Randomly, I pick a stool – not the 3 legged one, wish I’d have that one, I’d feel more of an OG – and my laptop and head over to my backyard where I just burn bushes, listening to some African music. It’s sort of a meditation to me. I call it staying in touch with my roots, hoping to make my ancestors proud as they look from the ground beneath. There son is doing good for the motherland, keeping the culture going and paying respect to those who came before, and still live on. Africans never die, we just transition to another medium of life. So we believe, or at least want to.
This are the times I discover new music, almost certainly from relatively known artists. Matter of fact, I rarely listen to popular music, unless I have some sort of attachment to it. During this times, I discover more great music than you’d imagine. I get totally lost in this serenity where I find my true self and purpose – digging up and sharing the gems with the rest of Africa. They rarely thank me for this, but shit, I never do it for recognition. I just do it for the love of the culture. It was at one such session when I happened-upon Vypa, the Gambian sensation.
Almost a year later, he is back again with another hit. Did he ever leave really? Anyway, first, a recap. Vypa has been bubbling for a while now. He is clearly one of the most energetic MCs in Africa. And that was from the word go. For the record, he didn’t need a cosign from the legendary Fafadi to be accepted in the industry. He had been making great even before and the much welcomed approval only served to authenticate Vypa’s brand to those who might be doubting his presence.
On Amadou Vypa, he delivers another hit in what is slowly revealing to be his trademark, Urban raps on a heavily African-influenced instrumentation. The song is really a feel good music with simple lyrics and expressing bars. What makes it more vibrant is the simplicity of the lyrics. “If life is a journey then I’m on the go”, raps Vypa. The mixture of English and the local dialect makes it even more balanced for a wider audience as one is able to pick up bits of what the artist is expressing.
The video, hmmm. Now that the whole world is one small village, can we get to know the ladies on the video, please? Even their Instagram handles will suffice.
Thirst aside, the video direction is candid. The fact that it shows the artists’ movement around makes for a great viewing. No eyesores. Likewise, the seemingly casual set up gives the whole video an authentic look and feel, making it come out as less acted and more of just ‘rolling with it’. I mean, when last did you see a ‘fine African gel’ doing laundry in a bucket, outside the house? That is a typical African scenario, something we never show on our music videos. It’s simple things like this that makes a song so relate-able. Makes us believe it’s actually an African song and we are not witnessing a far-fetched dream in the making (which is not a bad thing, all dreams are valid, after all).
Add the fact that a hot Mami pulls up to the hood in a Jeep and you have the African version of that seemingly unreachable American dream. Gambia must be one hell of a beautiful place, judging by the unrestricted smiles the kids show in the video. If I was working for or part of the country’s tourism board, I’d pen a quick cheque to Vypa for portraying the wonderful scenery of the Smiling Coast. Just saying…
Major shout outs to Tejan Secka for the formidable skills on the visuals. As for the models and the entire cast, your contributions make the video entirely eye-catchy. Well done!