Music, as we have heard from the age long cliché, is the food of the soul. This is because it feeds the spirit, directly. Hence we see the effect it has on all who listen.
No doubt, music has genres and that is good, because each one serves a particular purpose. Regardless, we have seen, in recent times, almost what I call ‘A COALITION’ of all the music genres. A coalition of music, for me, is the fusion of various genres of music for audience entertainment. That is why you will hear and see a trend of secular music being played in the gospel environment, leading to some gospel music promoters suggesting that gospel music should move with the new trend. For the purpose of clarity, this conversation is focused on the recent conversion of secular musicians to gospel artists, using Chidinma Ekile as a case study.
Popular opinion has it that, since gospel rarely generates income, some gospel artists left for secular music which does not only bring huge income, but fame and prestige. This has been proven by the popularity of singers like Beyoncé Knowles, Usher Raymond, Chidinma Ekile, to mention a few, who originally started their music careers from the church.
Now, the reason for focusing on this article on the recent conversion of secular musicians is not to shade or judge them. Rather, the focus is aimed at hearing people’s opinion about what they feel when a musician starts from the church, leaves the church in search of Fame and, when they have gotten the fame, they return back to where they started.
The view from the street about this recent conversion is actually controversial. They are those who see this as a welcomed development, because according to them, God is winning back those sheep He lost. While others are saying that their conversion is questionable. Those who say the latter are those who think that, these people are converting because they have lost their relevance and flair in the secular world. So, they are coming back to Gospel music because they want to retain their relevance.
People like Ambassador Chinazam Okike, Mrs Edwin Mary, Mr Onah Edwin, Miss Blessing Williams Bewell, Mr Ityohule Jeremiah and Captain Ayotunde Doherty were the ones who saw this conversion as a good thing.
Notwithstanding, those who said that the conversion as being questionable tried to buttress their arguments.
For Mr Joseph Otor, Chidinma’s conversion or any of the other secular musicians is not what anyone expects to happen. That is because, she left the church for secular music. So, returning back now is a bit awkward for him.
Although, he said that, only Chidinma Ekile is capable of giving the actual reason for her conversion. But one thing is certain, and that is, she converted back to where she started from, because she was losing relevance in the secular world, or she noticed that Gospel music is also making waves, and those in it are really making it.
In his words he said “the Chidinma Ekile that i know who left the church after winning project fame that made her win a lot of awards, will not go back to Gospel music if she did not see anything there. Do not forget that, her recent album titles ‘Jehovah Overdo’ that was released less than a month ago, has generated millions of naira for her. So, don’t be so gullible to believe that she just converted.”
Chief Collins Uma has a logical approach to this conversion of a thing. He said for him, it is not conversion, but change in lyrical content. He went further to say that, one must not attach every change to conversion. He gave instances of TuFace and Kcee that sing gospel songs in their secular albums. So, for him, Chidinma Ekile only change lyrics and not got converted.
For Empressteena Sewe, saying that Chidinma Ekile converted is not a trend, and even if it were, she believes that something greater or an experience has made her seek for this higher power.
On the contrary, Miss Ote Jane, Chidinma’s conversion or any other secular musician’s is actually fan-based. She believes that followers of christian music are increasing daily, and it is even now easy to make money from there.
She referenced the competitive nature of music and how christians are biased. “So, even if this conversion of her is not genuine, people will still follow her because she is a Christian.”
She went further to ask if the conversion was genuine, why didn’t she just stream her songs for free? Why is she making money from the song she sang as a result of being converted? “God’s gift is supposed to be free, I guess? So, why is it on record that she has made millions of naira, already”? So, for her, it is still one of their ways of making money.
So, you’d agree with me, from the gleaned information that the critical thinkers refused to see this conversion as being as one born in due season. There must be a reason for the conversion, and each one of them has given their perceived reasons.