Gambia’s Reggae/ Dancehall sensation Benjahmin of Brikama has finally signed a record deal with Mandingmorry Entertainment. Benjamin who is undoubtedly one of if not the Gambia’s best and most promising Reggae singers has still not released an album even though he’s been hanging in there for quite a bit. Nonetheless, he released several hit singles such as “Economic Depression”,” Better Soon Come” and “Trust Me”. On Tuesday, The President of Mandingmorry Entertainment Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay made the announcement on his Facebook page last Tuesday “the biggest reggae sensation sing-jay and dee-jay artist Benjahmin, officially signed to Mandingmorry Entertainment for an exclusive album deal. Watch out fi di most igniting reggae album of the year in November 2014. To Jah Be The Glory. Shalom!!!” This post was accompanied by photos from the signing ceremony which was attended by Benjahmin, his team, fans and members of Mandingmorry Entertainment.
In an interview with GT Entertainment news after the ceremony, The boss of Mandingmorry Entertainment informed our reporter that Benjahmin is the first artist that his entity signed with a two year exclusive album deal due to be released in November. Notwithstanding, they will be signing more artists next year by the grace of God. “We signed Benjamin because he is one of the most consistent and promising young artist in the Gambia. We also believe we can market him internationally because of his musical abilities and consciousness.” Said Mr. Ceesay confidently.
When asked about the benefits Benjahmin stands to gain in the deal, Mr. Ceesay said “ A normal album deal, 16tracks album, HD Video clips, Promotional tour in Gambia, Africa and Europe, other related album activities, festivals and shows in and out of Gambia.”
In response to the post, Gibou Balla Gaye a.k.a Gee who is undoubtedly one of the 5 biggest names who are currently making noise in the country urged Gambian musicians to open their eyes and make sure every deal they sign favors them. Gee is always known for giving his 2 cents on any burning issues affecting the Gambian showbiz and on this issue Gee in his own words said “Lately, Music Label mor heew Gambia ? Signing artists. Nicceeee!
- If da signing bonus is fat!
- Paying for all the expenses on ur upcoming projects.
- Pay for your show Logistics n' any other expense.
- Make sure u get on every platform worth being on.
- pay for ur videos, collabs , etc
- Most important of all is a FAIR split in %s in whatever ur making WHY NOT.. ! “
He went further to list the names of the Labels who are currently signing artists and emphasized for the artists to remember that it’s business and at the end of the day, they represent their interest to the fullest “JOLUV ARTS, MUSIC O, MANDING MURI ENTERTAINMENT, SHY BOY,ETC.
Artists : Just make sure the deal favours u more.. same time beneficial to both parties..
Give them beyond what’s expected n' trust me on ur next deal or when renewing ur contract da cost of ur services would go up.. Business la..” Concluded the rap mbalax star.
Editor’s note: It is unfortunate that The Gambia still does not have a proper music/entertainment industry and as a result, there has not been any standards, proper record labels (big or small) or any institutions that can really guide or regulate our music scene. Any tom, dick and harry can just get up from anywhere and start their own thing, set up their own standards and start grinding. As Gee stated, several Gambian artists have recently been signed and as far as I can remember, this dated back to at least 4 years ago when Musico signed Rugie, Manding Morry, T-Smallz and Mighty Joe and unfortunately, they have gone separate ways. Jali Madi Kanuteh was previously signed to The Block entertainment and they have of course parted too and most recently Joluv Art has signed three big names Bai Babou, Manding Morry and Jali Madi. The packages that the labels offer are very tempting and sound great and we think it’s a step in the right direction. We applaud the labels and give thumps up to the artists but the million dollar question is, Are these deals sustainable?