Renowned Nigerian singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and record producer, Jeremiah Gyang, has expressed his support for artists, both in the secular and gospel music genres, who charge fees for performing at churches and selling tickets for their concerts.
In an exclusive interview with Matthewtegha Blog, Gyang, widely recognized as one of Nigeria’s most versatile artists, shared his perspective on the moral acceptability of gospel musicians requesting payment for their performances. He emphasized that there is nothing ethically wrong with this practice.
Gyang firmly defended musicians in the Christian space, asserting that they should not face criticism for setting gate fees for their concerts. He passionately stated, “He that labors to plow should not be stifled, so if artists are holding concerts and charging fees, the audience should be willing to pay. It doesn’t matter whether the music is gospel or secular; if there’s a ticket price, it should be respected. If you appreciate their work, pay the fee. If you don’t, then abstain from paying, but complaining about it is a sign of disrespect for the hard work of these artists.”
The multitalented artist explained that organizing concerts involves substantial financial investment. He pointed out, “Some may argue that it’s all about money, but one must understand that hosting concerts requires funding. You can’t approach a venue owner and expect to use their facility for free while expecting blessings, just as you can’t ask an instrument seller to provide instruments without payment.”
Drawing from personal experiences, Gyang revealed the hardships he faced in the past while working with his band, emphasizing that similar challenges led to the disbandment of his group. He said, “I’ve been in situations where I had to tell my band that we should proceed with a performance and rely on divine blessings, only to end up going home hungry. This has resulted in the dissolution of my band several times, sometimes leaving me as a one-man band. People have high expectations when they associate my name with a performance.”
Jeremiah Gyang said he believes that fair compensation for labor is an essential principle. He argued that there is no distinction between gospel and secular musicians in the Bible and that anyone who works in the music industry deserves to be paid for their efforts. He further noted, “Even musicians who serve in churches and perform on pulpits should receive compensation, as it is a fair practice. When audiences enjoy the music but refuse to pay, they indirectly disrespect the musicians and, in a way, disrespect the prophets.”
To support his viewpoint, Gyang referenced Nehemiah 12:46 and 47 from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, highlighting the biblical order that he believes is missing in many churches today. He asserted that both musicians and ushers should be supported financially by the church to prevent misbehavior and misconduct, and if any issues arise, the church bears the responsibility.
In addition, Gyang cited Nehemiah 13:10, emphasizing that the daily sustenance of musicians should come from tithes and offerings. He argued that today’s gospel musicians should be compensated using these resources.
Addressing the theme of his music and his connection with the audience, Jeremiah Gyang explained, “I have two distinct audiences: those who appreciate my message and those who enjoy my music. To connect with the music enthusiasts, I emphasize the artistic beauty of my work. However, for those who engage with my message, my focus has been on repentance, return, and rising because my music’s purpose is to contribute to nation-building and encourage people to return to God, as only He can save us, given the limitations of the government. I also perceive a fundamental issue within the Christian Church, where it appears they are not effectively guiding people back to God but are becoming more focused on industry service.”