Ghana: Gospel artistes are becoming lazy – Bernard Amankwah

Ghana: Gospel artistes are becoming lazy – Bernard Amankwah – Gospel artiste, Bernard Amankwah, has lashed out at his colleagues in the gospel music industry for what he calls, the “culture of stealing and using other people’s work as if it were their own. “

The Presence singer in an interview with Showbiz said some of his colleagues have become lazy and decried the lack of creativity among the gospel music artistes, which he said, has made the practice of stealing other people’s songs a norm.

“The most annoying part, is that, these artistes are rather honoured and hailed at many award schemes at the expense of the original composers of the songs,” a practice he observed, is killing creativity in the industry.

He admits sampling other people’s work is not wrong if permission is sort and credit given to the original owners. His beef is especially with those who just take a song and replace the lyrics with theirs or give a little twist to other people’s songs without giving them credit and claim it as theirs.

“This is lazy work which should not be encouraged. They just ride on the “toils and success” of others. Most of these ‘stolen’ songs are already popular songs so a little variation is all that is needed to make them hits but I think this is not right.

“Our God is a creative God who doesn’t accept mediocrity but the opposite is what is happening in the industry today.

“We have ignored quality and rather praise mediocrity because that is what is in demand. We are always thinking about the masses and what is in popular demand,” he stated.

“But I don’t blame such gospel artistes because they are the ones who are honoured and celebrated at events when they can’t even compose their own songs. If we say that we are serving a creative God whose interest we are serving, then we should learn to be creative with our works too” he added.

According to him “this culture of taking others music and not being creative enough is the reason why some my colleagues have been threatened with law suits”.

In 2013, Joyce Blessing came under criticisms when gospel group, Joyful Way Incorporated filed a legal suit against her for using their song, Wahenni To Rentwa Da, without permission and Bernard Amankwah said this is just one out of the many cases which got the public’s attention.

He said Ghetty and Friends also found themselves in similar situation when they used Sakyi Badu’s Yewo Oman Bi Wo Ho in the 90s without his permission.

He also cited Evangelist Dianah Asamoah’s ‘wahala’ with Abe-Pe Show who accused the former of taking his Anopa Wiem Mframah song without his permission. She however defended herself saying she sort permission from the Church of Pentecost.

He however, lauded the creative works of gospel artistes such as Joe Beechem, Nii Okai, Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Rev. Yawson and Cindy Thompson.

Bernard Amankwah, in the past eight years has organised the annual Celebration of His Grace concert to serve as a platform for Christians to come together in praise and worship. And this year, he told Showbiz the event is scheduled for Sunday, September 20.

He added hat he will also use the opportunity to launch his sixth album, I’m Redeemed.

Some of the songs he has to his credit are His Presence II, Almighty, The Glory Has Come, Holy and Mercy Rescued Me.

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