Though most Nigerians identify with one religion or the other, secular music appears to be more popular in the country.
Gospel singer, Monique Lawal, simply known as Monique, has expressed satisfaction with the gospel music industry in the country at the moment. She told Sunday Scoop, “As far as I’m concerned, everything is going on well in the gospel music industry. Music, generally, in Nigeria is doing well.”
Though most Nigerians identify with one religion or the other, secular music appears to be more popular in the country, and Monique, recognised this, adding, “Nigeria is a secular state, not a Christian nation. We really don’t have any accurate statistics to say which religion is the largest in the country. People have the right to listen to whatever they want; you can’t force anyone to listen to gospel music. As for me though, there are more Christians around me and they mostly listen to gospel music.”
Unlike what some of her colleagues say, Monique argued that the church was supportive of gospel artistes. “I think the church is doing very well now. They provide opportunities for gospel artistes and give them platforms to showcase themselves. Gone are the days when gospel artistes went for programmes and they only got ‘thank you’ at the end of the day. These days, gospel artistes are well appreciated, and that is a big progress,” she stated.
Speaking on her current projects, Monique said she had been shielded from challenges in her career. “My new single, Timeless, is doing well, and I’m working on releasing an album soon. I am one of the blessed ones as I didn’t really have challenges in my career. From the inception, I was signed to a record label where I didn’t have to do so much. They took care of a lot of things such as promotions, which is very important. I’m still signed to the label and there have been lots of improvements,” she said.
The singer also urged caution when it comes to dressing. “I grew up at a time when gospel music was very conservative. Now, people believe that there’s grace and you don’t judge people by outward appearance. Some people can cover themselves properly but their minds are full of wicked thoughts. However, as Christians, one should know where to draw the line, because if you dress irresponsibly, you’re actually driving some people astray. You can cover yourself up properly and still be beautiful,” the gospel artiste added.