Gospel artist Deborah Fraser has taken to social media to hit back at 2012 Idols SA winner Khaya Mthethwa’s comments on traditional gospel music.
In a report by The Sowetan, Mthethwa was quoted as saying: “Young people are not listening to the likes of Deborah Fraser and all these traditional gospel artists because we don’t relate. We might appreciate it but there’s no connection between us and them.”
Fraser has responded to the “misleading” and “hurtful” comments by the Ushilo Wena hit maker, saying she has worked “tirelessly” for many years to spread the message of peace and love for the purpose of unity. “We are stronger united under God. This unity should extend to people of all colours, creeds and ages. For our mission to be disregarded is an insinuation that our mission has failed,” she wrote on Facebook.
The Abanye Bayombona hit maker says that since Mthethwa’s comments, she has received phone calls from her young fans “assuring” her that they still listen to her music. “The youth in this country, other African states and abroad have indicated their gratitude by singing my songs, buying my music – with each album selling more than 100 000 copies, attending my shows all of their own accord. The influence and popularity of traditional gospel music among the young of our country should never be underestimated or cast aside.”
Mthethwa told IOL he had received criticism for his latest release, been told that he had “fallen” and that he was not a Christian any more by people who do not like the new hip-hop feel to his music. He said the worst criticism he had heard was that he is an Antichrist.
He says his album has a modern feel to it as “it was experimenting with the things that we young people love to hear today. So if I am listening to a Drake album, you will get something that’s reminiscent of that too.”
From what Fraser is saying, it seems not all young people want that hip-hop sound.
Read her statement below:
Mthethwa has since apologised to Fraser, saying the “horrible quotes” were an “attack” on the respect he shows all artists. “I would like to apologise to these great men and women who have gone before us in the industry and shaped our music industry.
“I apologise in how my progressive views of young people’s music was depicted in this disrespectful light, I was truly misquoted. I hope we can continue to support and love another,” his statement reads.