GAMBIAN ARTISTS : The International Fan Base Debate
Former Gambian Rapper Gee recently advised Gambian Artists on his social media X Status;
“advising our Gambian artists to go International is their distraction and the beginning of every Gambian artist’s downfall once you start making noise.Focus on your immediate market and don’t let this internet fool you into believing in an imaginary Fan base” Gee
Mamosmedia is a fan of Gee’s but has this to say about Gee’s advice ;
The Gambian music Industry cannot and must not soley rely on it’s own populace without the possibility of expansion .
The Gambia’s total population was reported in January 2023 at 2.74 million and the majority are reported as extremely poor and maginalized which means there is presently no heavy investment in the Music Industry.
The music sector continues to be an underfunded challenge leaving artists constantly struggling for funds, their well- being & up keep.
The Industry must grow and support artists to perform both internationally and locally so that they and their families can survive of their music and art comfortably.
Where Gee’s generation & Group of talented artists have not been able to reach , the digital age has empowered the new generation of talented artists . We recognise that they have crafted their art through digital mastery but lack resources and proper sponsorship deals.
As an estate The Gambian Music Industry has to learn and emulate the successes of Senegal , Nigeria, Ghana and recently South Africa in marketing & showcasing their talented musicians internationally.
Artists like Yousou N’dour built his fan base internationally. REMA the Afrobeat Artist from Nigeria was ridiculed for going to India to build his international base but is now breaking barriers as one of the most sought after artists from Nigeria. Tyla the South African is doing wonders globally. WIZKID is another great example so successful that he has recently decided to take a 4 year break and raise his kid with his partner and family.Ruger is also known to break international barriers.
Infact all successful artists in the present century broke through international barriers and there is no harm in Gambian artists being ambitious enough and wishing to give their art a wider audience base since they possess incredible talent.
As music experts and analysts will say :-
«Music creativity,that magical spark, knows no confines, no boundaries. It’s a force that transcends limitations and breathes life into every facet of human endeavor. ………
The canvas of music stretches infinitely. It invites us to experiment, make mistakes, and uncover those rare gems that push the boundaries of what’s possible……
Gambian Artists should Cultivate a mindset that asks, “What if?” Challenge norms, seek the unusual, and question assumptions»
The new generation of serious artists like Jizzle , ST and Nyancho are doing just that. ST beyond his music is involved in Climate issues, Jizzle on World Peace and breaking gender stereotypes,Nyancho on Children and Womens Rights ! These are important United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and we anticipate these artists fast becoming Global Ambassdors through their music.
The Gambian Music Industry is underfunded and instead of advising artists to focus only locally , Artists should instead be advised to NEVER completely abandon their local fan base by settling in the WEST but at the same time they need both National and International Support. Artist and their management teams need training courses to be able to professionally meet the demands of a modern multifaceted Industry.
Artist management teams need training on work ethics and should learn to respect and follow confidentiality clauses in favour of the life and secrets of Artists.
The likes of JIZZLE ,ST and NYANCHO are the Republics hope and pride and will definitely make it internationally because they have crafted and mastered their art and know how to brand themselves beyond the shores of the Smiling Coast of West Africa.
- Mamosmedia.November 2023.