The Malawian gospel circuit has flourished over the years as artists have consistently given fans the best material possible, ranging from regular hit songs to all year round club bangers.
Progress has been made on the international scene as well as artists like Lawi, Suffix and Faith Mussa have caught the ear of not just a continental audience, but a global one.
Despite all this success, the gospel circles are dominated by artists that started off on the secular scene than artists that kick started their careers in the church, which begs the question, why is this so?
We caught up with award winning christian rap artist Suffix and here is what he had to say on the matter; “The issue isn’t about someone turning from secular to gospel. There’s a bunch of artists who are not making waves, yet they did secular at some point in time. It’s all about how you understand the industry, hard work, persistence, perseverance, consistency, commitment, skill, money/resources. A lot of factors.
Most of the artists in the gospel circles haven’t had time to study branding and music business. Most of them would rather do music in the church than on the mainstream level, that’s why a lot of people wouldn’t know them since they are low key performing in churches only.”
The rapper left no stone unturned as he also shifted the blame on to fans for luck of support and acceptance of gospel music and artists saying ; “To be honest, people don’t wanna hear the gospel once they label you as a gospel artist. The mentality is that you should/cannot perform at a secular event or your songs should not be played on a secular program(radio) just because you do gospel music and i feel like that’s unfair. So the reason why it’s hard for gospel artists to penetrate the mainstream market is because they are being put in a box.”
It will take a collective effort by both artists and fans to create an outstanding industry that provides equal exposure to both secular and gospel acts. This feat can help propel our global outreach to newer heights.
By Kelvin ‘Repro’ Mtambo