He is commonly known as Bai Babou/Brain Cracker and one of the sensational Rap Mballax stars. Bai Babou uses the Wollof dialect in his lyrical music which is loved by both the young and the old. He is a graduate of Gambia Senior Secondary School.
When did you start music?
I started my music career in 2011 but started rapping in 2010 with a crew called the GEE’s but later went on solo and did my first song titled, “love bu xew” as a solo artiste in 2011.
Why did you choose music?
Well, I was a footballer but due to the ills and wrongs of the society, I took up music as a way of creating awareness in society as well send out messages to the people. Because I studied Arts, I thought it was good for me to pursue a career in music. I also have an advantage of using my Wollof language as a tool to share the message across the country and Africa as a whole.
Who inspired you into music?
I was inspired by a Senegalese super star, Youssou Ndour but I later decided to blend it with our Gambian cultural artistes like Tatadinding, Mam Tamsir Njie and Jaliba Kuyateh. However, the main reason for taking up rap mballax was through an inspiration from Dr Panachi Cham.
How many mix tapes have you launched?
I launched one mix tape called “Damayi” in 2013, but I am currently working on my album. I signed a contract under a label called Joluv Arts Entertainment and so they are producing my album in December.
Do you regret joining Joluv Arts Entertainmnet?
Laughter! Not at all because being part of Joluv Arts Entertainment has given me so much background to stand on my own and organise a show with their support. There are advantages that I got under the label and I am making best use of them. It is good to be signed under a label because anything that comes has to go beyond you to a higher place that you will love to be part of. That’s why I want to be part of the label. They are helping us in our career and shaping our image in a positive light. I have no regrets because it is a step ahead from where I was.
When did you start the contract?
The contract started in February 2014 and it is a 5-year contract. I have already completed the first year with them and we are working towards promoting and going beyond The Gambia this year.
Have you ever got a beef with any artiste?
Actually I and my partner Tam 50 started that, by then music was not promoted in The Gambia. As a means of bringing more followers who will be willing to support our music, we decided to bring controversy into the music scene. We started our genre called rap mballax to gain more attention because we have seen more followers during beefs among artistes such as Movado and Vybs Kartel, 2pac and P-Diddy as well as Nas and J-Zay. We did it as a means of transforming the music scene and thankfully we did it by producing our first song titled, “Rap hard core deh naa.” Our purpose was to make people follow our music and not create violence as others are doing today.
You always move the crowd whenever you take up the stage, what’s the secret?
I think it’s because of the type of music I do because I include the genre of today’s generation – rap mbalax to it. I captivate the minds of the people with the music and actions and thanks to the fans for the love and encouragement. If you are on stage and people don’t look at you it becomes boring and discouraging.
How do you cope as a technician and musician?
It was not easy when I started. I am on a contract with the Gambia Ports Authority and I am called whenever my service is needed. But given that I am fully under contract under a music label, it has now affected my work at the ports because I am more into music now and have to respect the agreement I have with the label.
What would you have popped into if music had failed?
Hahaha! I still love learning. I would have studied management because it is the most important thing in order to manage yourself, business and life.
What are the challenges you are facing?
Sponsorship has been the headache of every Gambian musician and I hope things will change as we move on because without money, you can’t push the music further. Music is the hardest thing to do in The Gambia from the studio to the radio for promotions.
What have you achieved in the past five years in music?
I have achieved a lot. I am lucky to pull the largest crowd so far at Alliance Francaise during my mix tape launch. I also recently won the best rap mballax artiste of the year.
Any future plans?
Yeah, the brain cracker 2nd anniversary is coming up on May 22 and the launch of the new track, ‘Attitude Girl’ at Jakarlo. It will be a live band music performance with the inclusion of comedy, fashion, drama and dancing. Almost all the finest Gambian musicians will be there. It will also feature the return of my partner Tam 50 though he was quiet for a while because he was working on something great for the people.
Words by Sise Sawaneh]]>