Fred Hammond’s Take on the Gospel Music Industry

fredhammondA couple of days ago, Fred Hammond (@RealFredHammond) made some very insightful and interesting comments about Gospel music artists and the state of the Gospel music industry on Twitter. I found his comments to be extremely thought provoking and necessary.

Depending on how many people you follow, it is pretty easy to miss posts on Twitter. Below you can read Fred’s comments in their entirety in case you missed them.

“The Gospel Music industry Lables. Artist, and Radio, have to raise the Bar for the fans.. The investment must be made.”

“The Gospel industry is the 90’s and we’re in 2010. The ppl who are fans of Gospel Music and Support it need it to be more exciting and Hot.”

“Or they’ll walk away.”

“There are some artist that believe it’s the message or the philosophy that has to change, I dissagree. Our change is Business.”

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I see the issue.. I was thinking about doing a Gospel music Summit for the industry but I realized”

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I see the issue.. I was thinking about doing a Gospel music Summit for the industry but I realized”

“After talking to my Counter parts it would be a waist of Time. I’m praying about doing something with and for the next Generation of”

“Artist but it will be hard without the leadership of the Vets or Generals.”

“Gospel artist.. We must give the people more then a good Hokamshe / telamoshonda for them to keep supporting, they want more.”

“GOSPEL ARTIST TALK LESS AND SING MORE!!! if you say GOD gave you those songs then they will do what they were Birthed to do.. U don’t have”

“To Preach between every lyric. Trust the music.. The industry has not given us all the tool we need BLACK GOSPEL MUSiC, we have to do more.”

“There’s so much more to this. We must be effective in the the earth .. Marvin Sapps joint was a perfect example that if u give the ppl”

“What they need they will support it.”

“People are Crying well it’s a recession,, a recession means that people spend money carefully, and on what they want.”

“The things that are affective in there life. Things that give them statisfaction. What ever gets them through the times in they’re life.”

“I’m not Claiming to be The Savior of the industry , I’m just trying to tell what I see. .. We must be more effective.”

“If Anyones Words were effective on this earth it was Christ Jesus, but He knew that He must meet Ppls needs in order for them to hear Him.”

“His Miracles paved the way for him to be able to Say ” The kingdom of God is like”. It was the WOW of that day.”

“He didn’t just Preach He was Effective.”

“I mean if He could’ve just taught from the Synagog and wouldn’t that been ok? But it was His WOW that made ppl listen. HIS WOW !!!”

“WHAT IS THE GOSPEL MUSIC INDUSTRY’s WOW!! and please don’t say the CD. even though it still sells.”

“ARTIST HERES A TIP.. GOSPEL MUSIC IS A PARTICIPATION EVENT. MAJORITY OF PPL WHO BUY ABD SUPPORT ARE NOT TRYING TO JUST SIT AND LISTEN”

“TO US PERFORM AND WRIFF ALL OVER THE PLACE, THEY WANT TO SING WITH US NOT JUST WATCH US PERFORM.”

“When I left commissioned I thought it was over for me. I love cool music and we were cool. But GOD!! told me to let ppl song with me.”

“When they sing they believe when they believe the Praise when they Praise HE COMES DOWN AND HANGS WITH US.”

“Thus from kool music to GLORY TO GLORY TO GLORY TO GLORY TO GLORY TO GLORY TO GOD.. And BLESSED BLESSED BLESSED How repetetive is that.”

“But those songs were born in 1994 I better not try and leave without doing them.”

“Or songs that have great messages and Melodies like Back to Eden, or I trust, or like I said Never woulda made it.”

“New artist !! Simplify your Melodies.. Make your Hooks Singable, if an 8 year old or A 72 year old mother can sing it while she’s cook’n”

“You got a hit”

“If A single mother who’s been up against stress and strife or brother going through can sing with you u got a hit.”

“I know the Words I wrote today won’t be for everyone.. But He that has the ear, Will hear and the seed will Grow”

“The one who rejects it the seed will Die and you can’t say you don’t know”

“Don’t Get me wrong it’s not just Artist fault but no one is gonna give us a shot then we must find away to make it work.”

“When I listen to the quality of production of Gospel music Be it contemp, hip hop or traditional I here Music that is 2nd to none.”

“But it’s more then that.”

“Like I said your trying to sell something to ppl that will only buy what they want. It’s a recession. But watch Philly and Dallas tomorrow”

“It will be sold out.”

“Ppl buy what they want to buy.”

“Here’s the Deal . We as a industry must be STRATEGIC…”

“New artist you must think this way, Business as well as Spiritual, why should someone give you $10 to $15 of there hard earned money?”

“With everyday expences kids food cost of living mortgages and housing market in the toilet car notes cut in pay cell phone competition”

“Cell bills, touition, insurances, hair and personal upkeep, gas, car upkeep, clothing , vacations, going out , dating , weddings,”

“Jewlery, shoes, movies, DVD rental, Bootleg stuff, and the list goes on, why should they give us $15, cause we talented?”

“Gospel is about serving ppl, not about watching us show how great we can riff. They need something from us.”

“We must ask ourselves what do ppl want and need want from Us, Gospel music ministries? Find out what they want and need and give it 2 them.”

“Don’t give them what you want them to have.”

“I don’t know who this was all for , but it was for someone, and the Revelation witll be the key to your Destiny.”

There you have it. When a leader and pioneer in any industry speaks out, it is in your best interest to pay attention. Please let me know what you think about Fred Hammond’s comments. Do you think he’s being unreasonable? What do you think an artist should use as his or her “WOW”?

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  • http://www.livemilliyonic.com Milliyon

    As an artist under a Gospel Singer (Canton Jones) i completly understand what he’s talking about. We have to make music that makes impact not just sounds good. We at Cajo always try to make crowd participation songs so that the crowd can sing with us so that they feel they are apart of the music. Not everyone can sing but everytime you play “Never Would’ve Made It..” everyone certaintly will try. Its time out for dry bone’s gospel music. God wont pour new wine into old wineskins..
    -Milliyon-

  • Ace

    The same can be said about all music now. No one speaks to the heart anymore. If there’s any time people need music for healing & getting thru, its now and the people aren’t getting what they need. I, for one, long for the days of new, creative songs with purpose & meaning. There are still people who make music like this, the labels won’t sign & promote them and the radio won’t play music from independent artists.

    Too many artists are selling out & performing crap music just for the all-mighty dollar & to say I have a record deal. Once they sign, it’s not like they will or can change they style of music because now you’re owned by the label & have to put out the music they want. If artists would ban together, we can take the music back but until that happens, we’re stuck with this. This doesn’t solely rest on the shoulders of the artists either, the public has to demand more. In the past, radio stations would allow people to call in and make requests, now that option is gone & as a people we’re like drones doing what they tell us. Change is affected by the people and it will take the fans/listeners to speak up & demand more quality music from the artists, labels & radio. We all have to do our part.

  • http://thegospelblog.com Cliff

    Milliyon & Ace…thanks for the comments. I am all for new and different music. Unfortunately labels and radio won’t sign and promote new music until we as consumers tell them there is a demand for it. Until we express serious demand for something different, new artists will just come out and be clones of the top selling artists.

  • http://theoldblackchurch.blogspot.com/ Ann Brock

    Cliff great article.

  • http://WWW.BAMBAMPRODUCTIONS.COM Bam Bam

    I agree with Fred Hammond and all the comments this far, we are going to have to pray and seek God for wisdom to combat the Music Industry, only God is clever enough for this one! There is power in agreement.

  • Z

    Wisdom is key, Bam Bam! I totally agree with what Fred and Milliyon (love your music) said! It’s one thing to have the talent to do a riff or a run, but the substance needs to be there. Someone told us one time in a rehearsal that ppl love congregational songs; songs that have crowd participation (simplistic in nature, but powerful). I look at the videos that Hillsong creates, and I am mesmerized by the crowd participation (the audience is huge).

    All of what Fred said was simply and again, I couldn’t agree with him more!

  • http://www.tnmcorp.biz Paul Davis

    The above remarks by Fred Hammond are thought provoking. I am a 29 year old church musician and I agree that over the years much of gospel music has become shallow and performance oriented. I want to take it a step further and say that the message of Christ (His death, burial and resurrection) is often excluded from today’s gospel music. What happened to singing about the savior and less about earthly prosperity? What happened to writing songs that could be easily sung in church? What happened to writing music that touches the heart and teaches sound theology? Additionally, I think it’s time that we write songs in a style that appeals to a multicultural audience. It’s time for the church to unify. We are one body in Christ with no racial divide. Believe it or not, musicians play a key role in fostering that type of atmosphere. Multicultural worship is not only good for the church, but it will also benefit the Gospel/Christian Music Industry as a whole by appealing to a wider audience. Lastly, I would love to see more philanthropy from some of the top selling artists in the Gospel/Christian Music Industry. There is a lot of ministry that needs to be done to help those who are poor and needy. Church, we need to improve in the area of music ministry. Let’s move forward and not backward.

    [please visit me at http://www.tnmcorp.biz and Thirst No More Corporation on Facebook]

  • Monique

    Music is good and like everything else, it has its place. This is about kingdom living and building. People need to see those who are singing about GOD actually live it! We have some artists singing one thing and “coming out the closet” living a life that is contrary to the same message they are singing and what the BIBLE says! This is more than being entertained, hearing a toe tapping good beat and having some good music to nod my head to. People are dying spiritually and need to hear a word from GOD. There’s a lot of “forms” but denying the power. If these “artists” claim they are GOD’s messengers and if they want people to take them seriously – then you should be able to preach it or sing it in season or out. Forget about filling concert halls, ticket sells and promoting albums. Go out to the highways and byways and compell them! GOD gave those who are HIS a platform and its those street corners. Open your mouth and allow the Spirit to speak through you. Those who have an ear, let them hear what the Spirit of the LORD is saying.

  • Listen up

    Fred, stop shacking up with that girl Erica and then maybe I will actually take what you have to say as serious…lol..people the only thing you can learn from Fred is what NOT to do, if you want to make it in to heaven..

  • GOOD Rev.Alstor

    I Am Jehovah Jesus Alston
    GOOD Rev.Alstor
    You Have Done Some GOOD Work
    For I
    Of Heavy D
    The Rapper
    Get To Fort Myers
    Florida
    2510 Central Ave
    As
    GOOD Rev.Fred Hammond
    GOOD Rev.Alstor
    jehovahalstongoodrev.alstor@yahoo.com

  • TL

    WOW – I thought it was a recession but now I know it is a depression if Fred Hammond is using twitter to angle on how to get money out of broke folk, so that gospel artist can get paid. If the lord feeds the birds then why should gospel artist worry about if they have a hit or not! Just sing and God will do the rest. The bible says, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” People of God we need to practice what we preach, and stop trying to prove what strude business people we are, that is all in pride and not of God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and ALL his righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you,” and that means gospel artist too, not just the common folk. Gospel artist need to apply the word to themselves so they can produce more word inspired songs. People are hurting because folk not reading the word, and those that are, are not standing up for what is right which would create a standard against the enemy because the enemy have definitiely come in like a flood, so if an eight year old is hearing the word, and singing the word than the word ministers all day long. Amen.

  • TL

    WOW – I thought it was a recession but now I know it is a depression if Fred Hammond is using twitter to angle on how to get money out of broke folk, so that gospel artist can get paid. If the lord feeds the birds then why should gospel artist worry about if they have a hit or not! Just sing and God will do the rest. The bible says, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” People of God we need to practice what we preach, and stop trying to prove what strude business people we are, that is all in pride and not of God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and ALL his righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you,” and that means gospel artist too, not just the common folk. Gospel artist need to apply the word to themselves so they can produce more word inspired songs. People are hurting because folk not reading the word, and those that are, are not standing up for what is right which would create a standard against the enemy because the enemy have definitiely come in like a flood, so if an eight year old is hearing the word, and singing the word than the word ministers all day long. Amen.

  • ledger

    Knowledger is power and now I will be even more equipped because of this article—ledger

  • John Chafin

    What is Hokamshe / telamoshonda?  Can I get an interpretation?

  • Charles Davis

    Sir Chazz Of Gemstone here, I agree with with Bro Fred 1000%, even though I have not  made it my focus to get my music to the market untill this year ! One of my friends in Nashville, called me and asked me, was I still serious about what God has given me to do in music. I said yes and people from all over the world are starting to call me again to lend a musical hand you might say . Even in my home town where I was not recieved to well, old friends are trying to help me to write songs , for up and coming Artist, and that’s cool . God is so Cool ! PEACE !!      

  • kevin shell

    I disagree with just about everything that Fred Hammond said…Trusting Fred Hammond, or any other music insider to lead gospel music out of its misery and apostasy is like trusting a fox to lead hens in a hen coup to safety…Here’s my over all thoughts on the current gospel music industry….http://www.atoast2wealth.com/2012/06/18/pastor-kevin-shell-addresses-kirk-franklins-question-has-gospel-music-gone-too-far/
    Part 2 to ONE WORLD MUSIC can be found on my FB page

  • LaCorius Allen

    Hi Mr.Charles I’m a Man that loves to Sing I Love Singing Gospel I’ve Always wanted to Sing all across the World and Sing with Bishop Marvin Sapp

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