Love Songs in Nigerian Gospel Music | Featured Artiste(s): Mista Seth, B.O.U.Q.U.I

I hope the title does not surprise you.  If it does, well, sit tight, a good explanation is forthcoming.

If you're like me, a 'budding' romantic, then you've thought about LOVE, a lot.  Yes, budding not incurable because it has not reached the point of being a disease.  I did not think of myself as a romantic until recently.  No, I will not be gisting you about it.  It's not even what you think gan-an!

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We can agree that gospel music generally, pays rich homage to the vertical kind of love, i.e. the love of God. It is expressed in just about every language imaginable, and since Nigerian artistes no dey carry last, they have made their own varied contributions as well.  On the other side of music, secular musicians have put in perhaps the same (if not more) amount of energy to explore another kind of life: horizontal love.  No, not the love between a brother and sister. I mean, the love between a man and a woman.  This is where you pucker you lips for effect, and make kiss sounds.  Or you can just slurp your coke and pretend like you don't know what I am talking about.

I have to admit that secular artistes have done a terrific job of writing music that aptly captures the range of emotions that two individuals in love experience.  These songs are played at weddings and other events all the time.  But, what about gospel artistes? Well, what about them? Just because they are committed to singing gospel music, does that mean they cannot sing love songs too?  I say NO!

One of my guiding philosophies in life is that the word of God (the Bible) is a manual for life.  That means that the word of God has answers to every single question you might have.  It might not be obvious, e.g. What school to attend, who to marry, etc, but studying and meditating on the word of God will give you direction, and invariably answers to many complicated questions.  I think love can be complicated sometimes and it definitely falls in the realm of questions that the word of God can answer.

If gospel musicians are singing about what they understand about the word of God, that will definitely include everyday life experiences.  Why not include the love between a man and a woman in the mix? It makes perfect sense to me.  And no, I don't believe you are restricted to the Songs of Solomon, for that matter. If you as a christian man were toasting a woman, would you quote Songs of Solomon? I certainly hope NOT! I think the underlying issue is getting christians to be more romantic, and getting them to embrace romance as a positive thing.  Everything within reason, right?

If you as an artiste take that seriously, it'll be reflected in your music.  I believe there are artful, tasteful and creative ways of expressing the love between a man and a woman in gospel music, without being crass or destroying your reputation as a gospel artiste.  I would love to see Nigerian gospel artistes explore this theme more often in their songs.

Question: Do you think gospel artistes should be singing about man-woman love and/or romance? Should they just stick to singing about the love of God ONLY? Share your thoughts!

And of course, I did not want to end this post without giving examples.  Here are a few tracks by Nigerian gospel artistes that touch on the idea I just discussed above. Enjoy!

P.S.  I am always on the lookout for tracks like these, so if you find any, please share them with me.  Thanks in advance!

Love Song # 1: Mista Seth - Har'abada

Artiste's Stage Name: Mista Seth

Artiste's Real Name: Retyit Seth Maxwell Dayok

Featured Album: My Everything

Connect with Mista SethFaceBook | Twitter | MySpace 

Purchase Song(s) / Full Album: iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby | Holy Culture 

Love Song # 2: B.O.U.Q.U.I - Love You Forever

Artiste's Stage Name: B.O.U.Q.U.I

Artiste's Real Name: Bukola Folayan

Featured Album: The Redefinition

Connect with Mista SethFaceBook | Twitter | MySpace 

Buy Album: Amazon 

Love Song # 3: B.O.U.Q.U.I - Love You Forever (Sax Version)

So you just realised you're a romantic :) Do tell (I know you said not to ask but I'm asking anyway so share)

Hmmm.... First of all, I would want to ask you. what is the meaning of 'gospel'?

Well... Gospel means 'The Good News (of salvation of Jesus), which many people don't know *side-eyeing fire and brimstone preachers*

I don't see anything wrong with Gospel musicians singing love song, but if they do, you won't be able to classify it as a gospel song, because it has nothing to do with the Good news of salvation.

Most Nigerian artistes are confused on what Genre of music they do. When asked on any media interview on what particular music they do, you will her them say " hip hop with a couple of dance hall blended with Afro beats and soul". Funny right? Please a gospel artiste should stick on making gospel music and nothing more. I think the motivation here is MONEY. Most gospel artiste feel they are not getting enough in revenue and publicity. CHEERS


I think it is wonderful when Gospel artists sing about love. Sebi God sef is Love. Abi if I'm looking for a way of expressing love to my bros, will I go find secular song?

Sadly, since this post I have been scouring my music lists to find gospel love songs I enjoy. Here goes another one: and

i guess @ilola somewhat hit a nail but the love songs me i know are foreign ooo..christian love songs that will make you see God in your spouse or Rather see your spouse in a godly manner and you'll cherish her so
eg Love is not a fight by warren was the soundtrack of Fireproof
When God made you by Natalie Grant
if we truly understand that this whole Love thing is God himself, then i feel there would be no confusion or perversion at all
God is Love and wants us to join that circle of Love. do i need say meore?..i hope not..Lol
Love is Pure but most ppl dont see it this way i guess

Toinlicious: You are bold sha! LOL! But you know I cannot share. That would be too much information *eyes narrowed*

Atilola: You're very correct, as per how you defined gospel music. But that is just ONE of several definitions. I should address this issue soon.

Meanwhile, I see what you mean. If gospel artistes sing love songs, in reference to those love songs, they are not technically singing 'gospel music' in the traditional sense. But there is a wider definition that would include them in gospel music, believe it or not.

Brandigest: You make a strong point as per not being able to define the specific style of music. Gospel itself is a particular style of music (more on this later), separate from its content.

But wait, are you saying that gospel artistes should not profit (financially) from their hardwork? Don't forget that regardless of the message, it is still music, and a lot of work goes into the production process. I firmly believe artistes (yes, gospel artistes) should reap financial rewards from their music, especially if they are full-time musicians. What I believe needs work is the quality and creativity that gospel artistes put into their music. Increasing these key areas, in my opinion, will make them more competitive.

Dayo: *squealing with joy* So, you've heard Gaise's "Ready or Not" too? I got the full album last year, and it's one of my most listened-to-songs. How did I not include it on this list? Thanks for the reminder!

You hit the nail on the head: you won't look for a secular love song to express love to your significant other, if all you listen to is gospel music. That would describe you. And me too, of course!

Sugarspring: Thank you so much for those examples. I am actually familiar with the Natalie Grant song, but not Warren Barfield's own. You're right though: God is love, and we cannot talk about love without starting with God. Even marriage was his idea. I know you said you were familiar with the foreign musicians' love songs. There are more of them by Nigerian artistes as well, as I am quickly discovering.

I think they should sing love songs. My problem with the new age love songs focus so much on spending money with a girl, Sleeping all night will the girl and other really ridiculous stuff. The songs of Solomon in the bible is a great place to look for good lyrics for love songs.

Victor Iweanya: Songs of Solomon is a good place to START, but I pray and hope artistes don't stop there. There is a lot of inspiration in the world and in real life relationships.


I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

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