The Kingdom Choir: Exploitation or Exploration

It was around 20 years to date in July 1969, when American Astronaut Neil Armstrong proudly declared as he stepped on the surface of the moon, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. The experience captured a moment when the other world, Earth, literally stood still. Man had entered a new era, a new age and the technology that took him to the moon would spawn and inspire numerous telecommunication-based inventions that we benefit from today.

The Kingdom Choir were viewed by billions around the world as they performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It went down a storm, and what followed wasn’t a matter of if they get signed by a mainstream record label, but when.

In fact, a buzz around the industry gave birth to reports that a bidding war took place for the signatures of the new and undiscovered heroes of British and non-American Gospel music.

Now that the honeymoon is over and one album later, a question remains in my mind.

Like so many Gospel fans around the UK, I was excited by the prospect that like the moon landings a new era would kick in. At last, British Gospel has been accepted by the mainstream. The floodgates will open and Major Record labels will stampede for the signatures of thousands inside the untapped niche industry. In fact, maybe Sony UK would clean up on the market and unveil a UK Gospel music imprint?

Unfortunately, although Kingdom choir blaze away along the Gospel Highway at unprecedented speed, a revolutionary group of like-minded choirs and artists do not yet appear in the Sony rearview mirror.

Why is this?

Is it because Sony can only handle one Gospel group at a time, or are they hoping that these big hitters will clean up commercially, based on their Royal wedding global exposure?

The journey so far has seen Kingdom Choir sing at many high profile events, home and abroad, as well as endorsing cars and big brand names via TV commercials.

It leads me to question whether Sony is investing in one of our most treasured gospel choirs or attempting to commercially exploit them as far as they possibly can.

I’m not patronising the management team of the Choir by any means. They must and am sure do have a clear agenda of where they are going.

The rationale behind my feature here is to explore the age-old debate centred around whether the spiritual and music longevity of gospel is at the core of a major label’s marketing strategy.

I yearn for a second album and sincerely hope it provides a sound, less classic and pop-smeared output than the first. This choir can sing.

The Kingdom Choir has broken through barriers that other gospel artists in Britain can only pray about and hope.

Let’s hope the landing on planet Sony represents one small step for The Kingdom Choir and one giant leap, for British gospel.