THINK of a choir. Any choir. If it’s local and if I am right, you most probably thought of Joyous Celebration or the Soweto Gospel Choir. This is only natural as these groups are always releasing good music.
There aren’t many of these choirs, but of those that do exist, they have already made their mark, making it difficult for new acts to enter the gospel scene. This is why it is going to be intriguing to see Gnf Gospel Choir try and crack the gospel music scene.
“Gnf is a church in Alex and we started singing together in 2007 and as time went on we decided to give recording a try and came up with Thel’umoya, our first album,” said Mthunzi Tshabalala, the spokesperson for the group.
Also the conductor of the group, Tshabalala gets to work closely with all the singers and he knows where to improve them in order that they may claim their own space in the cut-throat music industry.
“The idea for the choir was to encourage young people to have a part to play in the church service. We did not even have the idea to record, but the more people heard us the more we were inclined to get into the studio and do something,” explained Tshabalala.
Going into the actual music itself, Tshabalala said that his posse of singers went with traditional and composed songs to show off their range.
“The song Thel’umoya is a revival song where we talk about the power of prayer. If you listen to the song and sing along you will in turn be praying for yourself. So we wrote it with that in mind.
“There are several other songs that we penned as well that deal with various other subjects that Christians can relate to,” he said.
The album was made on a shoestring budget and it took a long time to reach the music shops’ shelves.
“It was a huge challenge to make this album. It took us about one-and- half-years from start to finish to get the final album out. Along the way some members left and new ones came through so it was a challenge to record everything with original members,” he explained.
While the album is now available, it is still hard for Gnf Gospel Choir to make as big an impact as they would like to, because their finances are still bleak.
“When it comes to promoting the album we try to travel as much as we can, but due to the costs of transport and other logistics, we are forced to cut down on our numbers and go with a few members. We hope to get an official sponsor one day so that we can sound as whole as we do on the CD,” he said.
• Thel’umoya is now available at your local music store.