Home Selah's Journal Music Repartee With Alex: Dear Gospel Artiste, Good Artwork Can Save Your...

Music Repartee With Alex: Dear Gospel Artiste, Good Artwork Can Save Your Ministry!!

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The emergence of Nigerian Christian blogs have aided the growth of Gospel music tremendously. Prior to its emergence, gospel artistes existed in clusters, with one or two popping up at intervals and cutting across. Examples are Lara George, Sammie Okposo, Buchi, Midnight Crew and more. These ones beat the odds and stamped their faces in our minds even before the first Christian blog could publish its first article.

Notwithstanding, what we could not achieve in ten years, we have been able to do in 3-5 years because of these crop of new media (Yes, another name for online media is new media). There is actually a platform for the gospel and the online media have aided the growth of terrestrial media tremendously in that it is the first point of contact which the other media leverage. We have been able to form a chain of network readily available to serve the christian audience – an alternative to the perversion of its counterpart and strong enough to disseminate message and give a backbone to ministers and their ministry. Be it music, church, literature, event, and more.

However, a lot of gospel artistes have failed to acknowledge the importance of this media and have either been relegated to the background or have picked up pace slowly in a jet age.

The least an artiste can do for himself is to be social media savvy, at least, it has worked very well for some, so well that they can have a successful release just by posting a link on their social media accounts, but even then, the blogs still play the role of taking the release to the next level and we have seen numerous occasions where a song became major because of the power of these blogs. (Allow me to use “blogs” although most of these platforms have integrated online radio, TV, soft copy magazine and the likes).

It may cost you a token to put your material on some of these platforms as an artiste. Others may take your materials for free as long as you satisfy some conditions but I guarantee that you will pay less and enjoy more access if you paid more attention to presentation. Yes, online promotion depend largely on presentation because you are appealing to the sight before any other thing and this could be achieved in more ways than one. It can also be used to sustain an awareness campaign such that you draw maximum attention to your material, however, I will like to mention one of the most overlooked ways this can be achieved.

The Artwork/Album Art

artworkThe artwork or album art is an illustration prepared for inclusion in a publication. According to the definition, the artwork is the graphic illustration of your material. In this case, music. It is an expression of the music and the saying goes, put your best foot out, therefore if you have made a great song, you also should be willing to give it a great expression. Often times, a lot of great songs have gone down the bloggers trash folder because of the artwork. Imagine having about 20 songs to attend to and the blogger switch to elimination mode. I don’t think the first form of elimination will be listening to the songs, rather, it will be discarding poor presskit. Now when a presskit is opened, nothing tells the story of the song like the artwork does, therefore the blogger goes for the artwork first – even before reading the press statement in most cases – especially when the artwork is displayed inline in the email.

The problem is that most Christian artistes undermine the importance of the artwork and do not take the making seriously – that is not to say I have not seen some artwork that have astounded me over the years… shoutout to Glowreeyah – the artwork for “God Alone” video still stands out as one of the best ever, Wole Oni‘s “Cover Me Lord”, Joepraize‘s “Introduction” DVD, Nosa‘s “Open Doors” and Ada‘s “So Fly” & “Lifted” album artworks too, amongst others. But for the most, Christian artistes have received a label because of the kind of artwork they produce for their music releases so much that it has become a turn off. I have advised some artistes pertaining to artwork but as soon as I recommend a graphic designer stating his price range, they take to their heels! Now tell me, if you will not invest in something you would use to add value to someone else life, where is the value you are adding? Can you give what you don’t have? Moreover, you took the pain to make a great song, why let something as simple as an artwork be the undoing of the song’s destiny?

Everyday, somewhere on a blogger’s table, great songs are going down the trash folder and it’s all because of bad artwork. It’s time we stepped up comrades! The harvest is still plenty!

Note

I will like to talk about the press statement too but that is a topic for another day. Meanwhile, as an artiste, do you write your press releases yourself? Do you hire the help of a PR? Do you check what has been written before publication? Watchout! a lot of writeup have marred the good image of the artistes because of lazy writing and writers, unnecessary CAPITALISATION (hehe… for emphasis sake), using small letters for nouns (e.g name of a person, place, etc), bad spellings and social media IMs (e.g “@” instead of “at”, “U” instead of “You” etc) and more.

Here are a few certified good graphic designers you can patronize:

This is not an advert for the designers. I have worked with them and can vouch for their works, thus the inclusion in this article for the greater good of Gospel music.

Keen Flash: 2BC62AD0

Manor Miracle: 75159035

 

Written by Alex Amos

 

 

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Na wa oh, this kain glory wey una give ‘Gospel Blogs’ there were many gospel artistes doing wonders before gospel blogs came into existence, and to me the gospel blogs have made gospel artistes lazy, apart from people like Sammie Okposo, Tim Godfrey, Nikki Laoye, Nosa etc who release songs and the mainstream media take note of, most gospel artistes are content with the meager followership they get from gospel blogs that are visited by few die-hard gospel fans.

    That’s why when they go out people do not know them or their music at all.

    Beyond the quality of the Single Art, what is the quality of the song? Can it be played alongside other mainstream songs? Can the video be at home on HipTV, MTVBase and Soundcity? Or is it only good enough for One Gospel and Kingdom Africa?

    Gospel artistes should stop aspiring below the pedestal, God called us to be the light of the world, not the light of the gospel community!

    • Hello David, I felt the urge to respond to your comment… normally I don’t – cos i feel you have a right to your views.

      I hear you and the points you have made but did you read the first part of the article? It talked about your first point extensively… and yes, the ‘Gospel blogs’ deserved the ‘glory’ accorded to them, save for them, you won’t be reading this article nor comment to it.

      But I agree that it has made the artiste lazy. You have to agree however that for every new development, there is always the pros and cons.

      Also, the focus of the article is the artiste who have done a quality work yet fail to use a quality artwork. The target of a gospel artiste, I do not think should be ‘MTV, HIPTV nor Soundcity’, that is not to say if their music get on those platforms, it is a bad thing but you have to consider who you are selling your market to. Are they on MTV, HIPTV and Soundcity? Even, the gospel artiste who got endorsements, got it because they became too popular amongst their fold that it spilled over to the other market. I think it’s about time the gospel artistes start getting over the facade of ‘blowing up’ via those media and grow root in their foundation before getting branches everywhere. (I can talk about this for… a whole article).

      Yes God called us to be the light of the world but go and read your bible, Jesus said they will be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea first (Jerusalem and Judea was where they (the disciples) were) and then they they will move to Samaria [Samaria was neighboring town [that could be like saying neighboring states or countries as the case may be]) and then to the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8). So you see it is biblical. Understand the principle before talking about it! God bless!

      – Alex Amos

      • I hear you, and I believe that Gospel artistes have been reaching ‘Jerusalem’ for decades.

        Meanwhile, always read the Bible in context, when Jesus spoke about reaching first to Jerusalem, were the Israelites believers? No sir, they were not! They didn’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah, so the Apostles had to speak to them first to convince them because they were God’s chosen people.

        Now tell me, are Christians in Church without Christ? Do they need you to tell them about Jesus? I am not saying there is anything wrong with doing Music for the Church, definitely not, but your target audience is THE WORLD!

        The World don’t tune into One Gospel, TBN and Kingdom Africa!!! The world, who are your primary target tune in to HIPTV, SOUNDCITY and MTV!!! Light shines brightest in the dark! The Gospel artistes need to stop shining light in the light! Jesus was so much in the world that the ‘religious’ community referred to him as a wine-biber and friend of sinners!!! His ‘songs’ were being played by tax collectors and publicans!!!

        Gospel Artistes with endorsement deals didn’t get ’em because they were necessarily so popular in their fold and it spilt out! For example Sammie Okposo’s music was on every station from NTA to AIT and his relevance was beyond One Gospel and TBN. That’s why he got endorsements. Nosa’s music transcends church folk and that’s why Close-up used his song for their advert! Nikki Laoye’s music is heard beyond the gospel community that’s why she won the Headies up against top notch ‘secular’ artistes! Light shines brightest in the dark!

        I would celebrate Kirk Franklin winning best Artiste at the Grammys rather than winning ‘Best Gospel Artiste’ at the Grammys! We need to be thinking out of the box! God didn’t put us in the box, why are we putting ourselves in one?

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