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Joseph Matthew: I refuse to be boxed into a certain genre of gospel music

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Jospeh Matthew is a Ghanaian-UK based award winning singer, songwriter and worship leader with a distinctive contemporary sound. Born into a Christian musical family, Joseph learnt to play various musical instruments from a tender age and sang in the church choir, which was led and directed by his father. Joseph went on to play in the church band where he had the opportunity to develop his skills further and realised his vocal gifts. In 2018, he released his debut album titled Solid Rock.

In his early teenage years he had developed into a unique rapper, singer, songwriter who gained the attention of many. As a result, he has performed and worked alongside many artistes from different genres including Hip hop, RnB, Afro beats, reggae and gospel due to the versatility of his style. 

Sharing his views on gospel music, he thinks the gospel genre has evolved and is still evolving. “We are becoming bolder in our expressions. That implies that we are taking more musical liberties and risk, and breaking the box of tradition.

I’m happy to be a part of that. Not that it hasn’t been done in the past, but I think a lot of people in the past bore the criticism to be able to pave a road for people like myself and Todd Delaney and Jonathan McReynolds and many others. Contrary to the past when you had a rebel like Kirk Franklin or Fred Hammond of John Pee Kee to now, it was almost like one guy would rise up and push the envelope for a decade at a time, but now there isn’t one Kirk for the generation; instead there are multiple artistes willing to expand and push the genre of gospel beyond what it was.

On the challenges facing the industry, he said it’s an equal challenge. “Nowadays, I think people are looking for more, more than just music. They’re looking for authenticity; they’re looking for consistency. That stuff matters to people now. Back in the day, you could have a great song and be a jerk, and people didn’t care because you had a great song. Now, if you’re a jerk, people are like, “Man, I don’t like this!” So, I think those things matter more now to people, and music is way more accessible now. So, you have to have more than just music.

“I look up to the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. I’ve admired both music icons for a long time because they are exceptional and made their mark in the music scene. Other role models are Don Moen, Kirk Franklin, Travis Greene, Frank Edwards, Tim Godfrey to mention a few. My style of music is contemporary gospel high-life and Afro beats with a remarkable anointing due to the uniqueness of my ministry.

“Also, I refuse to be boxed into a certain genre of gospel music but continue to creatively deliver new, innovative sounds, which defy the stereotypes. I have released two beautiful Singles with a music video Hallelujah and Nyame ye (God Is Good) which is now making waves on Radio, TV and Media Houses etc. 

“With the help of God, I see myself becoming the best African gospel artiste and also mentoring the next generation with an undeniable desire for true worship and prayer for God. I have no personal ambitions except to do what He has called me to do.”

The message I always want to get across to people with my music is that we’re not defined by our past or circumstances but defined by our own destiny and knowing who we are. Also, believing that we can do all things regardless of where we are from or what we’ve been through. Dreams can only be a reality if we are bold enough to step up to the task. My prayer is that as people listen to my music, God will birth a new beginning in their lives, Matthews said.


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