FREDRICK AGAGA- THE IMPACT OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA (CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL MUSIC, SECULAR, AND WORLDLY MUSIC).
THE IMPACT OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA (CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL MUSIC, SECULAR, AND WORLDLY MUSIC).
Before buttressing the impact of the music industry in Nigeria, it is imperative that we understand the different spheres within the Music industry (gospel, secular and worldly music).
Gospel music or songs refer to songs written to propagate the gospel; the message of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and all the changes it enacts for who ever believes it. On the other hand, secular music refers to non-religious songs (they aren’t always worldly). Secular songs could be written to address the ills of the government or society, to voice out the opinion of the masses, to speak on behalf of the poor, etc. Love songs also fall under this category. All worldly songs are secular songs but not all secular songs are worldly songs. Thirdly and finally, worldly songs are songs totally in discordance with spiritual matters. They are songs that promote lust, materialism, and everyother flesh-centered activity.
While considering the impact the music industry has had on Nigeria(ns), it is important to recognise the power of music. It is impossible to live a life outside what you hear and see (we hear music and we also watch music videos). Also, it is crucial to note that the eyes and ears are windows to the mind. The things we constantly hear and see determines what we believe and what we do is directly a resultant effect of the things we believe.
With the above truths cemented, it becomes crystal clear that the music industry has greatly affected the country, as well as the entire globe. Humans generally find music appealing. Music is one of the very few things loved by everyone. Even though you don’t find one genre of music appealing, there must be other genres that excite you. No one hates music. This brings every single human under the influence of music.
Firstly, let’s consider the impact of worldly music/songs. Unarguably, worldly songs/secular songs have a wider audience and reach a larger percentage of Nigeria’s population (this doesn’t come as a surprise. We are in the world. It’s natural for the world to patronise it’s own). Worldly songs are frequently played almost everywhere, ranging from streets to clubs, wedding receptions, hair salons, birthday parties, school ceremonies, homes, public vehicles, etc. In other words, people have become more exposed to inimical informations than they are to healthy ones. No surprise lewdness and wantonness has become a norm.
Worldly songs, through their immoral lyrics and videos promote things like alcoholism, narcotisation, sexual immorality, selfishness, materialism, etc. A lot of folks who drink or abuse drugs learnt it from celebrities who are musicians. Also, a lot of people who get involved in sexually immoral acts were influenced by the worldly videos of some of their favourite music artists.
Also, a lot of people who use profane and vulgar language became accustomed to the use of such language(s) as a result of hearing worldly songs. The devil, perfectly aware of the humongous influence music has, has not failed to use both people (worldly musicians) and their ungodly songs to perpetrate lasciviousness.
Now, let’s consider the most soul-gratifying and Spirit-breathed kind of music; gospel music. As with all spiritual things, gospel music is of eternal significance and value. A vast number of people have testified about the impact of gospel music. Through gospel songs people get edified, freed from depression and even infirmities, etc. They are also a way of expressing Love to God when words fail. A number of people have actually felt the tangible presence of God by worshiping through songs. The Holy Spirit never fails to refresh souls via the lyrics each time an individual listens to gospel songs.
So, unquestionably, all sorts of music have had their various sorts of impact within Nigeria and the globe. Nevertheless, it’s unfortunate that the worldly/secular music industry has had more impact and success than the gospel music industry (in terms of money made and audience reached). In my opinion, the major reason why worldly music sells more is because it’s normal for the world to accept it’s own. Worldly songs are in and of the world so naturally, the world is a fan of worldly music. Nevertheless, there are other reasons why worldly/secular music seems to have more impact and success than gospel music in Nigeria.
One major error of the Nigerian gospel singers is that they rarely sing secular songs. As I said earlier, all worldly songs are secular but not all secular songs are worldly. Gospel ‘ministers’ just feel that their gift is for the four walls of churches alone and this notion is wrong. As earlier mentioned, songs on realities of life like corruption, the pleas of the poor masses, love, etc are secular but aren’t worldly songs. The more gospel singers sing such songs, the more they gain audience and the more they gain audience, the more people get to hear their gospel songs. Out of sheer ignorance, lots of folks into gospel music feel love songs shouldn’t be their thing (when in reality it should be a thing for christians alone). They leave it for the world (who knows nothing else but lust). We should sing love songs. The role of the world is to sing lust songs. Surprisingly, it seems folks who hold this view do not see the “songs of Solomon” in their own bibles. If you weren’t aware, that’s a book where the love songs written by Solomon were recorded, and that book is in the Bible. Yes! The Holy Bible.
Finally on this note, gospel ‘ministers’ are also failing to put much fund and diligence into music production and promotion when compared to worldly folks. This factor just might not be as crucial as others, but it still stands as an influence. Gospel musicians are easily non-challant and unprofessional in their musical dealings when compared to secular artists. In most cases, they bring mediocrity into the production and promotion processes of their songs.
In conclusion to this article, no matter the type, music generally has great effects on the minds of people. Though a lot of people care less about the type of music they hear, it doesn’t annul the fact that it affects and shapens their lives. Although most Nigerians have unfortunately been hearing junk too often, ammendements can be made for the future. Radio and TV stations would also need to play a great part by often playing songs and videos with rich content.