At around midnight on Saturday Isatou Sonko a 21-year-old diehard Gambian music fan arrived at Pencha-mi Hall for the Iced Out Concert. “As a huge fan, I couldn’t imagine missing an event showcasing not only my favorite Gambian artists, but Senegalese artist as well. I was watching the promo videos and ads and had to be there,” she says.
As she reached the venue in the early hours of the morning, she was surprised that just a few people were there, though she stayed on thinking a large crowd would show up later. By the time the event started, more people had arrived but the crowd was still below Isatou’s expectation.
“I went backstage to talk to my favorite artists. The first artist I had the opportunity to speak to was Yaffa. I asked him how he was feeling and he was excited to be at the event.”
“It was so cool because I had all kinds of nerves approaching him. When I first approached him and smiled he couldn’t stop laughing and I think it was because of my goofy smile.
I’m glad I met yaffa because I love his music. Isatou spent most of her time with Yaffa fangirling and smiling.
The next artist she approached were the senegalese artists BM Jaay and Puezzi. She was very impressed by their excitement and the fact that they were possibly bigger fans of Gambian artist than she was.
“BM was a bit nervous and said he was excited to be on stage and couldn’t wait to go back to Senegal and promote Gambian music more. Puezzi and I however had a bit of a language barrier and it was hilarious. I speak really bad wolof and that’s what he mostly speaks. I did however understand when he said his favorite Gambian artists are Jizzle, Chanta and Gee and he couldn’t wait to come back and work with Gambian artists.”
Isatou also got to chat with Hussain and Chanta who promised her that they would turn that stage upside down. “I asked them to send a message to those who couldn’t make it for the event. Chanta laughed annoyingly, saying “they are definitely going to miss out.”
“The highlight of my night was meeting my absolute favorite, Jizzle! He kinda took over the conversation and didn’t really let me ask any questions but it was okay. I was happy just listening to him speak. “
Isatou and the rest of the attendants waited till the early hours of the morning just to watch him perform. Jizzle brought out the visiting artist onstage with him and they ended the night and the show with a bang.
“As I stepped out of the gates of the Pencha Mi Hall, I was half asleep but I felt fulfilled that I had the opportunity to witness Senegal meeting Gambia. With all the magic that happened on stage, I saw the real magic happen backstage. The way these artists laughed, loved and supported each other was so beautiful.”