Luigi Maclean is a gospel musician from Ghana. Since guesting on mentor and label boss Joe Mettle’s ‘Bo Noo Ni’ in 2017, he has gained widespread praise for his touching vocal delivery and inspirational take on life.
The singer went on to release two singles, the first of which earned him a Best Male Vocalist of the Year nomination at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. With a growing list of successful collaborations and high-profile stage appearances, Maclean is also gaining a reputation as the emerging face of gospel in the country.
Maclean recently spoke to Music in Africa about a number of topics, including his latest single ‘Oguama’, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his career, and the value of mentorship to artists.
MUSIC IN AFRICA: You’re widely labelled as the emerging face of gospel music in Ghana. What do you make of this?
LUIGI MACLEAN: It’s humbling to hear such comments because I’m just a young man who is doing what he loves and enjoying every bit of his journey. It inspires me as well because I know people are paying attention, so I have to give out my all.
Aside from Joe Mettle, whom you refer to as a mentor, who else influences your music?
Joe Mettle has been my greatest influence yet, but there are things I’ve picked from other gospel greats I’ve listened to over the years, like Darlene Zschech, the late Danny Nettey, Don Moen and Nathaniel Bassey among others.
What are the primary themes you seek to explore with your music?
The main aim is to reach people with the love of God. The message of my music is built on the Word of God with the tone of voice that constantly encourages, conveys hope and builds faith.
You recently released your sophomore song featuring MOG. How has the reception been so far?
It’s been overwhelming and the support and love has been awesome. What gives me fulfilment in all of this is the messages I get from random people, telling me how the song helped them in their lowest moments. Nothing beats the joy I get from knowing my music is making a positive impact.
How far along are you with regard to your debut album?
The recording process has started for a few of the songs.
Though still relatively new in the industry, you’ve already secured Ghana Music Awards nomination and performed on a number of big stages across the country. How essential are milestones like this for a blooming musician such as yourself?
In my opinion milestones like these are good. Personally, it’s given me exposure and introduced me to a wider audience.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your vocation?
The pandemic has affected most sectors, if not all. Music events and live shows couldn’t take place. However, there are a few positives from this pandemic, like how people took advantage of this to build their online presence. For me, I got to write some new music and learnt new things. Thankfully things are getting back to normal.
The COVID-19 crisis has seen an increase in the volume of music releases by artists. How soon can we expect new material?
I released new music recently and I’m doing unplugged sessions of some of my favourite songs on YouTube for now. There will be another single out before the album comes out.
Presumably, Joe Mettle will feature on your album. Who else would you like to work with?
There’s this dream of having a song with one of the veteran gospel icons I grew up listening to. All of that will happen in due time.
For the emerging artist, the Ghanaian music scene, which is highly competitive, can be intimidating. What has been your experience since you began doing music professionally?
The experience for me has been an interesting one. I love music so I’m enjoying the journey and making the best out of both the good and the bad that comes with it. I’m really grateful for the support of Joe Mettle who has literally held my hands and is walking me through the course