If you want to make money, don’t be a gospel artiste, Gospel music artiste Frank Edward says in his interview with Punch Nigeria.
Why are gospel artistes rarely used as brand ambassadors or influencers?
There are so many reasons. Firstly, you have to understand that the industry and ministry is not the same thing. Gospel music is a ministry, the other one is an industry, so it functions fully like that.
The gospel ministry is totally different from the secular industry even though you might say that there is a business side of it which makes it similar. But in gospel ministry, the business aspect of it is never the focus.
I tell people that if you want to make money, don’t do gospel music; you would have a lot of issues. Gospel music means one is reaching out to people through music; the others are strictly entertainment or at least 70-80 percent entertainment. The company would rather give the opportunity to musicians who sing songs that all religions, including Christians, would dance to, either at a party or in a club.
Because the companies are looking for numbers, they would give the brand ambassadorship to someone who everybody loves their music. If the companies give it to gospel singers like me, people who don’t listen to the gospel would probably not pay attention. Although I’m a brand ambassador, it is not everything that one must do as a gospel artiste. When you are not getting endorsements, think of how many souls you music has healed– that’s your reward.
Are there contracts that one should not sign as a gospel artiste?
The answer is yes. You have to know what you want to represent. Although anybody can choose to represent anything but note that whatever brand ambassadorship one takes on must not be anti- what one believes or represents. That should be one’s first yardstick of taking brand ambassador deals. For example, my body has zero-tolerance for alcohol, so I can’t be a brand ambassador for the makers of alcoholic products, no matter the money involved.
What are the challenges facing the gospel industry?
One of the biggest challenges that I think is getting gospel singers to understand that they are in a ministry and not in the industry. It is getting them to know that they are not the same as artistes in the secular industry.
A lot of people do things shabbily without putting a lot of work. Some gospel singers look ‘anyhow’ when they are invited to minster, forgetting that the way one represents God matters. One doesn’t have to buy the most expensive things, one should just dress neatly, take time to work on one’s music and make the right videos.
Some feel that since it is gospel music, anything goes. Young people should relate to our sound, so we don’t lose out on them. Give them the sound they want with the right message. However, in trying to be lively, don’t be irreverent. Don’t infuse carnal words because it is what is reigning.