With a string of hit singles, successful tours home and abroad, nominations and awards to his credit, Singateh is no ordinary musician. In this exclusive interview with Whatâ€™s On-Gambia, the Gambian star opens up about his longâ€“standing feud with Dr. Olugander, working with Benjahmin, and among other things.
Projects in the pipeline
Singateh disclosed that heâ€™s currently busy with a special project thatâ€™s dedicated to his devoted fans. He said: â€œIâ€™m working on a compilation album called The Best of Singateh. This album will consist of the best songs from my previous albums â€“ songs like More Message (2005), For Ever In Love (2007), Rejoice (2009) and Mansa Kay (2012). And also few new tracks.â€
In addition to the compilation album project, Singateh is also working with upcoming artists via his company, Singateh Ent. His studio in Kerr Sering, Pak Music is providing a breeding ground for local musicians of all talent levels and genres.
Singateh added: â€œBenjahmin is my favorite upcoming artist. I like his lyrical confidence and his vocal ability. He is one of the artists I enjoy recording. Working with him is so easy because he is always on point. To watch him perform live is something else, he got the energy and the strength."
Relationship with Dr.Olugander
Singateh and Dr. Olugander still canâ€™t see eye to eye. Their stormy relationship is not a secret to people in the music industry but the two artists will always shrug it off as a joke.
â€œ..(laughs) It will be hard to see each other eye to eye, because we both have our different places where we chill. He said he is a raster and for me Mi na in to that.â€
The Rejoice singer went further to deny that Dr. Olugander is an arch rival.
â€œI personally donâ€™t have any problem with Olugander. We are two different artists with different styles. I know most of the artists feel insecure when it comes to Singateh. They always wonder why people think Iâ€™m the best and why I get the best reception when we meet on shows. I think this is where the misunderstanding started between me and Olugander.
â€œI heard lot of stuffs he said and for me I will never confront him. I will just keep doing my thing and remain a mystery to him.â€
Secret behind success
Singateh is a native of Bansang, in the Central Region. He began his music career at Gambia Senior Secondary School and later met American - born producer, Hakim of Sunland Music. Right from the start, they had a clear target, making Freaky Joe (his old sobriquet) an international artist.
â€œI think my secret is hard work and dedication. Whatever you are into, you have to scarify everything to make sure you achieve what you want. I spent lot of time and resources to see my music progress. I seek and find the right people to work with, in order to make it through and stay on top.
â€œIn the music industry itâ€™s not easy, you need to be consistent and give the people what they donâ€™t even expect to hear from you. I have been on form since I started my career 10 years ago and Iâ€™m still a household name. Every year Iâ€™m getting better and better. I strongly believe that nothing comes easy - you have to work hard for it.â€
The Gambian music industry
The Bansang-born singer said the music industry is still in its infancy stage and consequently the industry does not have highly experienced professionals. Although there are indications that The Gambia has the talent to make the mark on the world stage, Singateh believes that there is lot to be done.
â€œIâ€™am saying big respect to all my fans! Special thanks to all the DJs and promoters that helped and still continue to help me. Wishing everyone a happy new year and watch out for the best of Singateh in 2013,â€ the music star concluded.
In our next update we will bring you Dr. Oluganderâ€™s response!