Work In Progress singer Diana Antwi Hamilton has stated that there is nothing wrong with gospel singers demanding a fee to perform at church services, saying a gospel musician, like a labourer, is “worth his wages”.
Gospel artistes charging a fee prior to performing at church events remains a contentious issue, with others arguing that, as ministers, such artistes should not be seen to be commercialising the propagation of God’s word.
But Mrs Hamilton, who disclosed that she worships with the Church of Pentecost, said apart from her church where she would not “ask questions” if asked to perform, an invitation to sing at another church should come with some payment.
The UK-based gospel singer, who is also a nurse, made these remarks in an interview on Ayekoo Ayekoo on Accra100.5FM on Thursday April 27.
According to her, in addition to album sales, organising shows, being invited to events, and earning royalties from her music, singing at church services should also bring in revenue, as long as she is not performing at her church.
She said those who argue there is no need for her as a gospel artiste to demand payment when invited to perform in other churches should be minded by the fact that her church equally needs her services and, therefore, choosing to sing at another church should come with some compensation.
“So, if I would leave my church to come [perform] at your church, then somebody has put value on themselves. So I will urge the pastors to see that and place value on the musician,” noted the Ensi Wo Yie singer who added she could not “quantify” how much she makes through singing though her “music is not doing badly”.
She said such fees demanded by gospel artistes also go to offset costs incurred in the production of tracks and for promotions on TV, radio, and other media, in addition to putting such songs on CD.
“So the labourer is worth his wages,” reminded Mrs Hamilton. “The word of God is free but the Bible is expensive. The medium through which the word of God is spread is not free.”
She added that many persons inviting gospel artistes to their shows, when directed to see the managers of the artiste, always think it is all about the money. But she said this also has to do with other arrangements towards the programme to which the artiste is being invited – band, travel, location, etc.