Remember Kingsley ‘Kaestrings’ Innocent? Of course, you should. Kaestrings is the young talented musician whose song – Gashina – by the sheer act of God’s divine intervention went platinum at the June Hallelujah Challenge.
So, here’s how it happened.
A few days into the challenge, Nathaniel Bassey went for a ministration in Jos and had heard the song being ministered. He loved the song, learnt it and as soon as he returned to Lagos, taught the song to followers of the Challenge.
After a few days, Nathaniel Bassey released more information about the young artiste, his song and his Instagram handle.
And that was it!
Kaestrings, the Zaria-based musician immediately blew up – his Instagram followers doubled (if not tripled), he was featured on blogs, on radio shows and on countdowns – even our very own Top 10 Gospel Artiste Countdown. We all said this Kaestrings had finally found his way into fame and relevance. We told younger artistes to remain committed to their art and they will find fame like Kaestrings and we praised Nathaniel Bassey for being committed to finding newer artistes.
However, it’s almost a year since the Hallelujah Challenge happened and the last many heard of him was the Hallelujah Challenge. No record label signing. No mentor directly holding him. Nothing. Kingsley is back in Zaria doing the same thing he used to do before the Hallelujah Challenge happened – singing. Except that now, he has more Instagram following.
I’ve always wondered why most Gospel Artistes accredited their success to God and had very little to say when it comes to their journey into fame asides the usual – consistency and divine positioning. It’s because that’s all they know as a path to success. There’s no direct path to success neither is there a system that breeds younger artistes.
The churches who organise the biggest worship concerts in the country are more concerned with bringing the popular musicians as headlining artistes. The record labels that should be burdened with the duty of finding and refining these artistes are busy signing musicians who should be acting as mentors. The reality music shows are worse; spreading delusions of grandeur on unsuspecting applicants who end up wasting their time, energy and skill.
So, we end up creating a loop of the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. The poor in this case being the younger “upcoming” artistes and the rich – the already established artistes. Younger artistes are lost and I know this because I see them, I talk with them, I feel their pain and it’s a serious issue.
Kaestrings had one opportunity at fame in the Nigerian Gospel Music scene and we missed it!
And while we’re still pondering on the disorder that is the Nigerian Gospel Music industry, Kaestrings recently released a song titled Yahweh. Well, you most likely have not heard about the song, because you forgot he still exists.
You can check it out below.
Bolu Akindele is a freelance writer and journalist whose work covers religion, human interest stories and development across Nigeria and increasingly, West Africa.