By Nyima Bah
Gambian Afro-Manding artiste, O Boy has told Standard Lite that there is too much unfairness and demeaning in Gambian music industry compelling him to name his upcoming album #Jutunaya, (Mandinka for looking down upon).
The Farato-based singer said the entertainment industry in the country is endemic with promoters and artistes belittling others like him.
According to O Boy he has achieved unprecedented successes in his short music career, being the only Gambian artiste with over four million views on YouTube.
He also revealed that with the exception of kora maestro Jaliba Kuyateh, he is the only artiste that is booked to perform every week of the year and not on shared based contract.
He claims that he is the only artiste who tours every town or hovel in The Gambia because he believe Gambians in the rural areas also have the right to be entertained.
“The low encouragement and support we received from Gambian promoters and other artistes is disheartening, as opposed to the overwhelming support we receive outside,” he told Standard Lite.
“Gambian promoters tend to belittle me because I do not have a formal education and that might be the reason why they are not inviting me to perform at certain concerts or shows they organise,” he accused.
He said sometimes he would send up to three invites to his fellow artistes to his shows but they would never turn up.
“With Open Mic organisers, I was paid D30,000 to perform while other artistes were given D100,000. That too is jutunaya. And I spend like D70,000 on my music videos and in these recent released videos I spend almost D150,000 on each video. So, it doesn’t seem fair to be paying an artiste who I’m bigger than, D100,000 while they pay me D30,000 just because they term me as village boy and someone who didn’t go to school.”
O Boy usually partners with his younger cousin, the prodigious Gambian Child.