At 24, Jizzle is now one of the biggest names in Gambian music, filling venues like Penchami Hall and walking out of the Whasahalat Music Awards with the most wins of the night, (5 awards with just an EP). Born and raised in Bakau, Jerreh Jallow dreamed of becoming Gambia’s Ronaldo, “Music was not my passion, it was soccer”. Like most young men he spent most of his time on the soccer field. His older brother, Essa, known in the music industry as “Breaker”, was an aspiring artist at the time and Jizzle became curious about his work. Jizzle’s interest peaked as he watched his brother write and produce music around the home.
In 2009 he decided to try his hand at the art and realized he “had a gift and talent for it”. He adopted the name Jizzle because he wanted something that started with a J like his given name and it sounded “Bad man” to him. That same year he released his first single ‘Going Hard’. “It’s funny when I listen to that song now, but it reminds me of where I started and how far I’ve come in the industry”.
Jizzle was influenced by artist like Lil Wayne, Drake and the like. He started his career doing Hip-Hop, but the Afro Hip/Hop sound was too enticing for the young rising star to resist. As he grew as an artist he changed his sound to be more like the African artists he admired like Wizkid, Mr. Eazi and Davido. He also pulled inspiration from Gambian artists like T-Smalls and Mighty Joe.
I am very grateful for the support of these Gambian artist, not only did they inspire me but they also push me to grind harder and go higher in the industry.
Jizzle’s achievements did not begin with the Wahsahalat Awards, one of his proudest accomplishments thus far was in 2017, when he was nominated at the All Africa Music Awards for the Best African Hip/Hop Artist with his 2017 hit song ‘Man Of The Year’ ft Atenola. He travelled to Nigeria for the occasion and met some of the biggest names in West African music. “It gave me a chance to see another part of Africa and network with a lot of big name artist that I admire.”
“The life of an artist is not easy in The Gambia”, as the fans are wanting more of his music, Jizzle struggles with getting funds to pay for studio time and put on shows. While it is true that support for Gambian music has grown over the years, artist are getting more crowds at events, and Gambians in the diaspora are supporting the artist more, there is still a lack of corporate support in the industry. Jizzle was lucky enough to recently sign an endorsement deal with Africell, but still calls on more companies to invest in and financially back artists. “I cannot thank the fans and supporters enough for their love and the promoters for their effort but there is still a lot of work to be done.”
‘Gambia’s Number 1’ aspires to be the first Gambian artist to be nominated and win a BET Award. He wants to be remembered in Gambian music for generations to come as the first artist to win international awards in the industry. In the meantime he is working on releasing his first Album titled “Finally” this year. He is also working towards his a show with fellow artist Nobles called ‘Best In The Game’ call that will be on April 27th. Look out for much more music from our reigning number 1!