until I heard this song,” she added.