Saturday December 30, 2006|
ON THE international scene, gospel music, as a genre, has
become popular even in the secular setting. It doesn’t take long for
one to realise that Boney M’s “By the Rivers of Babylon” was
a popular gospel song that attracted fans from all walks of life.
Gospel artistes like Jordanaires, Green, and Burke have been
known to perform in both secular and religious settings. According
to the Wiki-pedia, other gospel singers, such as Rosetta Thar-pe,
Golden Gate Quartet and Ward, have even performed gospel music in
secular settings, in-cluding the nightclubs.
“The fact is, people still love gospel music, and it has its fans
all over the place,” said local gospel singer for 23 years, Geoffrey
Woo, who has five gospel albums to his credit.
“We see a growth trend in the gospel music genre in Malaysia and
Singapore. It is wholesome entertainment and there is nothing wrong
if people in the nightclubs want to listen to gospel mu-sic for a
change. Jesus himself went to dine with the outcasts of society in
his time, when the rest of his peers thought it was unholy to eat
with the sinners.”
Woo, a Chemical Engineering graduate from RMIT, Melbourne,
Australia, said he had spent most of his two decades of singing
career in Sin-gapore.
“It is time that I make a comeback to Malaysia. I am a Malaysian
and I know my Malaysian friends want to listen to some wholesome
Will he make it big in Malaysia now that he is planning to sing
his own gospel songs throughout the country?
Most people in their mid-40s can still recall the name Geoffrey
Woo from his first two albums, “Sojourn” (1982) and “Into Light”
Posing mainly in his smart casual attire, especially for his
album covers, Woo defines his compositions as “contemporary
“All my songs are originals and they are both unique and
meaningful, interlaced with a profound message that is about life,”
Most people still think that he is a jazz singer, especially
since most of the songs he sang in his early days were jazzy.
“The reason is because the producers themselves wanted the songs
to be jazzy,” he said.
“I am more of a contemporary pop singer. That’s the way I am
going to produce my forthcoming albums.”
In the pipeline is “Geogeny”, his sixth album, which is currently
under production at a friend’s studio in Singapore.
“Geogeny is a composite of his name Geoffrey and “geny”, the root
word for Genesis. It simply means the new sounds of Geoffrey’s
Old songs which he released before such as “All Things Are
Possible”, “Children of the Light” and “Ayisha” will be redone to
give them a fresh new boost. “The rest of the songs in the new album
will be songs that have never been recorded be-fore, written over a
span of 25 years.”
The self-taught guitarist said he has always lived by faith.
International music website, SoundClick.com describes this as “the
special as-pect of his ministry, to be evidence of God’s abi-lity to
“I have survived all these years as a gospel sin-ger. It’s all
through God’s provision,” he said, clai-ming that he has never
depended on one stable source of income.
“I am planning and trusting God that once my next album is
completed in the middle of next year, I will be invited to travel to
other parts of the world, including Australia, Hong Kong,
Indo-nesia, Japan and the United States, besides touring Malaysia
and Singapore. I am looking forward to break new grounds, especially
as an Asian in the Western market.”
A member of the Malaysian Christian Songwri-ters Network, Woo
also appears on www.soundclicks.com, an international portal
of musicians from all genres.
The third album, “Deeper Than I Can Imagine” (1987), which was a
group effort with the Onesi-mus Principle, and was released by
Warner Elec-tra Atlantic Records (WEA) in Singapore, sold over
10,000 copies and the title track became one of the Top Ten on the
“Burger King Top 10 Chart” in Singapore. Woo contributed three songs
on that album.
“Reprise”, being his fifth album, is a collection of some of the
more popular songs in the early days.
“It was done to help a church to raise funds for its own
building,” he said.
“In the process, I released three singles, inclu-ding “Just One
Life Pt.2” which was played by the radio channels in Singapore. It
was released in remembrance of Mother Teresa when she passed away.
The second single, “More Than Life”, was also aired on radio, being
a release for Valentine’s Day.”
The third single “Just When I Thought It Was Over” was picked up
by Singapore Airlines for its inflight music entertainment.