In recent times, gospel musician, Nicholas Omane Acheampong has asked his colleagues not to compete with secular musicians by charging exorbitant rates for shows since they are to transform lives with the gospel.
Hitz FM’s MzGee had a tete a tete with award-winning gospel artiste Selina Boateng on this issue.
MzGee: What do you make of the Ghanaian gospel industry?
Selina Boateng: We are making progress. Things are changing. Our videos these days are classier and are of better quality. Previously we shot our videos by flowers but now we are investing heavily in our videos.
MzGee: What instigated the move?
Selina Boateng: Well I think when we watch some of the secular videos. They attract us because they are well packaged. Personally I think when I invest properly in my video, it would fetch me more sales. When the fans watch and it is not pleasing they won’t want to watch it again but when my video is classy, my fans will watch it on YouTube and Televisions.
MzGee: How expensive is it to shoot music videos?
Selina Boateng: To shoot a video now you need about seven or eight thousand Ghana cedis, previously we were paying between two and three thousand. Managers of gospel artistes have to be applauded because you can imagine the amount of money involved in shooting a whole album.
MzGee: Do these videos sell, considering the cost involved?
Selina Boateng: The sale of videos is very slow due to the influx of social media, however we get the monies to shoot the videos from the shows we play.
MzGee: How much do you charge for show then?
Selina Boateng: It depends, you need to see me nichodemusly for that.
MzGee: Give a range?
Selina Boateng: It ranges from three, four, five thousand upwards.
MzGee: Did you hear Nicholas Omane Acheampong advising gospel musicians not to charge for performances?
Selina Boateng: That is his opinion. I believe when God gives you a talent, he expects that you nurture it and then you gain from it. I think he was trying to tell us not to force ourselves on people.
MzGee: Will you say that the section or the gospel industry of the Ghana music is a united one?
Selina Boateng: As far as there is darkness, we have light. In life, there are people who are troublesome and also people who have peace of mind. It is normal everywhere even in the Bible, not only in the music industry. We all have our way of thinking, we just have to leave it to God.
MzGee: Are you friends with Gifty Osei? How come you didn’t show up when the industry was attacking Gifty Osei?
Selina Boateng: Yes I am friends with her. Actually, I didn’t see what was going on until recently I read the article. She is matured for me to go and talk on her behalf. Sometimes you need to allow the person to do what he/she wants to do and not to chip in. What if it was for publicity?
MzGee: Are you part of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA)?
Selina Boateng: I think all musicians are part of MUSIGA.
MzGee: Are you a registered member?
Selina Boateng: I am a registered member
MzGee: Are you aware of the issues of MUSIGA?
Selina Boateng: I am aware of some of them
MzGee: What do you make of them?
Selina Boateng: I think we have to leave it in the hands of the leaders. We are there to help the leaders grow the industry. We need to leave them to work for us since we voted them to power.
MzGee: We have heard about a lot of fights in the gospel industry, how true are these reports?
Selina Boateng: Well my thinking is different from the way my sister will think. So definitely we are not going to do the same thing. If I’m matured there is no need for me to compete with the other artiste because I know this is my gift and there is no need for me to backbite my fellow musicians.
MzGee: Is there bickering in the industry?
Selina Boateng: Yes there is, but we are all human
Mzgee: Has anybody attacked you on a show before?
Selina Boateng: A lot. I always want to exhibit my best with every opportunity I get and some artistes think I am a braggart so when they mount the stage they decide to compete with me.
MzGee: Does that imply gospel artistes compete among themselves?
Selina Boateng: No, I don’t see it as a competition but I don’t know if my sisters feel the same.
MzGee? What are some of the songs you listen to which are not yours?
Selina Boateng: Kwabena Kwabena; Bue Kwan, I love the music because of the message and the way he sings it. It is very touching.
MzGee: Would you like to do a collaboration with Kwabena Kwabena?
Selina Boateng: You know, Kwabena Kwabena is a Christian and when we say gospel it is not about the person but about the word of God. We are also here to proclaim the word of God to the people to change, so it means we have to win souls for Christ.
MzGee: Collaboration with Kwabena Kwabena. Yes/No?
Selina Boateng: oh why not, if he is ready. I don’t see anything wrong with it because he is a Christian and some of his songs are about love. Bible says wherever God is there is love, there is peace and there is liberty.