The new phase of gospel and Herty Borngreat!

From afar I have been following and observing the exploits of funky gospel musician; Herty Borngreat. People admire people for various reasons and I admire her charisma, talent, sincerity and the originality of her songs. Gradually I’m developing a soft spot for her.

Herty Borngreat is to the gospel music what D-Black is to Hip Hop. They are both very hardworking about what they do which is rare these days since there are few musicians who are passionate about what they do.

In the face of stiff competition, they are always ready to push their brands up there and to me, that needs mentioning.

No disrespect intended but I have always had the notion that, no gospel musician can ever win the ultimate award at the Ghana Music Awards. However, looking at how forceful gospel singer Herty Borngreat has become in terms of pushing her brand, I guess I will have to take another look at that perception. Don’t forget that, it is only a fool who doesn’t change its mind.

Over the years, most gospel musicians have not done enough to perhaps merit or win the coveted honour at the Ghana Music Awards. Winning a big award such as the ‘Artiste of the Year’ requires loads of hard work from an artiste with such a dream as well as his or her management.

Just putting out a song in the public domain is certainly not enough to win an artiste such an award. My friends, it goes beyond that! Manay people can relate and jam to secular songs but the same people won’t necessarily be excited about gospel songs. The reason being that, secular music cuts across and gospel songs do not.

Until recently, gospel musicians in Ghana held the notion, some still do though, that; they are cut out for just Christian and church related events. What I’m implying is that most Ghanaian gospel singers see themselves as too holy and their services are only needed in the churches or other events closely related to the church. Performing at secular events is a no go area for them.

Fast forward to now, lots of these same gospel musicians are spearheading a change to this primitive mindset of shunning secular events and gradually warming their way into the hearts of many patrons of both secular and Christian-related events.

An example of such a gospel artiste is Herty Borngreat whose ingenuity has paid off and gradually but simultaneously closing the gap between the secular and gospel musicians.

Now what do we see? I get so excited when I attend shows considered as secular and gospel artistes billed on the programme distribute thrill to patrons.

Patrons don’t really care if a song is secular or gospel. They are cool provided the music is good and the accompanying stagecraft is also great.

The assertion that gospel music can only be enjoyed in ‘the house of the Lord’ is not entirely true. It means, if you compose a gospel song with everybody in mind and it’s well packaged, everybody including unbelievers will enjoy and jam to it.

To many, Herty is very loud of a gospel musician but to her, she’s winning souls for Christ through her ministration and that’s the important thing. She’s ministering the gospel in a manner that is also entertaining to the audience who are gradually getting used to her kind of music.

What I have observed about her is that, one doesn’t have to be just a gospel musician to worship the Almighty God, other musicians can do same. Many musicians in the same genre as her would be quick to thwart any idea of working with a non-gospel artiste on a song. She has collaborated with hardcore rappers such as Sarkodie and Trigmatic on songs which have been hits.

At this year’s Ghana Music Awards, Herty won two awards on the night. In addition to the Gospel Artiste of the Year award, she picked the Best Collaboration of the Year award which pundits had predicted would go to Asem and Kwabena Kwabena’s Bye-Bye song.

She was called names and accused of buying the award after winning the award. What people don’t know is that, the Ghana Music Awards is a popularity based awards, which means, the organisers nominate artistes who are popular in the year under review and any artistes who gets nominated can go home with the ultimate award.

She didn’t go to sleep after she was nominated. She made sure she campaigned for her fans to vote for her to win it, while her other competitors slept thinking they would win it on a silver platter.

Considering her hard work and perseverance, I’m not too worried about Herty organising her own show as I have seen banners advertising it in town. Obviously, she is not the first artiste to organise her own show and certainly she will not be the last but I think most of the artistes must tow her line.

Herty Borngreat is not waiting for event organisers to call her to grace their shows; she’s organising it herself and must be commended. Her show dubbed “Be My Guest Executive Concert” slated for September 21 at Alisa Hotel surely will give other artistes the chance to be heard.

This is what the industry needs. Let us support artistes who organise their own shows which also give opportunity for others to be noticed. Herty is an artiste who is gradually getting to the zenith of her career with sheer hard work and as it stands now, upcoming artistes can derive lots of lessons from her. Perseverance is key!

By Ebenezer Anangfio

eanangfio@hotmail.com or tweet @anangfio

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