The line between Gospel and positive secular music has continued to get thinner by day with artistes’ crisscrossing the genres.
Celebrated Gospel Singer Tasha Cobbs recently said that Gospel is not about the genre but the message, a statement with could further make the distinction blurry.
In Kenya, a significant number of prosperous musicians either began as gospel artistes or secular artistes before interchanging stances- some still undecided.
When Sauti Sol released the Live and Die in Afrika album in November 2015, this discussion came up again.
Their song Kuliko Jana was largely classified as a gospel song and was played in churches and other Christian events.
Some of their fans speculated the country’s current most successful band was slowly vamoosing to the gospel scene.
There was, however, a debate over the line “anaipenda leo kuliko jana” (God loves me today more than yesterday) with some fans differing with the its “contradictory” scriptural connotation, reiterating the Bible stated God was the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and so was his love.
Nonetheless, the song, by fans’ standards was a gospel hit which was played in clubs and social joints just like it was in church events.
Klepto Maniac’s Nyashinski’s comeback was trademarked by his hit Mungu Pekee.
Nyashinski alongside the other two Kleptomanics rappers Roba and Collo broke into the scene in the early 2000s with their timeless hit Tuendelee and largely dominated the secular Kapuka scene before later breaking up.
The return of Nyashinski left fans guessing he had seen the light and crossed over to gospel though the subsequent tunes Bebi Bebi and Noy You Know suggested otherwise.
According to local music enthusiasts, Nyashinski had beaten many gospel artistes in their field.
Fast forward to July 2019, another fireworks, electrifying group H_art the band released their debut album Made in the Streets and one song seems to be outstanding.
Your guess may be wrong because, unlike the other 11 songs, El Shaddai is a gospel song.
The song has enjoyed positive reception from the fans across the gospel and secular scenes despite there being other great songs like Usiseme No, Issa Vibe feat Sauti Sol, Ukimwona, Mystical, Papaya Family, Lover Lover, Golden Chances and Bad Manners.
“Secular artistes seem to beat the gospel team in their own field whenever they show up,” one fan commented about El-Shaddai when it was published on Youtube.
Hardcore rapper Khaligraph who once said he began as a gospel artiste before crossing over to his “successful” secular field once collaborated with another gospel sensation who turned coat Willy Paul in the song Bora Uhai and hinted he had crossed over to serve God.
The revelation was shortlived though as the two artistes backtracked to the secular industry. Khlaigraph had also collaborated with Izzo a gospel artiste based in the US in the song Wacha Nikuimbie.
Artistes like Size 8 reborn, formerly Size 8 were top-notch in secular but crossed over to gospel and still have done great songs