– A Review of the new song by Sinach OMEMMA
Couple of weeks ago I was with my friend Perry Martins of Gospotainment Media and we were having a healthy discussion about music exports from Nigeria, how the trend has quickly shifted to this side of the world.
He was of the opinion that Iconic Nigerian Gospel music minister Sinach had been intentionally targeting the international market from the get-go of her career by only rendering her songs in the English Language and using only Contemporary music elements. I felt my friend was right about Sinach but I was of a different opinion. I believe music promotion and distribution is a whole different ball game from music delivery. Perhaps this worked for Sinach because of other factors that placed Sinach on the map but I believe cultural influence on music makes it export worthy.
I mean you cannot sell water to a well. If I am selling English to a western man, what is the value of my product to him? Let that argument be that, before this article begins to look like a propaganda against Sinach and her music.
Few weeks before the conversation with Perry Martins, Sinach had ministered in Pastor Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood church and she was hyped about it for obvious reasons… who wouldn’t be?
In case you don’t know, Lakewood Church is a non-denominational Christian megachurch located in Houston, Texas, US. It is one of the largest congregations in the United States, averaging about 52,000 attendees per week. The 16,800-seat Lakewood Church building is located at the former Compaq Center. That means the church literally bought a sport arena and converted it to a church! Imagine sitting all that crowd for worship instead of a basket ball game!
Sinach said she had envisioned ministering at the church few years back. When the opportunity finally came, it was only right that it marked another milestone in her career/ministry. At this point, it is undeniable that Sinach is the biggest Gospel music export out of Nigeria… yet there was no cultural influence on her music… particularly the language!
Why is this so important? The Israel Houghton, JJ Hairston, Travis Greene, Donnie McKlurkin, Tye Tribbet and more, who were conversant with the Pop and Contemporary culture and sold it to us were already looking into African cultural influence on music for their “Wow factor” as the tides have changed! It was no longer business as usual. Nigerian music was becoming a global phenomenon and Gospel music had tagged along. International collaboration where the counterparts were singing in the local dialect is now the “it-factor” globally. The international counterparts were milking this opportunities to expand their market in the guise of collaborations and it all boils down to what cultural influence on music had birthed!
Few weeks after the Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church minsitration, Sinach released “Omemma.” A thanksgiving song rendered in the Igbo dialect of Eastern Nigeria.
Literature is a mirror of life and the society. Music is an art and a form of literature. It should mirror the society of the creator. Where the literary piece fails to do this, it would have been a demerit on the part of the creator, when placed under the lens of literary appreciation. I mean, at a particular time, Fela was the biggest music export in Nigeria and most of his songs were rendered in the Nigerian pidgin. Let’s not talk about his instrumentation, lyrical content and fashion. More recently, Burna Boy got a nod in the World Music category of the GRAMMYs and his sound his purely African too.
I feel Sinach must have look at how big her music had become on the global scale, checked her discography and sensed that she was not doing justice to her cultural background. This in my opinion, was what birthed the new single “Omemma”. (This is only from a professional perspective… definitely the spiritual overrides every other reason). Of course, the market wasn’t her problem. She managed to conquer that before the change in tide (or she would have done so anyways, I mean, we are talking about Sinach here) but in order to tell her story with a mirror on her society, It is only right that the biggest Gospel music export out of Nigeria finally bless us with a song from her origin – hence, “Omemma” was rendered in the Igbo dialect.
Watch “Omemma” (Feat. Nolly) Below: