5 February 2014

Nigeria: Clergymen's Children Embracing Secular Music

D'banj - Don't Tell Me Nonsense ( Resource: D'banj - Don't Tell Me Nonsense )

Clergymen and other people in religious circles have had some of their children opting for their own career in music and not towing the line of their parents by singing gospel songs. SAMUEL ABULUDE writes on Nigerian music stars that their parents are men and women of God

From time immemorial music has been the soul of life and an expression of the innermost feelings of man. Musicians in every clime have always been treated with respect and singing as a career has been a path to honour and fame depending on how successful the singer is.
In the Nigerian music industry, musicians have managed to strive and make a mark in the Industry and some have been successful at doing it attracting a lot of youth to take to different genres of music as a career path.

Secular music, a form of music that appeals to the general public has always been embraced by all because of the global appeal. Secular in this context according to Dictionary.com means pertaining to worldly things or things that are not regarded as or not pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to sacred).
Since music has different genres namely Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Pop, Hip Hop, Reggae, Rock, funk, Country, Classical and in our sphere, Highlife, Juju, Apala, fuji, Afro beat and most recently Afro pop, Afro Hip pop, Dance hall, Galala and others, musicians based on background, inspiration and passion take to these genres of music either in secular or gospel music format.

Marvin Gaye was a talented R&B American singer and he was raised by a father who was a preacher. According to reports, Marvin was killed by his father based on conflicts of interests. A good number of Nigerian musicians in recent times has been raised by parents who are preachers or in a position of honour.
Apart from Tillaman, a young successful musician fathered by the Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, Brandiny is a musician and dancer and son to his Eminence Dr and Barr (Mrs) Sunday Mbang, Prelate Emeritus, Methodist Church of Nigeria. Indeed Jeremiah Gyang has tried to follow his father’s counsel by sticking to gospel music. His father is a clergyman of a church in Jos. If Jeremiah Gyang has paid the price by sticking to gospel music, what of others?

Star Rapper, Mister Incredible popularly known as M.I is a son to Pastor and Mrs. Abaga who are ordained workers of God in a Pentecostal church in Jos, Plateau State. His mother bought him a 7-key mini piano and this may have launched him early into the world of music.
Jude Abaga (his real name), son of Pastor Abaga from Taraba State, had his encounter with Hip-hop when he sampled the musical works of DMX and Lauryn Hill in 1998. With the love for poetry strong in his heart, MI who studied Business and Economics at Calvin College, Michigan, United States has grown in leaps and bounds in his musical career. People would have wondered why the ‘small but mighty’ musician did not embrace the gospel genre of music having been raised up as ‘omo pastor’ (pastor’s child) but the lure of secular music and the pop culture took the better of him. MI has done well for himself and has brought fame to the family. The award winning rapper who is the vice-president of Chocolate City and owner of Loopy Music has strived to keep his name out of trouble.

Soul E Baba
Hip-hop musician, Soul E Baba came into the music scene more than seven years ago with his single and it was a success but not until the handsome dude was enmeshed in a love relationship with Queen Ure and the controversy surrounding it took the steam off his musical career. Indeed Soul E whose name is Emmanuel Okose is the son of an evangelist whose stint as an accomplished singer was as good as it lasted. Presently, Soul E has retraced its steps, not losing the singing talent he has but answering the call of God as a Prophet and crowning this with a blissful marriage last December 2013 to a banker.

Terry G
The Apako master has indeed done well for himself as a musician and the doyen of street music with massive appeal on the youths and the lower class people. Terry G is a multi instrumentalist and has carved a niche for himself bringing to the fore of Ghetto music what the protégés of Daddy Showkey have not been able to translate to. Gabriel Amanyi, the real name of Terry G is a son to a pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG of a Lagos suburb. It is ironic of him considering his image having been associated with weed smoking and violence in the past.

Jesse Jagz
Jesse Jagz is a rapper in the music industry and lately his music has not been able to compete with other front liner rappers since the likes of Ice Prince, Olamide, Phyno came to the scene in the last couple of years and their music and fame have been on the rise. Formerly signed to Chocolatecity Records and now his Jagz Nation, Jesse Jagz is striving to push his music, hard core rap music to fans and music lovers. There is no similarity in character and image between him and MI who is Jagz senior brother and definitely child of a clergy. Jesse Jagz doesn’t see anything in letting his fans know that he fancies smoking weed or is it marijuana. In the world of rap music, being known to be a tough person is a selling point, so don’t be surprised to see artistes associated with a misdemeanour.

Dapo Oyebanji popularly called D’Banj is one of the music stars redefining the Afro pop genre of music in Nigeria. The energetic musician who will be celebrating his tenth year anniversary this year as a musician is the son of a Deaconess and Elder in the Living Faith Int’l Churches known as Winners Chapel. D’Banj whose parents are known to the founder of the church, Bishop Oyedepo was reported to have curried the favour and blessing of Oyedepo when his music career was at its infancy. But the same cannot be said if he still has the same cordial relationship with the church and its founder as his songs are not in tandem with the ideals of the ministry. In fact, unconfirmed reports have it that Oyedepo was said to have uttered that D’Banj who recently released ‘Finally’ video was a disgrace to the youth of Winner’s Chapel talk of the disparity between the glamour of secular music and the message-centredness of gospel music.

Ruby Gyang
Ruby Gyang is a young musician worthy of notice and signed under MI’s Loopy Music. She is the junior sister to the popular inspirational singer, Jeremiah Gyang and a daughter to a Pastor of a mega church in Jos, Plateau State which also has Pastor Abaga, MI’s father as clergy. Ruby has a promo album under her credit titled ‘Ruby Down’ and contains only three tracks.

Arguments in favour of children of clergymen embracing secular music
One of the reasons why children of pastors and deacons dumped gospel music for secular music was because the church community refused to accept their kind of music. The reason being that the church did not want to shift from their traditional method of music ministration.

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