is set for the 2018 annual Open Mic Festival (OMF) to be hosted at the
Independence Stadium on December 28th.
Initiated in November 2007 by promoters Black Lynx, the event initially started with monthly hood-to-hood show and has been known for bringing together Gambian artistes both home and abroad. It also provides a platform for lesser-known talents.
This is the 11th edition of the anniversary widely called the people’s event #OMF 2018 to be held under the theme: The future begins. It is usually organized by Black Lynx Entertainment.
Artistes who are lining up for the event are: Praisy, Iyka Yannick, Lady Quincy Fyah, Mad Dot, Y-Dee, Lil Oms, Awa Bling, Big Rozay, Mad Snake, Hussain, Chanta, Team Kunda, Attack, Jizzle Big Faa, Nobles Royal Messenger, ST and T. Smallz. Holy Family and Humanity Starz will back the performers.
Abdoukarim Wagan Faye, coordinator of OMF spoke about the festival’s impact, saying, “I remember when we had the idea. Then there were times when practically there was no platform for Gambian music, be it on radio, television or shows where they could perform. So when the idea came to us we were like wow, this is something that we wanted to do because we have always being fans of music and Gambian music for that matter. So as Black Lynx we sat and brainstormed and decided that this might be something for us to do.”
It was not popular at the time but today it is one of the most popular musical events in the country.
Waagan said he wanted to listen to Gambian music on a bigger platform. “When I watched or listened to music videos or anything music related from other African countries, I always wish I could be listening to music from my own country like that. That was one of the major inspirations. Besides that, we were inspired by our genuine love for music and the Gambia in particular.”
He explained that the annual OMF and monthly Open Mics continues to provide the biggest live-audience platforms for recording and performing artistes in the Gambia, saying that Open Mic has impacted urban Gambian music predominantly over the past ten years and has as an event that serve as the blueprint of most local concerts.
“It is also responsible for giving urban Gambian music its greatest gift and hope that careers can be built and livelihoods earned by pursuing ones’ passion for the art of music. Now that concerts, by local acts are regularly filled to capacity; with artistes and producers churning out more “banging” records; and radio giving us more local-music-oriented shows than ever, the TV too, there’s certainly more out there in the horizon if only we believe and continue to support each other in the spirit of ‘Nyaato’ meaning forward.”