Monday, November 2, 2009

Gospel highlife is a music genre which has become very popular in Nigeria and some parts of West Africa. Gospel highlife is simply gospel lyrics backed by highlife rhythm. Since the early 1990s the popularity of highlife music has continued to dwindle. The taste of music lovers in Nigeria is shifting to gospel music. Some brilliant musicians have seen this gap and are currently filling it. Some recording artistes have recreated and transformed highlife music which hitherto carried a social message and most times praise singing of prominent and rich people in the society to gospel music.
Felix Ndukwe and Jude Ezeji brazed the trail and successfully replaced original highlife message with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ while still maintaining the highlife rhythm. Voice Of The Cross,a popular gospel duet in Nigeria in the early 1990s released an album which they recorded in the United States of America and specifically titled it ''Gospel Highlife-Voice Of The Cross In USA'' This album made waves in Nigeria and spread to some parts of West Africa like a wild fire.
Many other musicians switched over to gospel highlife,even Late Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe a highlife maestro in Nigeria did an exclusive gospel album titled 'Jesus Bu Onye Ndu' in 2001. Numerous other artistes are currently making contributions to the growing gospel highlife music.These include Gozie Okeke, Paul Nwokocha, Osita Muolokwu and Mach Philips.
Some artistes have gone the extra mile of remixing popular old school highlife songs and substituting the original lyrics with newly composed gospel lyrics.
Gospel highlife has come to stay in Nigeria and West Africa.

Emeka E.Okeke