By Bakary Ceesay
Michael Dampha, alias King Mike, chief executive officer Warriors In a Dance has resolved his readiness to promote Gambian artistes across the European markets.
In an exclusive interview with Pan African Visions, Mike, the Stuttgart based highlighted his activities and upcoming plans he and his team are doing in The Gambia, Germany and across Europe in their quest to promote Gambian artistes across the globe.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the interview with Pan African Visions Gambia correspondent Bakary Ceesay, with King Mike.
Pan African Visions: Can
you please introduce yourself to the readers including your educational
Mike: My name is Michael Dampha a.k.a King Mike. I get the name from Dr. Olugander Abukpapa. I promote and support Gambian music. I’m also a booking agent for artists in Europe. I’m half a German and half a Gambian. I grew up in Stuttgart Germany, Filderstadt. I attended my school careers in the same city and learn two jobs, director and security.
Pan African Visions: What is your connection with Gambia and Germany?
Mike: I’m a half German and half Gambian with a great connection in the Gambia and also promoting Gambian music in Germany. And I often visit my family in the Gambia.
Pan African Visions: You have a music promotional firm called Warriors In a Dance can you please tell us when was it established and what was the main objectives?Mike: Warriors Ina Dance was established in 2015. Two friends of mine involved me in the Gambia music industry. And link me with Dr. Olugander Abukpapa, a Gambian artiste based in Finland. Dr. Olugander was my first artist who I bring to Stuttgart Germany. He was really humble and fair to me. We had nice show with much fun. So I continued working with him and many others artists from the Gambia. As well as artists from Jamaica also.
Warriors Ina Dance we
are one big family under one umbrella promoting Gambia and Jamaica music in
Germany and abroad. We are struggling and working hard to achieve our
goals. We organised nice party’s once in a month where people comes and
enjoy the good music. We also invite all the time artists from Gambia or from Jamaica and Dj’s
to perform in Germany.
Pan African Visions: What motivates you to set up Warriors Ina Dance promotional firm and how many people you are currently working with?Mike: My real partner is Mohammed Susso a.k.a Skinny Boy Susso. He knows all my plans and ideas. But we work with lot of people together and we have good chain works and high services.
We work with radio stations together in Germany and now in the Netherlands also for interviews and they plays and promotes Gambia music.
We work with a professional music studio together where I can go all the time with artists for recordings duplates and to make good quality music videos and internet interviews. We work with Teckle-Reisen together in Germany. He is our travel Agent and we can call or contact him 24/7. If we have questions or problems with the flight.
We work also with a nice and good hotel together which is not far from my home. And we can provide to our guests nice Gambian food. So that will not miss the Gambia. The hotel owner speaks perfect English in case any problems my home is not far. We are trying and wanted to organised our dance party once in a month in Mannheim in Germany. In the Gambia we are working with Axon Ova Chat Gullykid Promotion together from Basse and Gambia All Events. We stand in good contact and touch with them. Just let us see what is coming in the future. We dream big.
Pan African Visions: Which type of music are you promoting and what category of artists you are working with?
Mike: We promote dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop, Gambia music and more. I work with Gambians and Jamaicans artists together.
Pan African Visions: We have seen you are being working with some Gambian artists and Dj’s why do you choose to focus on Gambian artists?
Mike: My father was a Gambian. I love the Gambia and the people. And I’m really happy to work with Gambian artists and Dj’s.
Pan African Visions: Do you have any plans of sponsoring some young Gambian talented artists and expose them in European markets?
Mike: This is what we are trying now, with two or three Gambian underground artists. It’s an exciting project. Support support and let people hear the good vibes.
Pan African Visions: How it is like working with Gambian artists both home and abroad because we have seen you are partnering with local promoters in Gambia?
Mike: It’s nice and makes fun. I feel the love and the support. We are in good contact. And in the future we have plans and will like to do also things in the Gambia.
Pan African Visions: How do you see Gambian music industry?
Mike: I see the Gambia music industry in a higher heights moves. We have lot of talented brothers and sisters in the musical arena. And the Gambia music flowing across the world. The world is watching, listening and supporting the music industry.
Pan African Visions: What are some projects in the pipeline for Warriors Ina Dance in the summer we are we going to see you bring some Gambian artists to tour in Europe.Mike: On the 27-03-2020 we are going to be in Mannheim Germany with Dj Ali Gee, the young general at club California. D’Angel from Jamaica will come to us on the 03-04-2020. Many Dj’s will be in the house on that day. Dj’s like Selekta Adi & Dj M.O.B from the Gambia will be there too. Many nice and big things are in the pipeline cooking up already. But it’s not allowed to talk about it. I just cross fingers and I hope the best.
We are in good contact with some Gambia artists. But T-Smallz a.k.a Katato, one of Gambia’s finest artiste will come to Europe this summer with us. We are really happy and proud to work with Katato Entertainment
Pan African Visions: What is your visions in the next five years in both the Gambia and Germany?
Mike: My visions are to create more good links, partnerships, good party’s, concerts and big beats.
That the German radios and TV channels will plays Gambian music and support the Gambia music industry.
Pan African Visions: Are we expecting a Gambian festival in Stuttgart in the next coming years?
Mike: In Stuttgart or in other places in Germany we have every year African Festivals. They’re many countries who attended it and represent their music’s and cultures. But we make this year for the first time After Show Party from the African Festival. And we hope we can continue this every year and to be part of the African Festival.
Pan African Visions: What are some of your challenges in the music business in the past years?
Mike: I had many challenges and I learn many things from it. And I gained lots of experience in the musical arena.
Pan African Visions: Finally, what is your advice to Gambian artists, Dj’s, promoters and events organisers?
Mike: My advice is dream nice and big. No competition and bad mind. Believe in yourself and work hard to achieve your goals. The streets and the people will see your good work, judge you and speak for you.