Although, they are not celebrated as their counterparts in the hip hop world, Nigerian gospel artistes are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to raise the bar. Weekend Groove takes a critical look at some of the gospel artistes that made 2014 very memorable.
Nosa made headlines in the national dailies when he was signed on to a major music label in Nigeria, “Chocolate City. “ The Nigerian Neo-soul Gospel/Inspirational music artist, whose real names are shadrack Nosakhare Omoregie also released his heart warming gospel-cum-inspirational album “Open door” on the label and it was a bang. With hit singles such as “I will always pray for you” and “I Go Stay”among others, made waves beyond the gospel circles. The Edo State –born multi-talented singer songwriter and producer was one of the most decorated gospel acts last year. His trophy haul first came from the UK where he won “African Gospel Artist of Year ‘’ at the ‘Gospel Touch Music Awards.” Also, at MEGA Awards, he was named the “MEGA Man ” as he smiled home with four awards in the “New Artiste of the Year’. “Songs of the Year,” Easy Beat Song of the Year and Contemporary R and B Album of the year. He also had three nominations at the Headies Awards.
The foremost Nigerian Gospel Music superstar and Globacom Ambassador, was as usual on top of his game last year. Outside his musical exploits, he remarkably intensified his humanitarian efforts to further bring hope to the society through his Sammie Okposo Hope Initiative (SOHI). Last year, he sponsored the education of a handicapped student, Abiodun Olumide, studying Business Administration at Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH). Musically, he was very active with his vision of exporting Nigeria Gospel music to the world. Okposo undertook a huge successful world tour that took him to Turkey, America, United Kingdom and South Africa. The UN Ambassador of Peace released two hot singles, “No Wahala” and “Only Halleluyah”. Their hi-tech videos shot in South Africa by Pius Okaba were very outstanding. No wonder, they gave the Wellu-Wellu Master, the “Best Gospel Video Award” at 2014 Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA). In South Africa, he was once more crowned “Africa’s King of Gospel Music” at the South African “Crown Gospel Awards”. He won the “Best African Gospel Artiste Award” at the exquisite ceremony.
Preye was the revelation of year 2014. The Bayelsa State –born but Port Harcourt, Rivers State- based budding star made one of the best debut albums last year. His debut album ‘My script” produced a National Anthem, “Ebezina” was among the few gospel tunes that entered the MTN Caller Tunes. The inspiring song enjoyed wide acceptance and was sang everywhere by most choristers, worship leaders and gospel artistes. Preye’s applaudable effort gave him the keenly contested ‘Best New artiste of the year Award” at the Crystal Awards.
Gospel music icon and pioneer of Afro gospel jazz music, Pastor Kunle Ajayi clocked 50 last year. It was a global celebration as the world paid tributes to him. Pastor E.A Adeboye and Pastor ( Mrs) Foluke Adeboye hosted the celebrated saxophonist in a classy ceremony with other gospel glants and artistes around the world . The event filled with glitz and razzmataz was one of the memorable events in the gospel music scene last year.