When gospel music artiste, Danny Nettey, started his ministry about thirty years ago, his only commitment at the time, he said, was to have a platform to spread the word of God. But today, the I Will Worship You singer says he is saddened by the “unnecessary competition” brewing among gospel music artistes.
The artiste who made the observation in an interview with Showbiz on Monday at the Alisa Hotel in Accra said many of the new crop of gospel artistes appear to be more concerned with the material gains of their ministry and not necessarily what they will do to enrich the kingdom of God.
Describing his journey into the limelight as one that had been dogged with challenges, Danny Nettey, under whose tutelage other gospel stars such as Joe Mettle, Nii Okai and Eugene Zutah, were raised said gospel artistes should see themselves as vessels of God and their work as a calling rather than to seek personal glorification.
“I have always told people that you know it if what you are doing has the blessing of God, you seek His interest first before that of yours.
As one who learnt from choirs such as Joyful Way Incorporated, Danny Nettey said their mission at the time wasn’t for fame.
“Today, that is definitely not the case. It is about who won this and that and not necessarily the number of lives that our music touches. As human beings, we will naturally want appreciation for our efforts and contribution but when that becomes the priority, then the focus is lost,” he stated.
One argument that has persisted on the gospel music scene is that, gospel artistes must be selective in the choice of events they perform at. But Danny has a different view. He said that he had in the past graced many platforms such as the Miss Ghana beauty pageant.
“I believe every platform is an opportunity to express Christ,” but was quick to caution, “know who you are and your strengths. If you are morally weak, then obviously, you have no business to be with or around prostitutes. You are likely to fall”.
The third of six children to evangelist Emmanuel Nakai Nettey and Beatrice Nettey, Danny started music at the early age of six when he learnt to play the organ through the assistance of an uncle. His interest in music persisted throughout his school days in Accra Academy, where he had his secondary education. He served as Music Director and President of the Scripture Union Fellowship.
By this time, he said, he was writing his own songs which he gladly ministered in his local church.
Today, when Danny Nettey looks back at his small beginning, he heaves a sigh of relief for “charting the right path” which he said didn’t come on a silver platter.
“You are faced with persecution and all the lies that are told about your person. The greatest rumour I have heard about me is that I’m a womaniser but when all these things come, you take them in good faith because that comes with the work,” he said.
When the question of whether gospel music should be commercialised was put to him, Danny Nettey took some few minutes to gather his thoughts. Finally, he remarked, “Hmm, this question is dicey but I believe that, if God called you to work for Him, he won’t make you go hungry.
“We take our own decisions and later complain bitterly when the financial assistance is zero. But I know and I’m a testimony that, when God sets you on a mission, He sure knows how to make you get to the destination.
“This is not to say that gospel artistes don’t need money, they do just like any other artiste who needs money for promotions and even hold concerts but you see, we must tread cautiously so that the quest for money doesn’t become a mini god in our lives,” he said.
Next Sunday, May 17, Danny Nettey will be celebrated for his contribution to the gospel industry at a ceremony scheduled to come off at the National Theatre Accra.
“It is good when people appreciate your efforts. I believe it is to appreciate my work over the years and say ‘thank you for showing us the light’”, he said with a smile.
Minister Danny Nettey has shared stages with renowned gospel artistes such as Ron Kenoly, Alvin Slaughter, Lionel Peterson, Don Moen and Israel Houghton.
For him, it’s not just about the music and the various opportunities it presents but rather, it’s about touching the “Father’s heart and affecting lives with what He has placed in you”.
Currently, he is the music director at the Elim International Family Church in Accra and among the repertoire of songs he has to his credit are I believe, Adom, My All o You, I am the Lord, I will never leave, It’s not hard, Revive us, God’s Eyes, Sanctify Me, I will worship You and Thank You.