JALEX Calls for more support to homegrown music

With Mamour M. Mbenga

Afromanding singer, Jalex, stressed that the Gambians need to lend more support to the musicians of the country to develop theJALEX music industry and enable them to be internationally-recognized.

He was speaking during a programme called ‘Edutainment Unlimited’, a newly-introduced radio programme for children in education and entertainment on West Coast Radio one.He urged banks and record companies to offer more support to emerging artistes and Gambian music generally, insisting only artistes from privileged backgrounds have the resources to become international stars.
Jalex believes business tycoons and Gambians alike can truly protect Gambian artists, and enhance the promotion of Gambian music for global market.
According to the Bakau-born musician, several of Gambia’s biggest names in music are not given much respect in Gambia, until a few were accepted in foreign countries.
He asked where in Gambia has an artist’s sold his entire album released songs in a single album or even a full album? But they buy Afro-beat songs, albums and CDs rap, soul and anything else foreign. But ask them if they buy our cultural music, something that is locally made.
He noted that culturally-owned music is Gambia’s biggest asset, and implored Gambians to wake up and smell the fresh air.
He said citizens from other countries will gladly imitate the country’s music and reap its profits if Gambia fails to support its own.
He noted “We have to have faith in our products. We must try to elevate the good things about our beloved nation, to put it on the world map like the music and stop supporting the negative songs sung by foreign artists, who now use their music to exploit our children, which is not helping. What is Baby ‘Pull Over’? Ladies showing off in complete nakedness in video clips!”
When ask by one of the children what will he do if given the platform to change Gambian music for better, Jalex replied that he would make every effort to allow local artists grow and make good hits for the building of their own music industry, which would get them into music businesses.
“So many artists are disadvantaged. They cannot start because of their background, and the best music comes from those in challenging backgrounds… It comes from places and people that are really struggling to make some meaning out of their existence.
“Artists are treated just as mere puppets in our music; just as they are not overwhelmingly accepted”.