Monday, June 8, 2009


'He who sings well prays twice' said St. Augustine many centuries ago. Music ia a universal language which cut across age, sex, race and nationality. Sing a lullaby to a crying baby and watch how he would stop crying, then start smiling at you and soon falls asleep. Mothers can attest to this fact.

Good music played and sung from the heart moves God, the creator of the whole universe! Read 2 Chronicles, chapter 5 verses 12 to 14 of the holy bible and see the power of music. There lies the proof that good music offered in praise to God brings down God's glory.

If music moves God and man, it is then a very efficient way of communication between the two. Therefore the word of God set in musical form will go a long way in touching people's heart, even more than the verbal preaching. Preach the word of God to a downcast man, he may or may not be disposed to listen to you, but set the same message into beautiful music and play it to the hearing of the same man and you will be surprised to see him consciously or unconsciously savouring the tune by nodding or stamping of the feet or even by singing along! What a wonderful way of bringing a downcast soul to God.

A jailer was saved and converted with his household because his prisoners, Paul and Silas, prayed and sang praises to God whose glory came down and shook the foundations of the prison and liberated the prisoners(read Acts 15:25-34).

Perhaps you may have wondered why churches and crusade organizers spend so much money on musical groups such as choirs,bands and orchestra. It is because they understand that the best way to reach human soul is through music. Incidentally, that is also the best way to reach God. If this is so, then Gospel music is an inevitable medium to spread the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ as he has commanded us to do in the bible(Matthew 28:19-20).

Are you a gospel musician, singer or gospel artist? Be encouraged because you are doing a wonderful work of an evangelist. Are you in any way involved in the promotion of gospel music? Do not despair because you are already a part of that Great Commission or rather the Supreme Commission as Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke of Christ For All Nations use to call it.

Remain blessed in Christ Jesus!

Friday, June 5, 2009


There was an influx of western popular music genres such as rock, rhthym and blues, funk, soul, country and disco into Nigeria in the 1960s. These musical styles appealed to the youth and the young musicians started to create their own music along these European and American pop styles. The result of this musical adventure was the development of a fusion called Afro Pop, which became a commercial success because of the variety of sound and dancable tunes it offered the Nigerian music lovers.
Bongos Ikwue brazed the trail with his band 'The Groovies' and churned out some hits in the early 1970s such as 'I'm Still Searching' 'What's Gonna Be Is Gonna Be', 'Amen' and 'Cock Crow At Dawn' which was originally a sound track for Nigerian Television Authority's popular soap 'Cock Crow At Dawn'.
Bunny Mark, a bubbling young artiste stormed the Nigerian music scene with his hit track 'My Sweetie' in an album released on Tabansi Record label, which sold platinum in the mid 1970s. Other artistes such as Tony Gray and William Onyeabor also made great impact in the pop scene about this time. Some groups such as 'The Funkies', 'The Doves', 'Blo', and 'Cloud 7' all recorded hit afro pop albums in the 1970s.
In 1978 Chris Okotie, a university undergraduate took the Nigerian pop scene by a storm with his chart buster 'I Need Someone'. This album with its up-tempo beats was produced by Odion Iruoje and released on Phonodisc Record label, it was very successful in the market. Some other young artistes followed suit with this up-tempo style of afro pop and also made some hits, notable amongs them was Jide Obi who was Chris' roomate at the university. Jide Obi's two albums 'Kill Me With Love' and 'Front Page News' which were released on Tabansi Record label were national hits.
Other young artistes continued to experiment on afro pop and in 1981 Felix Liberty came up with a super hit album titled 'Lover Boy' which was produced by the late ace producer Jake Solo and released on Tabansi Record label. Chris Mba another afro pop star released his hit album 'Baby Don't Cry' on Rogers All Stars Record. Dizzy k. Falola,was another afro pop star who set the Nigerian dance halls aglow with his super hit 'Baby Kilode' released on EMI Record label in early 1980s.
There were also some female afro pop stars whose hit songs made great impact in the 1970s and 1980s pop scene in Nigeria.These include Christie Essien Igbokwe with a many hit songs including'Seun Rere', Oby Ifordu, Onyeka Onwenu with a super hit 'One Love', Oby Onyioha with a hit song 'Break It'. Stella Monye and Laurine Okotie also did some hit albums. Charlie Boy, Mike Okri, Alex O and the late Tina Onwudiwe also made some impacts in the Nigerian pop scene especially in the late 1980s.
To be continued.

Emeka E. Okeke