UK Gospel Forward Look: Exciting Trends for 2016

The UK Gospel scene frequently has to endure unhelpful comments about the state of its health, typically in the shape of (mainly uninformed) comparisons between it and the more mature US market: nothing ever happens here. Apparently. Yinka Awojobi makes the case for exciting developments and continued optimism in 2016.

Good Thing
I haven’t done one of these annual forward-looks in so long it’s actually taking serious effort to get back into the swing of things. The main reason? I hadn’t felt much of a need. And that’s a good thing, trust me.

Let me explain: these days, getting your UK Gospel music industry news is nowhere near as challenging as it used to be. There are lots of good places to get it from.

It’s also why I seriously considered shutting down in 2014.

Deeply Excavated Information
So, what to do..? I designed the annual forward-look to be very comprehensive but this time around I didn’t feel I had enough time to do decent research. It’s now February, and while I’m bang on schedule (I always publish my forward looks in February) you’ll soon spot that I actually started writing this much earlier.

As far as I’m concerned if I can’t publish rich, deeply excavated information then there’s simply no point. It’s New Year 2016, and you know how it goes: thoughts turn to renewal, reinvention, and, of course, future gazing. My brief to myself with these is to write the best-detailed projection piece I can (with a little retrospective thrown in for good measure).

Elegantly Simple
As with many things in life, the solution to my problem was elegantly simple: go down the avenue of least resistance, but this time around do one thing differently: it was time to cheat.

And just in case you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking: get off your high horse. In this context cheating simply means asking people in the know to share what they know about what’s going on 🙂

Fantastically Awesome
Under typical circumstances reaching out to people in the same field as I am could actually be rather awkward – some might even go as far as suggesting they are my competitors in the news/media space. But something fantastically awesome happened in 2015: a group of media types, promoters, publishers and content producers gathered with a single intent: see how we could work together for the good (and promotion) of the UK Gospel scene.

This is easily one of the most exciting collaborative projects I’ve been involved in in all my years of doing this. And while it’s early days yet, the potential impact of this type of movement on the UK Gospel media landscape and beyond is massive. You’ll hear more about this as 2016 unfolds – and as a matter of fact I think I might have said too much already 🙂

Anyway: I put a call out to a few of my friends and asked them what – as people with ears to the ground and eyes all around – they saw as 2016’s most exciting prospects.

Be Careful What You Wish For…
Back when I was thinking about shutting the site down, the single most common response I had came from people who said they didn’t know where (or how) to find these other platforms I kept saying were coming up with good work.

Well, careful what you wish for: here’s my 2016 forward look, with more than a little content help from a few of my media friends.


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