By January next year, the two major award schemes in Ghana, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and 3Music Awards will have this question to contend with: “Is Fameye’s ‘Praise’ gospel?”
Fameye’s ‘Praise’ is currently topping charts and one does not need a prophet to tell that his song will cause a stir in the various awards schemes.
What is not clear, however, is whether it could be nominated in the Gospel Song categories.
‘Praise’ is a beautifully composed and produced song. It is one of the best compositions I heard in recent times.
The choral style of the chorus gives it a more churchy feel.
The message is one that resonates with a lot of people. ‘Praise’ basically tells the story of an ordinary Ghanaian going through pain and struggles to make it. It accentuates the role of God in changing one’s life for the better.
In the song, Fameye mentions how he nearly got distracted by human beings but looking up to God got him more focused.
The chorus goes like this:
Praise the Lord
Hallelujah in the Highest
Nea W’ayɛ nie oo Nyame
W’aseda nie oo Nyame
All by your mercy and your grace, I am grateful
You’ve turned my life around
Now I’m a shining star
Why Fameye’s ‘Praise’ is a gospel song
A song passes the gospel litmus test if it is gospel. That has nothing to do with what the singer is typically known for, their character or personality.
Fameye is not a gospel artiste but nothing bars him from doing a gospel song if he wants to.
Gospel music is simple terms is the type of music that communicates God’s greatness, offers thanksgiving to God, worships God, or contains lyrics on supplication to God.
VGMA Category Definition of Best Gospel Song
The VGMA category definition of Best Gospel Song says: ” The Best Gospel Song is the song adjudged by the Academy, Board and General Public as the most popular gospel song released in the year under review. The song must have generated the most excitement during the year.”
3Music Awards Definition of Gospel Song of the Year
According to 3Music Awards, the Gospel Song of the Year is “the most outstanding and dominant gospel song of the year on the basis of its Christian faith based content, proclaiming or praising God, seeking to inspire positively, calling to worship or encouraging social good with superior songwriting and outstanding production. This is voted for by the board, academy, and the public.”
Despite the inspiring nature of Fameye’s ‘Praise’ song, some people have said that some of his lines are unbecoming of a gospel song.
Fameye says in the song that he now does things in moderation, the reason he would cut down on womanising, smoking, and drinking.
Ahaban mɛte so, mentwe no pii (I’ll cut down on the smoking of ‘weed’)
Nsaden kakraa bi, memmɔ no mii (I’ll minimise my intake of alcohol)
Friday baako bi na ‘maclubi’ (I’ll go clubbing on a Friday)
Menyaa mmayewa baako bi na machocki (I’ll try to get a young lady for myself at the club)
To his critics, he spoilt a nice gospel song with such lyrics. They believe that when one gets to know God, they must flee from anything that is un-Godly.
According to them, if a song can’t be performed at church, it is not real gospel.
What’s the big deal?
Assuming without admitting that Fameye (as a character in the song) is a sinner, is it not good news for Christiandom that he mentions his attempt to cut down on what is considered unholy?
Is drinking alcohol really un-Christian or un-Godly? What is wrong with a Christian going to the club to unwind and find a lady to hung out with?
Well, he has released a masterpiece and I believe a lot of Christians and people of different faiths enjoy the song.
So far, it is more popular than any gospel song released by a mainstream gospel artiste this year.
Sarkodie’s ‘I’ll Get There’ which features MOGMusic is another great gospel song produced by a secular artistes in the year.
I have also heard a lot of nice gospel songs by gospel artistes like Diana Hamilton, Celestine Donkor, MOG, Joe Mettle, among others.
By January next year, we’ll come back to this conversation.
By: Kwame Dadzie | Ghana Weekend