Over the decades, Gospel music has consistently held a sacred place within the Nigerian community with renowned artists such as Nathaniel Bassey, Sinach, and Dunsin Oyekan, among others, contributing to the genre’s enduring popularity. This is evident from its impressive presence on Spotify, amassing over 26 million streams from Nigeria alone in the last year.
Running parallel to the “traditional” Gospel sound is the Afro-Gospel genre, which conveys the same spiritual message while infusing a distinct Afro-centric sound. Afro-Gospel emerged onto the scene about two decades ago, when artists like Dekunle Fuji, Midnight Crew, and Tim Godfrey introduced a fresh sonic twist. This sub-genre is currently in the midst of a notable ascent, resonating with a diverse audience and earning its rightful place in the hearts of music enthusiasts.
As Afro-Gospel music’s popularity continues to increase across Nigeria, Spotify is proud to elevate the genre and its artists. On Saturday, August 26, Limoblaze, in collaboration with Spotify organised an Afro-Gospel Community Hangout held at the DulCe Event Space in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria to explore the genre’s trajectory of growth and explore avenues for mutual support.
The intimate gathering brought together community members for insightful fireside chats, led by Gospel music artists and stakeholders, including Gaise Baba, Protek Illasheva, Salem King and more, who generously shared invaluable advice and insights with aspiring Afro-Gospel artists. The discussions spanned diverse topics including effective marketing strategies and strategic networking, riding the wave of the genre’s current momentum.
After the fireside chat, James Propa, Spotify’s Artist & Label Partnerships, Christian & Gospel, Africa and Warren Bokwe, Lead, Music Strategy & Operations, for Spotify SSA presented a masterclass on the different strategies and tools that can be leveraged by up-and-coming Gospel artists to secure coveted spots on Spotify playlists, a powerful mechanism for amplifying their music’s reach and turn their passion into a profession.
“Gospel music carries messages of hope, faith, and unity that resonate deeply with listeners, and by collaborating with Gospel artists in Nigeria, we aim to amplify their voices and provide a platform where these artists can share their inspirational songs with the world,” said Warren Bokwe, Lead, Music Strategy & Operations, for Spotify SSA.
In alignment with its commitment to champion various genres, Spotify is resolutely dedicated to nurturing the Afro-Gospel movement. This burgeoning community possesses tremendous potential to attract a broad following as it continues to surge in popularity across the region.