Minister Yvonne, known as Yvonne Asamoah Tawiah — a supremely talented UK-based Ghanaian gospel singer, songwriter, and minister whose star may rise as quickly in Ghana as it is in the UK is rocking our gospel screens with a tantalizing spirit-engulfed gospel music.
The gospel diva cum military woman currently works with the British Armed Forces as Human Resource Specialist. She is a staunch member of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) UK.
Early this year, she began releasing her maiden singles, comprising “Unchangeable God” which got listed on the UK Gospel Music Chart for weeks, and “Besuka” which infused the melodic sensibility of African pop with flashes of afrobeats and R. & B. which lends an extraordinary sweetness to the songs.
In August 2020, her Besuka gospel video won the Best International Video of the year award organised by WWGMVA UK.
Minister Yvonne is reshaping the acceptance of Ghanaian gospel music across the world.
Her latest, “Conqueror,” is yet another proof that she is fully prepared for the mandate ahead.
“Conqueror” is one of the best bodies of work Ghanaian music has seen in 2020. Released on 30th October 2020, and available on all the major digital streaming stores, the song makes room for empowerment as a key to survival in this era of COVID-19.
Excellent song I must say!
The genre of the song is reggae. According to the Jamaican based Reggae Plus Radio, Gospel Reggae is the fastest growing segment of reggae music at the moment. It is therefore really homecoming of sorts for Minister Yvonne as songs like “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego” by Justin Hind became a worldwide hit because it demonstrated a major Gospel influence.
*Content:* The title of the song, “conqueror” is an intoxicating mash of mental revolution as it empowers listeners.
The title “conqueror” according to the English Dictionary means one who subdues and brings into subjection or possession by force or by influence. In the strictest sense, it means one who conquers, vanquishes; a victor.
With inspiration from Ephesians 6:10-17, Minister Yvonne uses the word “conqueror” to minister and tell the world that we are conquerors despite the challenges we are confronted with. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked nations and economies. Individually, it has drained people financially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The song therefore offers the perfect prescription for people from all walks of life to conquer their fears in this era.
There is no way you would listen to this song without feeling you are a conqueror! You would instantly be mentally revolutionised and be pushed to accept yourself as a conqueror. This song from beginning to the end is spirit-filling especially that chorus part where she chants “among all conquerors oh…oh I am a conqueror”. I was lost in the spirit as I sat to review this song.
*Vocal Strength* : From her two previous projects, “unchangeable” and “Besuka”, Yvonne has exhibited impressive vocal capacities in her delivery and live performances. I am not surprised at all her vocals on “conqueror” is faultless.
Yvonne’s voice is honey-sweet without being saccharine, and the song is incredibly dreamy while still maintaining a strong rhythmic focus. Her notes are clean as she sings comfortably within her range. One characteristic that will certainly make the song a favourite for all is the witty kind of playful ad-libs to the inner fabric of the song’s DNA.
*Song Arrangement*: The song comes in one verse. The pre-chorus “Lion of Judah He roars with power and might” was taken twice. The main chorus, “I am a conqueror” was taken twelve (12) times. The post-chorus predominated the song. The hook “Great I am, great is in me” was sung six (6) times while the bridge “You’re sovereign” came once.
The lyrics are well arranged. The verse, chorus and the bridge relate to the entire theme of the song which is “conqueror”. The lyrics of the song is simple to assimilate and in her honesty is a subject that cannot be over flawed. She keeps the message pretty simple and very easy to understand.
In the verse, she exhorts us to be courageously “fitted in readiness” for every situation with the “shield of faith fearlessly” like a soldier because there is no more time to wait. She urges us to “Shout it out” by saying “I am a conqueror” if you believe you are one.
*Instrumentation/Production:* The major instruments used to compose this song include drums, obviously to keep the timing and to maintain the integrity of the one drop beat. The natural sound of a milked piano with the keyboard adds freshness to the lyrics, making it a classic riddim.
Additional instruments used are electric guitar and mellow strings, metronome, light percussions. It is a mid-tempo song laced with powerful vocals and rhythmic switch of instruments with backed up soothing harmony that works perfectly on “conqueror” song well – it is very interesting to the ears.
The rhythm is spirit filling, the melody is spirit filling, the lyrics are spirit filling, the video is spirit filling, the artiste is spirit filled, the backup singers are spirit filled; the entire song is spirit filling.
The song producer, Samuel Ababio Yeboah of X-Tee Muzik Lab did a great job on this project.
“Conqueror” is a must-listen song and already looks a strong contender for Best Reggae and Gospel Song of the Year, locally and internationally.
I rate the song 90%.
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR VICTORY BY EBEN BELOW
The writer is with the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi.
He is a Creative Arts Director, Playwright & Critic.