VGMA Artiste of the Year: A Case For The Gospel Artistes

There have been instances in the history of the Ghana Music Awards that gospel artistes have come close to winning, or people thought they deserved to have won the coveted Artiste of the Year award.

Kwaku Gyasi, Daughters of Glorious Jesus and No Tribe have done their bit in the past. This year’s award had Kofi Sarpong heralding the flame of gospel music, as he contended with secular artistes for that award.

The arguments have been that it is virtually impossible for a gospel artiste to rule the awards; more so with the seemingly dwindling nature of gospel music in the country, an argument, I believe is moot though. Such school of thought needs a wider perspective of the gospel music landscape in order to appreciate the extent to which the gospel rave is affecting this generation.

If gospel concerts can fill stadiums and church auditoriums bigger than the Accra International Conference Center, there is something about gospel music in the country that must be looked at.

Prior to EL’s winning of the Artiste of the Year at this year’s VGMAs, I had thought it took something overtly extraordinary to win the award. EL worked hard in the year under review: he had at least a hit song; he had audience appeal and popularity. He is marketable; he has international appeal; he had his own shows. These were some arguments that were advanced alongside the criteria for winning the award.

With the above, I am certain a gospel artiste is not far from winning the ultimate award; even as early as next year if they produce works that fall within the calendar year. “Last year I met a great guy when I was in Ghana. Anointed and sweet spirited. A few days ago a melody flooded my heart. Accompanying that was a thought, JOE METTLE. So watch out for this duet. I pray it glorifies Jesus, edifies his church and touches the world.”

That is internationally acclaimed Nigerian gospel minister Nathaniel Bassey after ministering in Ghana. That is his testimony of Joe Mettle. And that tells you how Joe has come. Joseph Oscar Nii Armah Mettle, born and bred in Korle Gonno, in Accra has that special appeal in the music circles in Ghana. His appeal goes beyond lovers of gospel music. Reviewers of the just ended VGMAs adjudged him best performer of the night. But for patrons of gospel events, what he did was very usual.

Joe-mettle-3 (1)

Undoubtedly, Joe Mettle has come very far. And I tip him to rule Ghanaian music. Why do I have so much confidence in Joe Mettle? The gentleman has everything that makes a star glow. He cuts across genres; he commands respect among his colleagues, industry players, corporate and the church at large.

There is something about him that makes you love him. And what he does. You may call it the Anointing.

Appeal and Awards

Joe is very marketable, and has branded himself very well with a solid international appeal. He has graced the same stage with Don Moen, Israel Houghton, Micah Stampley, Alvin slaughter, Sonnie Badu, Cece Winans, Uche Agu, Juanita Bynum, Sammie Okposo, among others. Apart from the upcoming song with Nathaniel Bassey, Joe has recently collaborated with Notokozo Mbambo, one of South Africa’s top female gospel artistes, and according to sources, Joe Mettle will be Live on the new season of South Africa’s popular

Gospel Classics TV show on SABC 2.
His winning of two top gospel awards in South Africa this year- Best Male Artiste in Africa at the RIGA Awards and the Trumpet Africa Gospel Music Awards (TAGMAS) beating competition from Sammie Okposo from Nigeria, Sonnie Badu from Ghana and Yvan Samuel Manuro from Benin, is enough testimony.

The gentleman undoubtedly is an emerging face in the Southern Africa music industry (and Africa at large. For South Africa to recognize him- an industry that protects their own, and makes it difficult for foreign products to penetrate, what else?

Locally, Joe Mettle has received a number of awards and recognitions as a musician. Some of them are the Best Male Vocalist, Best Songwriter, and Best Video at the 2013 Ghana Gospel Industry Awards; Best Gospel Reggae Song at the 2013 edition of the Bass Awards; Best Praise Song in 2014, and Best Artiste 2015 at the CCML Awards; Best Male Vocalist- 2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. The New Generation Ministers which features him also won the VGMA Peace Song Award for their song “Peace and Harmony” at this year’s award.

Personal Concerts

For the past five years, Joe Mettle has staged his own gospel ministration -“Praise Reloaded.” For those who follow gospel music, the event is an experience. This year’s dubbed “Tabernacle of David” is scheduled for June 26 at the Liberty Hall Fountain Head Christian

College at Tema Community 12.
If Sammy Okposo is billed to minister alongside Pastor Isaiah Fosu Kwakye Jr, and Becky Bonne, and with Vodafone as headline sponsor of the event, do we have cause to underestimate the finesse of Joe Mettle?

Since going solo after his stint with Soul Winners, the gospel gem, with three albums to his credit: Gratitude (2011), Song of Praise (2013) and The Encounter (2015) is holding the forth of gospel music in the country.

If he is inspired by God and he releases a single this year, although his “Turning Around” song is already making waves, I believe he will be in pole position to being the first gospel artiste to win the Artiste of the Year Award at the VGMAs.

Joe-Mettle-2

Credit: Flex newspaper

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