Jali Madi, Bert Embrechts cancel Gambia concerts due to Covid-19

Jul 15, 2020, 11:02 AM

The effects of Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the State of Public Emergency are having devastating impacts on almost all sectors. While, it has led to the collapse of many financial institutions globally, it has also resulted in the cancellation of a number of planned concerts slated for 2020. Well, for some affected by the pandemic such as musicians, now is the time to rededicate and focus more on their various musical careers.

It was on March 15th 2020, when Bert Embrechts arrived in The Gambia to perform two concerts with Jali Madi. 

Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the State of Public Emergency, all the shows were canceled.

Born in Latrikunda German in a popular griot family, Jali Madi is among few Gambian rappers whose music is widely listened to by both young and old.

In 1997, Bert and Stef Bos wrote a song called “Serekunda” which was released on the album “De Onderstroom”, partially recorded in South Africa and produced by Stef & Bert.

The lyrics, written by Stef Bos, are about the city of Serekunda, a place in Gambia Bert hadn’t visited before.

Fast forward to 2020, 23 years after the song originally was composed, Bert & Jali Madi decided to re-record the song with an adaptation and translation of the original lyrics into Mandinka about Jali’s residence.

It turned to be an intercontinental, international and multi-racial collaboration during a time that the Coronavirus is holding the entire globe in its grasp and during a time that the population needs a message of love, unity, compassion and understanding.

The base tracks were recorded in Bakau and drums (Marc Bonne) and guitars (Tom Venstiphout from Bryan Ferry) were later added in Belgium. The track was mixed by Michel “Shelle” Dierickx (who also worked with Boudewijn De Groot).

“We’ve come full circle: “Serekunda” was re-recorded by one of its own together with an international team of players”.

Jali Madi is one of the formidable and respected afro pop performers in The GAMBIA. It could be recalled that three years ago, he played a few live shows in Belgium with Bart Peeters and Bert Embrechts and with the new single, he might soon be a star in Belgium too.

He is a humble and quietly confident singer and instrumentalist blessed with abundant talent and ability to carry himself in an extremely appropriate manner, endearing him to music lovers.