Just after two years, a footballer turned Rap Mbalax artist, Bai Babou has incredibly hit the top spot of Gambian music after failing to make the starting eleven on the football pitch.
Q: Bai Babou is the artiste that most Gambians, but to you, who is Bai Babou Sambou?
In an interview, he said it was hard for him to make the starting IV but in music he is already among the top ten Gambian artistes, with his unique music style Rap Mbalax, and he hopes to be the greatest sensation in the industry shortly.
Below is the interview:
A: Babucarr Sambou is my real name, born 19 November 1989 in Serekunda. I attended Serekunda Primary School, before joining St Therese’s Junior, and SOS. I was a footballer before I started rapping in 2011. I released my first mix tape called ‘Dama Yii’ in 2013.
Q: During the two years you’ve spent in music, what are your takes and targets in the Gambian music industry?
A: Music is moving faster now than where I met it, due to the fact there are more radio stations playing and promoting local music, I mean Gambian music. We have even moved from posters to billboards, thank God...from radio interviews to online interviews; you can spot the difference, but it’s hard to be on top of the chart because of challenges rising from sponsors, albums and sales bookings.....because we have no market outside. My target is to sell my own type of music Rap Mbalax outside the Gambia to the wider world. But let me tell you, I am still learning from my colleagues as an upcoming artist.
Q: Which music label have you signed for, and why?
A: Jolov Arts, I signed a deal with them to support my music financially and help facilitate foreign trips for me to place shows....plus protect my image. These are things that I cannot do all by myself as an artiste, but I am hopeful that as I grow I will know the business more and more.
Q: With two years in the business, how do you rate yourself as a musician in the Gambia?
A: I’m still a young man learning from my elders and you know music has no boundary so you can’t just come and hit the top spot. I’m still an up and coming artiste looking up to the like Jalibaa, Tata Ding Ding, Musa Ngum, Ousu Njie Senoir, Ousu Lion Njie, and etc.....so I’ll rate myself as an up and coming artiste.
Q: You were once a footballer, what motivates you to snub the pitch for the mic?
A: I was never in the first eleven no matter how hard I tried proving myself. I was always on the bench. So it was a waste of time for me. Knowing my potential and what I can gain, I moved to the music industry.
Q: So do you think you can be in the top 10 of the Gambian music industry, or are you already there?
A: I’m already in for sure.
Q: Many artistes would prefer playing more than one music, but you are strictly in ‘Rap Mbalax’, why?
A: Because it’s more advantageous and I can flow on any beat. I’m also versatile - I can flow on Dancehall rhythms even with Hip Hop beats, but I will continue to be on the ‘Rap Mbalax’ because I want to be original and do my own style.
Q: What inspired you into the music industry?
A: I’m inspired by the ills and wrongs happening in society so I decided to speak with my Wolof influence; make it a rap to spread the message [of justice and equity] as a voice of society.
Q: How is you family coping with your music life?
A: They are used to it. I have been acting since my primary school days, I love this I swear and they appreciate my music a lot. I’m also share anything I have with them because you never know.
Q: Is Bai Babou ready to settle down or prefer to have fun for sometimes, with girls, lol!!!
A: Well, I’m very much concentrated on my upcoming album now. Maybe after my album, I will settle down if I’m lucky to have a type of wife I’m looking for... But for now I’m only in relationship with my music.
Q: Who is your best artiste friend?
Q: Is it in your plans to rule Gambian music in the future?
A: All thanks to God and good people who appreciate our music. Time will tell: my aim is to see Gambian music on MTV, Kora Awards and big platforms… Inshallah!
Q: What will you say about your fans?
A: Yeah, the fans are the reason we doing this, so without them our music won’t have any use. I’m nothing without my fans.
Q: How many albums have you dropped and which one you see as the best?
A: I only drop a mix tape called “DAMA YII 2013”. I’m also working on my album ‘AJJ BASA KAW’ which will be ready for consumption by December 19, 2015 Inshaa Allah. My best song is called Attitude Gal featuring Fafa, which is hitting the airwaves right now. Watch out for my brand new single call ‘Fahass’ featuring Barhama soon.
Q: What is your advice to young Gambians?
A: Let them go to school and respect their elders. Work hard and give back to their parents.