The Kenyan gospel music has been sluggish in terms of trying to break into the big world of entertainment.i recall giving ideas on one artiste Paul Mwai who is doing just great in the music industry. The soft spoken open-minded, Frank and humble gospel star, first came to the station I used to work for and volunteered to do a station ID, I know I should mind my manners and quit asking if there was a contract!
Mwai handled the Gospel music ICT question with caution and took the advice keenly, today when I received his video link, I was so overjoyed to call him back and congratulate him, such a busy man, he is lately my call goes unanswered but I am put in a ringback tone of his song! I was thrilled!
My advice to Mwai was to see what’s wrong with the gospel music in Kenya,moreso in the rural Kenya and try and make it through to the big Awards heavily occupied by the urban gospel Kings,Daddy Owen,Juliani,Danco,Kambua,Juliani and many others.today I see young Mwai heading there 2 years later.
Anyway to share my advice broadly, the answer in most of your marketing lies in the ICT. Wake up Musicians! Running around with vehicles with amplifiers blaring your songs, forcing your music into our ears should come later. For now majority gospel and secular artistes need to create websites, Social network groups, Blogs and create events to promote themselves online.
Majority of artistes in Theatre are even selling tickets on-line and offering trailers, easy to download in amazing websites. Having Run radio show featuring guest gospel artistes, I hate sounding pessimistic but majority will not rise beyond their county since they have no idea what internet is. Pathetic!.
First those who govern music need to be a bit in the know that music is a fast selling product and dynamic too .As a TV drama & comedy director, I would be glad to see more events and awards in various levels of our counties and online too.
I bought a DJ mix CD featuring all the hottest Gospel songs already playing in Radio stations from an informed hawker somewhere in Juja and I couldn’t resist buying this mix and grab one too for my brother. I am sure the music copyright society would term that as a pirated CD .but honestly other than through this Deejay where else could you get a DvD featuring best gospel artistes in a live event.? .I will buy your DVD for more than 500.
By the way a month ago I felt so embarrassed trying to promote local gospel musicians to a group of foreign students only for the vendor to tell me he cannot playback the local music in his stall for fear of being arrested by the music copyright body.
Finally, Last Sunday we were not able to celebrate a birthday of a loved one since the club was charging an entry fee, reason for that?-A new gospel Artiste was launching a CD. That kind off turned us off to go into the neighbouring pub where entry was free and a Dj was good at entertaining us more.
My final advice to the rising musicians, sing, dance and act in your videos and avoid the synchrony in those young school children in yellow t-shirts and blue skirts dancing in the gospel videos, by the way someone needs to follow and find out whether this is allowed.
TV Actor /Director/scriptwriter.