Known for his swag onstage appearances coupled with melodious voice, hip-hop artiste Vypa is a rising star in his own fame.
Born Amadou Secka, Vypa launched his musical career in 2006 during his senior years in high school with a couple of friends.
Starting out with a group called the Hood Hustlers he formed together with a couple of friends, he went on to release his much anticipated CD compilation titled Voices of the Ghetto a year later.
However, 2008 was a successful year for the group, which led him to leave and pursue his career, thus releasing a couple of solo projects. That same year, he released his maiden solo mixtape titled Huslematic Scriptures and then his second mixtape titled The Apocalypse he launched a year later.
Following years of rising success, Vypa released smash singles namely Must Get There and Amore. These singles were warmly received by fans and also enjoyed favourable airtime on TV and local FM bands.
The rising star also shot two videos off the Apocalypse mixtape Rock Your World featuring Snow Easy and Amore featuring Lena, which both became an anthem. Gradually establishing his presence in the country’s music scene, Vypa in 2011 embarked on some meaningful projects including Jiwu in a soundtrack of a movie titled Kodho, a local movie produced and directed by Efe Omo Egori of Supagrafix Media.
Then came his stellar single Skinny Boy Fly in 2012 and subsequently a video for the song, which was nominated and won the Best Video category at The Gambia’s first-ever video awards.
In this exclusive with Standard Lite, the Pipeline-based star talks about his annual Nyunla concert, his upcoming debut album, Wah Sa Halat Music Awards and his future plans among a host of others.
You have an annual event called the Nyunla concert, which usually falls in the month of April, but this year we haven’t seen any promo or date released. What’s going on?
Yeah this will be the fourth year of the Nyunla annual event, but this time around we pushing are it till after Ramadan. I will update you when the final date is taken. Squad Vypa will be partnering with first class promotion to bring to you the 2018 Nyunla inshallah.
Where are you heading with this Nyunla concert concept?
Well, we’re trying to grow bigger and better till we are able to host it at the Independence Stadium. Remember it’s a people’s event. We have been successful in filling up venues, which is a manifestation of our ability contrary to the widely held belief that Gam-music can’t pull crowds.
You have postponed your debut album release twice, can you explain that and when shall it be released?
The first time it was due to the impasse so it only made sense to push it. But last December was due to the urge to have better material for the album. We just want to give it the best shot; being my first album.
What do you think of the last Open Mic Fest and why were you not on that list?
Well….it was a successful event overall, the crowd was big. The artistes came through and gave it their best shot. Though, the sound system and the engineer needs more work but I am sure the Open Mic team has realized that and will fix it this year. So I’m looking forward to a better festival this year.
You didn’t receive any nomination on the Wah Sa Helat Music Awards last year even though you are one of the most visible artistes on TV. How do you feel?
Well it didn’t surprise me, I mean two years back the same awards nominated me in seven categories and didn’t give me a single award. The next year too the same thing, so with all honesty, I’m not expecting anything from them. Not even a single video award, when my videos are on top ten count downs on foreign stations but back home instead of celebrating such accomplishments, I get slept on. I’m the most underrated and under favored artiste in this country taking a look at the part I’ve played for this industry.
Your first single of 2018 called “Teyumakor sa” has gained a lot of attention and has the light on you again. What’s the inspiration?
The title is apologetic but it’s actually an unapologetic song, just had to address a lot; like rappers thinking they are bigger when it’s just imaginary. Take a deeper look at the flow, it shows mastery of the art, the lyrics are actually deeper than people feel. I just had a lot of energy that I had to release in that song.
Your next single we gathered will be released in two weeks or so, at such a close interval with the last one. It seems you are taking a different releasing rate route. Tell us about that
Yeah the next single is titled “Job”. We are putting it out in two or three weeks. I didn’t release a lot of songs last year so we decided to put a considerable number this year including an album.
You posted a congratulatory post, commending your fellow artiste ST on having a great run in 2017. That’s a rare thing amongst Gambian rappers
Yeah wish for others as you wish for yourself and Allah shall bless you. Over here we congratulate and are proud of our fellow artistes’ accomplishing feats. Unity is key, acknowledging each other will keep us moving forward. This is bigger than us as individuals; it’s about representing a whole nation.
The boy band – Nobles were the hottest artiste last year and they are doing well. You have been a pillar to them, how do you feel about their success?
I’m happy for them and all they have accomplished was destined to be. They worked for it and reaped the benefits. I’m there for all artistes in any way I can, be it established or upcoming. My doors are more open to the younger ones because they will carry the mantle of what we’ve worked on further.
What is on the table for this year and foreseeable future plans?
This year, I will be dropping an eight-track EP and also the Gomgom album Inshallah. Let my fans expect more singles and videos too. We shall bring to you the annual Nyunla concert and a nationwide tour too.