Astounding Keyboardist Natty Keyz Jumps into the Controversy of Whether Church Instrumentalists Should be Paid or Not

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The controversy around whether Church instrumentalists should be paid has persisted strongly for about half a decade now. Eminent figures such as Diana Hamilton, Rev. Eastwood Anaba Prof. Adedeji and other men of God have cheered either side of it and that has still rendered the argument in a limbo.

Some have endorsed the payment of church instrumentalists whilst others have condemned the act as “criminal”.
Fast rising keyboardist, Elnathan Yisazuah who is known in the music field as Natty Keyz spoke about the subject to Northpraise. Natty Keys is from Zebilla in the Upper East Region and has been playing for many years, so he is in authority to speak about some of these issues. He has played for many artists within the Upper East Region which includes Holikeys, Tabernacle Music Ministry, Harmonic Crew, Minister Edwina, Testimonial Praise in Bolgatanga, AmenEast Gospel and many others.
Speaking to Northpraise, he was of the view that church instrumentalists should be paid but not when they are executing duties in their local churches. Eg: church service, a crusade organized by their local churches because these are purely spiritual, and they are God’s work. However, church instrumentalists should be paid when they play in ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies and so on. Natty Keyz went further to add that, the “God’s work” instrumentalists do can be appreciated if the local church have the capacity to do. Pastors are supposed to be the masters of the God’s work they all do but they receive reasonable allowances.

To an extent, it’s work we do. We invested time and money to learn this skill, use time to rehearse to make ourselves better. Time is money and as far as we spend time, it should be appreciated. I went to someone I know at market to repair my shoe. After the repairs, he charged me to pay because he spent time ang glue. How do you expect me not to get paid if I go to spend 4 hours playing with my suistain pedal at this person’s wedding? If I call a church mate who is a carpenter to come fix my roof; I will have to pay him despite he is my church mate. But I will go to this carpenter’s mother’s wake to play for at least 8 hours and won’t be paid because he is my church mate, forgetting that I have even used more years than the carpenter to learn my skill as a keyboardist. This is a cheat to instrumentalists.

Natty Keyz illustrated


He said this to indicate that, we need to pay our instrumentalists in some instances to make music in this part of the country an attractive venture. In such wise, people can spend time to rehearse to become professionals and grow our music.
Many people had the burning desire of growing our music. They devoted their time but when they realized it was supplementing a bit of their bills, they had to forfeit and go into other lucrative endeavors. Music hasn’t been something you can live for in Northern Ghana that’s why people don’t want to fully take it upon themselves.
Natty Keyz ended by encouraging as to collectively arise a play our roles to grow Northern Ghana gospel music.

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