Africa’s largest religious concert, The Experience, has taken place in Lagos, Nigeria after a two-year hiatus - which saw it stage virtual and a hybrid version - due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concert in its 17th edition featured an array of award-winning frontlines indigenous and international artists such as Travis Greene, Sinach, Phil Thompson, and many more.
For these artistes, shows like this help to promote integration, between international artistes and those in Nigeria, a socio-cultural powerhouse in Africa
“Look at the opportunities given the home-based musicians and artiste to collaborate and meet with the international artiste. it is already a huge mileage and we are excited about that,” said Eben, a gospel artist.
Co-convener of the experience and senior pastor at the House on the rock, Ifeanyi Adefarasin says the concert also helps to promote peace in the country by bringing people of different faiths together.
“we have known it (experience) to have not just a denomination in Christianity but other faiths. We have people who are Hindu, we have the Muslims come and they testify and they say that oh! particular artiste I began to feel a lot of goosebumps all over me. So, it is just a powerful tool in unifying people in worship,” said Ifeanyi.
The Nigerian music industry contributes significantly to the growing wave of black music and culture going mainstream across the world. International concerts like 'The Experience' offer opportunities for other sectors of Nigeria's creative industry who work behind the scenes.
“You learn the culture of the person and the person learns your culture. That alone is established, that is done. The more we collaborate, the more we learn about each other’s culture, values, beliefs,” said Eno Michaels, a gospel artist.
“I think it is fascinating when you know on one hand you get people who say they are obedient and on the other hand they say I am something else. And sometimes it is drawn on tribal lines and lines of our differences. Experience is a stage where you see all of us, as different as we are coming together to make one sound and I think it is a great model for us as a nation of what we ought to be and what are going to be,” said Muyiwa Olarewaju, a British gospel singer.
The Experience, brought together thousands of worshippers at the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos, the first time since 2019, in a night of pulsating praise and worship.