Right from the days of Fela till present, the Nigerian music industry has been recognized as the most successful music industry in Africa. Without much ado, the industry prides itself as one factor that contributes massively to the growth of the Nigerian economy over the years.
In every year, different music stars emerges from all corners of the country to showcase their arts, which has helped in pushing the industry to the level it has reached today.
The most talked about section of people in the Nigerian music industry are those ones doing circular music. In a well phrased nomenclature, there are known as the industry heavy-weight. I mean the 2face Idibia, p-square, MI, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage and the rest of them.
When pointing out things that encompass the creative arts industry, the Nigerian Afro-Circular music is a major factor that has redefined our narrative to the western world and is widely accepted as a major drive of the Nigerian pop-culture.
Circular musicians who are good at dishing out good contents to the music market are seen smiling to the bank on daily basis.
A related typical example is Davido, on his latest single IF, who could not withhold his joy of making good money in his music career, singing:
If I tell you say I love you oh…
My money, my body na your own oh baby…
30billion for the account oh…
Versace and Gucci for your body
Davido is Nigeria’s finest singer basking on the euphoria of his delivery of good contents that has translated to a good pay-check and several brand endorsement to him.
It will be quite debateable to say that top-notch Nigerian gospel musicians are making the ‘big money’ that circular musicians are displaying on their social media accounts. Pundits would say that the primary aim of a gospel singer is to sing songs that will win souls to God’s kingdom and not necessarily a money making venture. Another might opine that some of them are still winning souls, making good money and getting mouth-watering endorsements too.
Gospel music which is a music genre in Christian music cannot be left out when music discussions pops-up in Nigeria.
The gospel music industry has been thriving positively with lots of gospel singers dishing out timeless songs to the glory of God. There are many circular musicians who have come out to say that they started out their music career from church. Lots of them had been singing in the church choir before hitting the studio to start-off their circular music career. It’s a confirmed testament that the church has been instrumental in moulding a greater number of circular musicians making waves today.
The controversial switch from circular music to the gospel music industry some years ago is a case study of OBI-WON, with real name, OBIORA NWOKOLOBIA-AGU, who was widely known as one of the circular Afro-pop singers with several hits to his credit before taking the mantle to do gospel.
Obi-MU OH, a popular tune with the remix featuring Ill-BLISS, MI and BLAISE, which was played in radio stations across Africa can be traced as OBI-WON’s biggest hit since he started his music career, both circular and gospel combined together.
In July 2008, the Enugu born singer made the announcement on the media that he had undergone a spiritual experience and that his intent was to switch to full fledge gospel genre, which got many talking and asking questions.
How the singer has fared after that switch inspired this piece. Switching from circular to gospel music must have been a hard nut to crack anyways. But the singer, songwriter, Evangelist and music minister made that decision not minding the side-talks from his fans; so far he was acting on God’s plan for his life, future and career.
Singer is a strong believer of Christ and is very passionate about what he does. A short note about him says:
my greatest musical ambition is to be a vehicle for music that speaks life and brings healing…
I’m glad to continually give in to the higher calling’’, he stated.
Exploring a new career path is always challenging but in the case of OBI-WON, it seems he was ready to navigate his way through regardless of the inevitable difficulties he has encountered so far, since he delved into the gospel world. He has been a relevant voice in the gospel music scene with his timeless body of work.
His Latest hit ‘’MERCY’’ is a strong indication that the singer has kept his promise in dishing out soul-lifting songs.