In a recent appearance on OS TV’s Gospel Shishiishi show, Steven Owusu, widely known as The Shishiishi Man, ignited a thought-provoking discussion by asserting that a Gospel artist can win awards in categories such as Reggae Dancehall, Hip Hop, and Highlife at the prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
Owusu highlighted notable Gospel songs, including Scott Evans’ Afrogospel track “100 Percent,” Nat Abbey’s reggae-infused gospel song “Hanukah,” Carl Clottey’s Afrobeat jams and Akesse Brempong’s collection of Gospel reggae and Afrobeats hits, as exemplifying the versatility that transcends specific genres.
The Blurring of Genre Boundaries:
Owusu’s statement challenges the conventional notion of strict genre categorization and showcases the dynamic nature of Gospel music.
He argues that songs with Gospel messages, regardless of their musical style, deserve recognition in various genres, including Reggae Dancehall, Hip Hop, and Highlife.
This perspective reflects the evolving landscape of music and the increasing interplay between different genres, opening doors for Gospel artists to make a mark in traditionally non-Gospel categories.
The Case for Inclusivity:
The Shishiishi Man’s viewpoint aligns with the idea of inclusivity and celebrates the diverse expressions within Gospel music. Songs like “100 Percent,” with its blend of Amapiano and Gospel, embody the fusion of faith and popular music styles, attracting a wider audience while spreading a positive message.
Similarly, Nat Abbey’s “Hanukah” showcases how reggae can be used as a powerful tool to convey Gospel themes, demonstrating the versatility of the genre.
Akesse Brempong’s Success Story:
Owusu specifically mentioned Akesse Brempong, whose catalog of Gospel reggae and Afrobeats hits exemplifies the artist’s ability to bridge genres seamlessly.
Brempong’s songs have resonated with listeners across different musical preferences, contributing to his rise as a prominent figure in the Ghanaian music scene.
His success illustrates that Gospel artists can make a significant impact and win accolades beyond traditional Gospel categories.
A Shift in Perspective:
The Shishiishi Man’s submission prompts a paradigm shift in how Gospel music is perceived and recognized within the VGMA framework.
It encourages a broader understanding and appreciation of the artistic merit, creativity, and impact of Gospel songs that transcend genre boundaries.
This shift not only creates opportunities for Gospel artists to be recognized in multiple categories but also fosters a more inclusive and diverse music industry.
Steven Owusu’s assertion on the Gospel Shishiishi show challenges the traditional categorization of Gospel music, advocating for a more inclusive and diverse approach at the VGMA.
The recognition of Gospel artists in genres such as Reggae Dancehall, Hip Hop, and Highlife reflects the versatility and evolving nature of Gospel music.
The contributions of artists like Scott Evans, Carl Clottey, Nat Abbey, and Akesse Brempong exemplify the seamless integration of Gospel themes into various musical styles.
As the music industry continues to evolve, embracing the diversity within Gospel music will undoubtedly contribute to a more vibrant and inclusive musical landscape.
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