Saturday, June 6, 2015

GOSPEL ALBUM TIPS | Nathaniel Bassey


Shalom saints, just felt a need to share some personal ideas on recording your gospel album. Now, these are not rules set in stone. They are essentially personal principles I live by, and can be of help to anyone out there.


As Christians let the word of God and the leading of the Spirit be the basis. Every time I get a word to do something, I embark on it with an assurance knowing I have the backing of heaven. In this place there is divine provision and assistance. I can remember my late Mentor and Pastor and I, PASTOR ESKOR MFON, walking up the stairs in church before he went to be with The Lord. And he said to me, "I think it's time to record." For me this was a confirmation of what I'd been thinking about that season.


For me these two reasons should be the main reasons for recording a gospel album.

A. To glorify God
B. To minister, bless and impact lives.

Many record to make money, assume the lime light and become famous. But the truth is that any album that meets the two criteria above will always make money. But this should not be the focus.


Have you ever picked up a gospel album and you really can't place the style or genre of the work? I have. Lots of Albums in this part of the world lack that definition and clear musical identity. You get to hear rap, jazz, juju, dance hall, worship, Afro, reggae etc, all in one album. Perhaps it's a way of shooting in all direction expecting one of them to hit. No! No!
You should have a clear sound. Your identity. Something peculiar to you. If you sound close to Sir Ebenezer Obey, then don't try singing like Marvin Sapp. Be true to your self. Your grace works in your place.


There are great and skillful producers out there. But not all can properly articulate your sound. In fact, sometimes, the right person may not necessarily be a big name. I suggest you pray for direction in this area.


You should spend time praying before, during and after the recording. Remember a gospel album is a spiritual project. I remember a number of my studio recordings were worship sessions. Sometimes we've had to pray in the spirit extensively before tracking. We've had people so overwhelmed, they wept and just fell because we had a strong presence in the studio. People tend to feel the same presence in the recordings like we did feel in the studio.


Since music has gone so digital, there is a tendency to do everything with computers. But even when I'm recording digitally, I try as much as possible to fuse in as much analogue or live instruments as possible. LIVE instruments bring LIFE to recordings. And that's because people play them. You see, God gives grace, but people are the carriers of it. Some musicians, especially the anointed ones bring a certain grace and anointing to a work that digital recording can never produce.


This is where we really miss it in Naija. Notice I didn't say record in a big or expensive studio. I have realized that a studio is only as good as the engineer in it. A studio can have the best of gear. But without an engineer with the requisite skill and knowledge to operate the gears, your recording would still sound poor. And the converse is also true. A studio might have just very basic gear, but with the right engineer, and you can achieve some high quality sound. My engineer in Lagos is very good. Though not your typical big studio, he seems to know his onions. And every time I've had to take the work abroad for further mixes, the engineers abroad have always spoken highly of his work. I recorded songs like IMELA, no other God, wonderful wonder, etc with him( you can reach him on: 08052222668 - alpha Junes studio).

What I also try to do to get that global sound on my recording is do my post productions abroad. Mix and master. In addition to recording abroad sometimes.

And you see, if God has given you a global vision, you can't afford to do things like a local person. Sometimes the things that limit our music from having that global reach is poor and mediocre sound quality.


After your album is ready, get it blessed. I know some folks would argue with this. If you have a pastor, you may just have him speak a word of blessing over it. You see, the guys in the world understand this. They take their projects to places to invoke all sorts on them. I understand the place of a father's blessing. Our generation is one that despises these things. But you see, I am a product of some of these things. It works. You may not know this, but before I ever released my first album, I wrote a letter to pastor E A Adeboye, my general overseer, just asking him to speak a word of blessing before I launch out. I can remember his words very vividly. And I tell you, they have not fallen to the ground. I was determined not to go the way of others.


The beauty of this is that unlike the past, you have the Internet and social media. And independent online music platforms, and do not need record labels etc to help with distributing your work. And this is what I've learnt. If your work is good: anointed and well produced, the marketers will look for you. A good product will always sell itself.

I remember a number of them were reluctant to take up my work when I came out first.But I was not in a hurry, and just kept my focus. However, today, by God's grace, the story is different.


"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."

Hebrews 10:36.

This is where many folks miss it. They want the break now. The thing must happen immediately. In our kingdom things don't happen that way. God takes us through a process to mature us, and allow Christ to be formed in us.

So wait!

I'll end with this little story.

I began playing the trumpet in 1991. Yes. Recorded my first album in 2008. But the impact of our ministry has only begun to be felt.
So what happened in between? One word..... PROCESS!
Character is formed and moulded. God tries and works on our hearts, to make sure we don't blow it when the spot light comes.

here are some great christian producers. Check them out on facebook and connect with them.
Emmanuel Juzzy Uzozie, Rotimi Akinfenwa, Wilson Joel, Wole Oni, George Adealao, etc.

I hope you find this article useful.

God bless you.

1 comment:

  1. This is a an insightful piece. Minister Nathaniel Bassey wrote this because of me. My concern has always been the right producer for the job. Thank you for sharing your expertise and personal experience. Bayor, you've done it again. You've brought light. God bless.
    Otunba Samuel Martins