10 Afro-Gospel Songs You Should Know
Meet the artists leading the genre that’s taking Nigeria’s contemporary Christian music scene by storm.
You’ve heard of afrobeats, but have you heard of afro-gospel?
Afro-gospel is a genre of music that has been gaining momentum over the past few years, pioneered by a group of out-of-the-box thinkers, Nigerian gospel artists seeking to express their Christian faith through music in a way that isn’t conventional. Combining the bouncy chords, feel-good melodies, and familiar progressions of afrobeats with uplifting, spirit-filled content they have formed a genre of music that resonates keenly with the young African Christian.
This group of singers, songwriters, and producers have carved a niche that serves as an alternative to contemporary Christian music, exchanging the passionate ballads tailored for congregational worship for upbeat, studio-fashioned vibes that could rival the best productions by Africa’s top afrobeats acts. The genre has an alluring appeal, even attracting contributions by international gospel artists like Travis Greene and Lecrae, who have delivered guest features on the songs of Nigeria’s best afro-gospel talents.
What’s the difference between afro-gospel and its secular counterpart? The content. Unlike regular afrobeats, the content of afro-gospel is confined to conversations around the Christian faith as well as inspirational content, and the artists as well as their fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Below you’ll see the pioneers of the growing genre who have been making afro-gospel music for years, and you’ll also see fresh faces who are giving the genre a new outlook and perspective. You’ll hear the favorite tunes of avid gospel afrobeats fans, and get to know the artists that are key players in the scene.
However, this is a basic introduction into the world of afro-gospel and is by no means exhaustive. There’s so many dope artists out there making amazing afro-gospel, and after listening to the tunes below, you’ll be familiarized and adequately prepped to start your foray into the world of afro-gospel in earnest. Enjoy!
Limoblaze "Jireh (My Provider)" feat. Lecrae & Happi
Limoblaze is a key player in the afro-gospel scene, and he’s been having quite the year! The Nigerian singer has been making music for a while, having dropped his debut album Blind in 2016. However, 2022 has seen urban gospel artist hit the spotlight in a major way, greatly due to the popularity of this single. Limoblaze is responsible for what is currently the most popular afro-gospel song at the moment, and it’s titled “Jireh (My Provider).”
The song is an afrobeats refix of Maverick City Music’s popular song “Jireh"—this version features American gospel rapper Lecrae and UK gospel talent Happi. Since its release, “Jireh” has graced several charts, including debuting at number 48 on Billboard’s US Afrobeats Songs chart. It currently sits at 3 million views on YouTube, giving the afro-gospel frontliner the biggest song of his career so far, and fans of gospel afrobeats a vibrant, uplifting jam to vibe to.
Henry Orji, performing as Henrisoul, is another key figure in the afro-gospel scene. He’s been making music as early as 2011, and over the span of his career he has won several awards, collaborated with top gospel artists in Nigeria and more. “Blessed” is one of his recent offerings, and it's a feel-good tune where the singer declares his, well, blessings. The single is off the singer’s 2021 album Flawless, and in the music video you’ll catch snippets of Henrisoul’s wedding ceremony along with his beautiful wife, bonafide evidence that the singer is indeed blessed.
Ko'rale & GreatMan Takit "Commando"
Nigerian singers Ko’rale and Greatman Takit teamed up for this fun cut titled “Commando.” The two gospel artists are both relatively fresh faces on the afro-gospel scene, but you couldn’t tell just from listening to the song, as “Commando” is absolutely infectious. It’s a sing-along afrobeats song about God’s greatness and His superiority above everything else. “Commando” came accompanied by a fun-filled video, complete with contagious dance moves. We can’t get enough of “Commando,” so we hope to see more great tunes from Ko’rale and Greatman.
CalledOut Music "Hold On Me"
Samuel Nwachukwu, better known as CalledOut Music is another early adopter of afro-gospel, releasing songs like “You’re Mine” circa 2017. The British-Nigerian singer is a MOBO Award winner, and although he doesn’t limit himself to gospel afrobeats alone, he still deserves his flowers as one of the earliest Nigerian artists to venture into the budding genre. His latest afro-gospel tune is “Hold On Me”, an easygoing bop that sees CalledOut sing of the unrelenting love of God.
Marizu is another consistent name in the afro-gospel scene. His work rate is peak, as you’ll find the Nigerian gospel artist on a plethora of features as a guest artist on his peers’ songs. However, when Marizu issues a solo effort he delivers just as well, and “Jejely” is another solid example. On “Jejely,” the singer uses a popular Nigerian slang to affectionately describe the love of God.
Okey Sokay "Sure For Me"
Off his just-released album Declarations, singer, songwriter, and producer Okey Sokay presents this song titled “Sure for Me." Okey Sokay isn’t new to the gospel scene either, having been signed to top Nigerian gospel artist Tim Godfrey’s record label ROX Nation Empire as an artist and producer. This time around the “Good” hitmaker comes through with a confident declaration that “e sure for me,” backed by an addictive afrobeats instrumental.
Gil Joe & Nkay "Shackles"
Gil Joe is another pioneer of the afro-gospel movement in Nigeria. Gil Joe’s career kicked off in earnest when he signed to top Nigerian gospel artist Frank Edward’s record label Rocktown Records in 2013, and he’s been a constant in the scene since then. Our favorite Gil Joe record is this one titled “Shackles”, a lively afrobeats tune and a joint effort with longtime collaborator N.Kay, another name worthy of mention when it comes to gospel afrobeats.
Da' T.R.U.T.H. & Limoblaze "Sound of Victory" feat. Travis Greene
Rapper Da’ T.R.U.T.H. and singer Limoblaze teamed up for a joint project titled Bridges, and off it came this excellent tune titled “Sound of Victory”. “Sound of Victory” is an afrobeats and hip-hop fusion where the Limo and Truth trade verses, accompanied by signature adlibs and a crisp verse by American gospel singer Travis Greene.
Limoblaze & Sam Rivera "Tonight"
Closing out this list is another solid tune from Limoblaze. It’s titled “Tonight”, and the song is off his 2021 full-length project God’s Favourite Baby. On “Tonight” Limoblaze gets introspective and issues an honest narration of the times his faith has fallen short. One of our favorites off the singer’s fourth studio album, the song is a passionate, enjoyable listen that would make the perfect addition to your playlist.
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