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Exclusive interview with upcoming German/Gambian singer Mariama Ceesay -“I’m very proud to have African names!”
Home » Exclusive  »  Exclusive interview with upcoming German/Gambian singer Mariama Ceesay -“I’m very proud to have African names!”
Exclusive interview with upcoming German/Gambian singer Mariama Ceesay -“I’m very proud to have African names!”

Mariama Ceesay is remembered by many in Germany as the beautiful and talented bi-racial girl that auditioned for the German X-Factor when she was just 16. 

She was born in Germany to a Gambian dad and German mum. Mariama is one young singer with a lot of potential. What’s On-Gambia got a chance to ask her some questions about her family and music career. 

What’s On-Gambia: Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your Gambian dad? 

Mariama: I was born in Germany. My mum is German and my dad Gambian. They divorced when I was only two years old. So I grew up at my mum’s house. I visit my dad as often as I can. We’re living in the same city. He has a new Gambian wife and two children – my lovely sisters! I’m very proud to have African names. 

Have you ever visited The Gambia? 

I’ve never been to The Gambia, but hopefully very soon. My mum said if I turn 18 I can visit. 

How old are you now? 

I’m 19. 

Do you speak any Gambian local language? 

(Laughs) My dad speaks wollof. When I visit them, I don’t understand what they say. It is because my parents divorced when I was very young. 

Are you more German than Gambian? 

That’s a really difficult question. I’ve never been to The Gambia and I grew up in Germany. So I will say I’m more German (laughs). 

What inspired your passion for music? 

I think it is because I can think. I sing as long as I’m able to think. 

I don’t think I understand what you trying to say. 

Okay, let’s put it this way. When I was 6 years old, I was at a restaurant with my mum. I went to the toilet and came out singing and my mum was like ‘oh you can sing!’. She placed me in a gospel choir and that was where everything started. 

At the age of 14, I formed a band with some friends and that was when I started writing songs.  The band was together for only 2 years. 

Who are your favorite music stars? 

My big idol is Adele. She has an authentic voice and her songs are really good. 

What steps are you taking to boost your career? 

Like I said before, I was in a band and after that I auditioned for the German X-Factor. I was 16 and got ‘YES’ from all the three judges. I was among the last 24 artists from 25,000 applicants. 

Tell us about your song Think About You Instead. 

I did not write the song. When I met the producer he already had the song.  So the song existed before I met him. After hearing my voice, he felt I should give it a shot. 

What about the video? 

The video was made in Bremerhaven, my hometown. It was really spontaneous. We were just driving round town looking for suitable spots. So it was really an easy thing.

What is it about you that make you different from other artists? 

It’s difficult to tell, because my career is still young. Let’s see what the future brings! 

Besides music what other activities are you involved in? 

I live in the USA now and I’m working with children. I will be here for a year and I want to try hip-hop dance and also learn certain instruments. In Germany, I once had a hip-hop dance crew. 

Can you share with us five songs on your current playlist? 

Watch Out For This by Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal, Rapper’s Delight by The Suger Hill Gang, One and Only by Adele, Teach Me How To Dougie by Cali Swag District and Another Love by Tom Odell. 

…no song by an African artists? 

No! I have a song by Chaka Demus and Pliers. 

They’re from the Caribbean. 

Are they? I don’t have enough African songs.  But I have Yossour N’dour’s Seven Seconds and lots of Akon, Mama Africa, Keep You Much Longer, Ghetto…I started listening to his songs since I was 11. 

Any final words? 

I hope I have the opportunity to visit The Gambia and I hope they like my music. 


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