Thursday, May 26, 2011

FILA is 2: Promoter believes there is still room for improvement

Waagan Faye, Black Lynx - Music producer and promoter
FILA, a TV Show produced by Black Lynx in cooperation with Mediamatic will be celebrating its 2nd Year Anniversary on May 27-28, 2011 at Jakarlo Spy-Bar and Jokor Brikama respectively.
The music and entertainment show, presented by XMYLS and BLACKA, is aimed at promoting Gambian music and two-years on; it has been the most popular TV Show to have brought about great exposure of Gambian talents and home made music.
Gambian music has seen a rise in the 1960s and the 1970s; in fact, top Senegalese musicians like Youssou N’doure have had spells in Banjul to develop their music careers.
However, the country started loosing its music power and status in the 1980s, though a revival by the “Golden Generation” that never where (the likes of the Born Africans, Dance Hall Masters, Da Fugitivz, Pencha Bii etc) came in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, during which time rap, reggae, and mix-music raised high.
This generation was exposed locally by “Extra Touch”, Gambia TV’s most popular music show at the time, presented by Lamin Manga. Sadly, the Show died along with the music groups, some of which are disintegrated.
In 2009, Black Lynx and Mediamatic, having produced the “Open Mic”, a public music show for a while, discovered a new breed of Gambian talents, and thought a TV Show would just be the right thing to expose the artists and move Gambian music to another level. Thus, the FILA Show was born.   
“We came to realise that there are many talents out there, but the TV exposure was lacking, so we decided to initiate the FILA,” Waagan Faye, a music promoter and producer said.
Speaking to The Voice on May 21 at his home in Pipeline, Faye, who is also a member of the Black Lynx Production, noted that though they have made some progress, he doesn’t want to say he is contented with what they have achieved with FILA in two years.
“I don’t want to say am satisfied with the level of progress, we have made great strides in our endeavours, but I believe there is always room for improvement. What is left to be done is more that what we have achieved so far, but it has helped a lot in exposing Gambian artists,” he said.

New materials
According to him, thinking of fresh materials and bearing in mind that they are faced with a limited budget has always been a challenge. He added: “We also realised that many Gambians are a little bit reluctant to be on camera, when you talk to some people, you realise that they have very good ideas, but they are reluctant to come on TV.”

Open Mic
The Open Mic, as he explained, has been on for long before FILA, but FILA brought the Open Mic on TV, so they both complement each other.
The Open Mic, one of the biggest music shows in the Gambia is also aimed at showcasing Gambian talents through which Black Lynx has been able to secure contracts with local recording studious for the artists.
“When we realise that the artists are good enough, what we do is to introduce them to producers and recording studious which can sign them. We have T.Smallz signed by Musico; Baddibunka signed by Shy Boy Entertainment; and Tam50 signed by the State of Mic Records,” Waagan explains.

Young Music
On the current state of music in the country, he said it is still young but he believe that some of the artists are fit to be exposed internationally, however, he note that others have a lot more work to do.
He said: “For most of the artists, music it a hobby because they have not been making money out of it. For it to become an industry, all players (artists, producers, promoters, presenters and even writers etc) should be able to earn money from the music.”

I am urging the people to come out in thousands, bring along Gambian flags, so we can celebrate Gambia and let’s be there early, he ask of those that will be part of celebrations marking the 2nd Year Anniversary of the TV Show, FILA.
The event will be marked on two nights, seven live band performances from artists like Killa Ace, T. Smallz, E. Nyassi, Baddibunka, Jali-Madi, Tam50, Mandingmorry, Benjamin and ENC.

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