Frank Edwards says the gospel industry hampers the profitability of gospel artists.
In Nigeria, music is said to be profitable for the superstars. In 2019, Boomplay which is arguably the most-used streaming platform by mainstream Nigeria released its list of most played genres in Nigerian music. Gospel was the leading genre.
But on January 12, 2020, Nigerian gospel superstar, Frank Edwards visited Punch Newspapers. During his conversation with the platform, he discussed a number of issues and subtly opined that Nigerian gospel music is not as profitable as it could be. This discussion came after he was asked why gospel singers are rarely used as brand ambassadors.
His response goes thus, “There are so many reasons. Firstly, you have to understand that the industry and ministry is not the same thing. Gospel music is a ministry, the other one is an industry, so it functions fully like that.
“The gospel ministry is totally different from the secular industry even though you might say that there is a business side of it which makes it similar. But in gospel ministry, the business aspect of it is never the focus. I tell people that if you want to make money, don’t do gospel music; you would have a lot of issues.
Gospel music means one is reaching out to people through music; the others are strictly entertainment or at least 70-80 per cent entertainment. The company would rather give the opportunity to musicians who sing songs that all religions, including Christians, would dance to, either at a party or in a club.
The companies are looking for numbers, and they would give the brand ambassadorship to someone who everybody loves their music. If the companies give it to gospel singers like me, people who don’t listen to gospel would probably not pay attention.
Although I’m a brand ambassador, it is not everything that one must do as a gospel artiste. When you are not getting endorsements, think of how many souls you music has healed– that’s your reward.”
This story comes after years of clamour from the gospel sector on their representation or lack thereof in brand representation.