Gospel musicians in the recent past have been seen to crossover to the secular world while at the top of their careers. These musicians appear to be lured to ‘earthly’ music by the free lifestyles of their secular counterparts while others cited lack of appreciation from Church family as they shared with GEORGE D. MWENDWA
As a good number of secular musicians are walking down “the road to Damascus” rather configuring their compasses towards the Gospel side others have defied this order and feel they are not being understood thus leaving the Gospel camp. Internationally, Kanye West’s switch was the biggest surprise that sent tags wagging with hate and love in equal measure a faction claiming that he’s just in business.
Willy Paul has for the longest been viewed as the most controversial Gospel artist in the country due to songs that weren’t clear on whether they were addressed to God or to a random lover which included Mpenzi, Missi, Take it slow and Tempted among many others. Willy Paul, however, caused a stir when he began to collaborate with secular artists like Rayvanny, Alaine, Harmonize, Mandy, Meddy, Alikiba, Ommy Dimpoz, and Sauti Sol among others. However much this appeared to be an announcement that he had just crossed over to secular music he denied it until his lyrics and music videos drifted away from what is perceived as gospel. “I still insist that I’ve not announced my entry into secular music, I’m just a talented musician making music. When I sing love songs, it’s not a sin since I know our God is a God of love. I’m just not limited to any kind of music,” shared Willy Paul in response to which camp he is representing.
Her switch from secular was one that was widely discussed over social media and her fans as at the moment she was still riding high with singles like Ndulu featuring Timmy T Dat. She announced that she was now born again and would be singing gospel music henceforth. She stamped her entry with a very melodious single dubbed God is in Control. She later collaborated with Ljay Maasai in Wollova after which she went silent before crossing back to the secular camp. “There are many baseless assumptions people are making but regardless I believe when it comes to faith it’s a personal affair between one and God. I’m only human prone to fall and stumble; I’m not perfect but I try to put in the effort to be the best version of myself,” said Kush Tracey.
He rose to the limelight with Gospel singles like Maasai for Christ, Laleiyo featuring Shiru wa GP and Tapala among many others. He would then later win The New artiste of the year, Rift valley song of the year and Male artiste of the year at the very coveted Groove Awards. Ljay proceeded to launch a label dubbed TNC Records where he signed talented gospel artistes like Cooper Cooper and P Dot. However, you know what they say about the falling of a big tree. The signees went separate ways when their mentor decided to shut down TNC Records releasing his first secular song dubbed Come featuring the talented Flo Mutia. In response, Ljay denies joining the secular camp, “the word is not crossing over, I’ve just expanded my limits, and I’m now a musician confided to no particular genre and my faith has not changed at all, therefore, I should not be judged. The only thing that has changed is my approach to music,” he says.
Her mellowed voice is easily notable each time she adds some flavour to a song either her own composition or in the background of another song. She added the icing to Hope Kid’s Delilah creating an easily recallable sing along chorus. She also released her own mellowed tune Power that rents the air to date besides featuring in her brother’s (Dafari) multiple songs. Her last phase in the Gospel scene was when she did one of the best renditions of Mercy Chinwo’s Excess Love. She announced her crossover with the song Sham Sham after being signed to Taurus Music and is now riding high with her recent album project tagged 12 beats of Christmas.
“There were too many limitations barring me from taking to the global mainstream stage yet I’m young, energetic and talented enough to do so. I feel like I’m now expressing myself the best way I feel not minding what everyone else thinks especially with all reactions on social media,” she said.
Kimdanny was believed to be one of the most promising gospel acts who by the time of his exit in the Gospel camp was still riding high with songs like Kimbelembele, Hananga Makosa and Tulia among many others. He announced his new camp by the release of a song that was deemed controversial dubbed Dole. “I don’t have anything bad with ministry, but the industry players have let down the ministry. My transition has been faced with a lot of rejection, hate and separation from the Gospel camp but I’d say that there’s love and care out here in the secular industry compared to the Gospel fraternity where the key players hate each other over nothing. At times I however feel guilty when someone tells me how my music was a blessing to them,” revealed Kimdanny.
He has for a long time been known as a praise and worship leader and a talented Gospel hip-hop artist with songs like One Way and Amazing Grace to his name. His sudden shift happened a year ago when he released his single Nowe raising eyebrows and causing a stir on social media. He cited disappointment from the church and event organizers in the Gospel camp claiming that some people were out to milk others dry as they went home with a fat share. “The system at the Gospel camp doesn’t allow me to calculate profit and losses. At the end of the day, I couldn’t calculate return on investment in the name of ministry. Here at the secular camp there’s a real business and I’ve made so much more money in the 1 year I’ve been here compared to all the money I made while singing gospel music,” shares Sanka.