For many years the Gambia music industry– survived with little or no help from the government and line ministries—Ministry of Youth and Sport and Ministry of Arts and Culture. Artists support themselves through concerts, album launches,among others.
However, the last five years have been a different story. Artists became more successful while doing only music as a career and being recognised beyond the borders of the Gambia.
ST Da Gambian Dream is one of Gambia’s biggest artists. Over the last five years, consistency and good music has led him to huge success in the music industry.
Currently, the award-winning artiste—and his management is faced with unexpected crisis the launch of his latest album which is highly anticipated. This unfortunate crisis unfolded to the public few weeks before the event.
On Thursday, 29th January, 2021, ST’s management released a press statement disclosing the crisis they are facing on the road to the album launch. In the statement, ST’s management wrote:
“It is with utter dismay and disappointment that the Management of ST Brikama Boyo confirms to you that the officials of the Independence Stadium refuse to grant our request to use the Independence Stadium grounds to stage the Dinding Mansa album launching concert on February 6th, 2021.
“Given that the decision is coming barely a few weeks before the event and considering the huge amount of financial and logistical planning that has been made, we are now faced with an insurmountable challenge within a limited timeframe”.
The independent stadium also released a statement clarifying and responding to some the accusations made by ST’s management. The statement signed by the general manager Ebou Faye described ST’s statement as “false information and lies”.
The management added:
“The Stadium management is totally disheartening [sic] and flabbergasted with the false information and lies contained in the ST and his Management press release issued on the 28th January 2021 to media houses and social media in regards to the usage of the stadium facilities.
Moving forward, ST and his management are “exploring all options including legal action”.Their statement further revealed:
“While we continue to engage the Independence Stadium and other government authorities like our line ministries – youths and tourism and culture, to find an amicable solution, the ST management is exploring all options, including legal action, to seek redress”.
As fans, artists and music makers in the Gambia express dismay and disappointment regarding the ongoing crisis, the question of what message it sends to the industry still remains a burning issue.In an industry built on the hard work of young, talented artists, producers, promoters, and music investors there is increasing debate on the need for more standard venues for big concerts like the one ST is staging.
Regardless of the ongoing crisis, ST’s album launching is still holding on February 6, 2021. We hope fans and music lovers will grace this important project with him.