2018 has come and gone but the melodies are evergreen in memory. In no particular order, here is a list of gospel artistes that made the waves in 2018.
1. Dunsin Oyekan, a guitarist from age 10, is a Music Minister who has caused a change in the gospel ministry by his psalms and worship songs. He’s a passionate worshipper who leads worship sessions at various programmes
Of a truth, he has taken music ministry into another dimension and featured on same platform with artistes including Frank Edwards, Don Moen, Kim Burrell and so on. Dunsin’s songs are noticeably few in lines but the message embedded in the songs are filled with deep understanding.
In 2018, we were treated to the melodious worship track of ‘Song of Angels’ and ‘Imole De‘.
2. Tope Alabi whose maiden name is Obayomi, was born on 27 October, 1970 in Lagos State. She is the only female among the three children of her parents. She had her secondary school education at Oba Akinyele Memorial High School in Ibadan (1986) before proceeding to The Polytechnic, Ibadan to study Mass Communication (1990).
She was initially part of a comedy group; Jesters International in Ibadan. Tope Alabi has delved into the Theatre Art profession where she was able to realize her potential as a talented actress and improve her skills as a singer. Countless number of Yoruba movies in the Nollywood industry have Tope Alabi as the soundtrack composer.
She has recorded 10 albums till date, from which songs like ‘E gbe ga‘, ‘Nigba ti mo ro’ have become well-known choruses.
Her recent feature in TY Bello’s spontaneous worship session titled LOGAN TI O DE hit a thousand downloads within the very minute it was released.
Tope Alabi’s voice is described as an angelic one which has been heard at various programmes, gospel concerts and won several awards both home and abroad.
She is married to Soji Alabi who doubles as her manager.
3. Nathaniel Bassey, born in 1978, hails from Uyo local government in Akwa Ibom but was born&bred in Lagos State. He proceeded to study Music at Middlesex Summer School, United Kingdom after studying International Relations and Politics.
Nathaniel Bassey developed love for music at an early age as inspired when he saw prominent Nigerian gospel music icon, Dr Panam Percy Paul in a concert. Since then, his passion for music has grown and translated into various musical experiences.
Although, he had a liking for Jazz music and played alongside his childhood friends and in groups, he sought a deeper understanding of Music particularly Gospel and ended up being mentored by Late Pastor Eskor Mfon, a former pastor of RCCG, City of David.
Today, so many of his songs are on the lips of people across the world, especially with the #Halleluyah Challenge which birthed extraordinary testimonies and the Olowogbogboro track. He is respected as a Worship Minister with the sound of his trumpet in whatsoever track it may be.
4. This is the voice on the Nara track. 2018 had that song on repeat!
Timothy Chukwudi Godfrey popularly known as Tim Godfrey, is an outstanding artiste who has revamped the gospel music industry by aligning traditional gospel with contemporary genre. He is a Voice instructor, Music producer, multi-instrumentalist, just to mention a few of his profound skills in Music.
He directs his musical group named Xtreme Crew. This group has earned an award for Musical Excellence in Nigeria from the AMEN AWARDS 2005 for being the Best Modern Gospel group in Nigeria.
His songs are tailored to channel the exuberance of Youths in order to serve God passionately. His first major hit single titled Agidigba in 2008 contributed to bringing him to limelight after decades of him being solo in the Industry. His presence at The Experience live concert since 2016 is always resulting into loud echoes of applause.
5. Chioma Jesus whose real name is Evangelist Amaka Okwuoha became popular with her song “Chioma Jesus” in 2003 and the name stuck.
Her heart desire is to win more souls for Christ, hence all her songs are intentional about proclaiming the name of Jesus.
Her usual style of singing smoothly in Igbo Language is incomparable to any other.
6. Aka Akaya was a song within earshot in 2018. With its translation made easy in Yoruba language, the song gained prominence the more.
Gabriel Eziashi is a dynamic singer with a phenomenal voice whose art of worship is ably recognised even in International scenes.
Born in Lagos Nigeria, Gabriel is the fifth child in a family of seven siblings and today, he is married to Stella Oludayo Eziashi for over 17 years and blessed with two children; Bryanna and Yannis.
7. Shola Allyson-Obaniyi is one of the female indigenous gospel singers whose musical career started at 13. She studied Music Technology at The Polytechnic, Ibadan and can be said to be a Musicologist by training and a Singer by talent.
She is fondly called ‘Eji Owuro‘ because that was the song that made her name ring far and wide.
Shola Allyson is known for her ability in spontaneous worship and accrued with the credit of bringing Heaven closer with her voice.
2018 was an outstanding one when she released an album titled Imuse, alongside feature on Adekunle Gold’s Alujanjankijan
8. One is quick to see hands lifted in adoration unto God at the very minute of hearing ‘Jesus, you love me too much o‘. Well, here’s the artiste!
Born in Port Harcourt, Mercy Chinwo emerged as winner of Season 2 Nigerian Idol in 2012 and gained prominence in the music industry. She is a singer and songwriter at the same time and this has earned her to feature on musical works of persons like Buchi, Preye, Sammie Okposo, as a backup artist.
She was a member of the cast in Yvonne Nelson’s film titled House of Gold and this was remarkably Mercy’s first film role. Her other trending songs include Igwe, Chinedum, Regular. The latest track released was Excess love.
9. Mike Abdul, born February 12, 1977 is a member of Midnight Crew whose dynamism in the manner he sings has earned him worldwide recognition.
In an interview he once had with prominent Newspaper company- Punch, he shared that he studied Engineering just to please the society and could not deny his love for music eventually. In the Gospel music industry, Mike Abdul is respected as a Songwriter, Singer and Music Producer. He has his own record label; Spaghetti records with a number of artistes signed under its management.
Songs like ‘Surulere‘, ‘Kene Jesu‘, ‘Durotimi‘, ‘Toh Marvelous‘ just to mention a few, are a result of his contribution. Also, he has worked with Nigerian artistes, both secular and gospel including 1stBon, Monique, Obiwon, Kenny Kore, FLO, Babatunmise and several others.
10. Ada Ogochukwu Ehi (with maiden name- Ndukauba), started her musical career at the age of 10 by joining Tosin Jegede’s group as a backup singer. Ada Ehi is a graduate of Chemical and Polymer engineering from the Lagos State University where she was also a member of the Believers Love world campus fellowship.
Eventually, she joined the Christ Embassy choir and was signed under the Loveworld records in 2009.
Ada, whose tracks that reigned in 2018 includes ‘Only You‘, ‘Yahweh‘ and ‘Testimony‘ , is one of the most influential gospel singers.