There will be no peace for Amani in the gospel music industry
It is not news that in her 18-year career as a secular music artiste, Cecilia Wairimu popularly known as Amani has been nothing but a disenchantment and a disgrace to her not so many fans.
From recording non-starters, showing up late for shows and delivering mediocre performances to her audience, not to mention that she managed to record a ‘whooping’ 10 horrible tracks during her ‘short’ stint as an ‘established’ artiste.
The announcement that she has now crossed the floor, is ‘born again’ and is set to ‘move on’ from secular music to the gospel music industry is yet another case of ‘too little too late!’
Lately, after enjoying life to the fullest and failing to compete favorably in the secular music space, artistes are seeking refuge in the Lord and the script is the same; ‘I got tired of the life I was living and I wasn’t happy so I decided to renew my relationship with God… blah blah blah’… Sitaki kusikia!
The Truth is, world over, there are millions of secular music artistes who have maintained a close relationship with their creator and fully subscribe to their religion’s doctrines. Similarly, there exists an overwhelming number of tracks deemed as gospel music written and performed by secular music artistes. It is not justifiable that just because you decide to be a disciple of the Lord that you must cross over and preach the gospel in song and dance. Secular music does not necessarily have to be all about the ‘bad boy’ you have fallen for or lusting for some good-looking man in the club.
For a long time, Julius Owino aka Juliani was thought to be a gospel music artiste because of the conscious lyrics in his compositions and the clever rhetoric in his delivery. It goes without saying that you can be a secular music artiste and be righteous before society and God without going against commandment two of the ten.
Lyrical content and Biblical allusion…
Most of the time, the very reason why artistes fail in the secular music scene is because of poor song content in terms of lyrical value, arrangement and delivery. Amani, since the year 2000, has sung about love. At one time, she is falling in love, at another she is letting go and at some other time she has been heartbroken. I don’t want to make it sound like specializing has not worked for artistes, specialization does work, but only if well executed.
Amani’s tracks, if you ask me have sounded almost the same over the years. Her vocal range is constant, the beat and feel has remained the same and the lyrics are nothing to awe about. As a pioneer artiste in Kenya, she had the chance (for purposes of setting a good example) to bring on board a lyricist or even a composer and arranger of music to help her bring out the potential in her but no, she often rushed into releasing a bad track that she literally had to push to get airplay, disappearing from the music scene only to return years later with another repulsive single.
I do not want to pre-empt her future in the gospel music scene, maybe this time she will get it right, but having observed the dynamics in the Kenyan entertainment scene, I can tell you authoritatively that Amani will not have a piece of the gospel music industry cake and eat it.
Most of the time, artistes who have transformed to gospel music are not really in it for the ministry. It is in the public domain that locally, the gospel music industry pays better and it is a venture you do not need to put in a lot of work to thrive in. Just pick up your bible, read through it, pick some interesting verses from the holy book, and voila! You have yourself lyrics to a ‘hit’ song!
Biblical allusion has worked for some artistes, but for some like Size 8, rappers Collo, Bamboo and recently Wahu have invaded unfamiliar grounds they are not made for and we are watching closely because as much as they try to sound like they are spreading the gospel, we can still see through them. We know their struggles but for now, we shall not play judge but in due time, we shall revisit.
Just before I conclude, I must congratulate Amani for two things; finally bagging a Naija ‘bad boy’, keeping him a secret and having been nominated for several awards and having won a number of those, thanks to Nyashinski and Ogopa (pun intended). It is not too late; Nyash is still open to collaborations; find him and make another great hit, this time with a few lines borrowed from the bible.
As we all wait for the proverbial return of Christ, it is my prayer, hope and belief that all will work out for Amani, for the sake of peace love and unity; and that, is the absolute Truth!
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