By BAKARY CEESAY
Michael Dampha, alias King Mike, chief executive officer of Warriors Ina Dance has expressed his readiness to promote Gambian artistes across the European market.
In an exclusive interview with The Monitor, Mike, the Stuttgart based Gambian promoter 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 his interview with The Monitor Germany correspondent Bakary Ceesay with King Mike.
The Monitor: Can you please introduce yourself to the readers including your educational background?
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 artistes in Europe. I’m half a German and half a Gambian. I grew up in Stuttgart, Filderstadt , Germany. I attended school in the same city where learned two jobs, director and security.
The Monitor: 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.
The Monitor: You have a music promotional firm called Warriors Ina Dance, can you please tell us when was it established and what was its 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 that I brought 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 artistes from the Gambia as well as Jamaica.
Warriors Ina Dance, we are one big family under one umbrella promoting Gambian and Jamaican music in Germany and abroad. We are struggling and working hard to achieve our goals. We organise nice partys once in a month where people come and enjoy the good music. We often invite artists and DJs from Gambia and Jamaica to perform in Germany.
The Monitor: What motivates you to set up Warriors Ina Dance promotional firm and how many people are you 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 and we have good chain works and high services.
We work with radio stations in Germany and also the Netherlands for interviews. They also play and promote Gambian music.
We work with a professional music studios where I can go with artists for recordings duplets and to make good quality music videos and internet interviews. We work with Teckle-Reisen in Germany. He is our travel Agent and we can call or contact him 24/7 when we have questions or problems with flight.
We also work with a nice and good hotel which is not far from my home. And we can provide to our guests nice Gambian food to avoid being home sick. We are planning to organise our dance party once in a month in Mannheim, Germany. In the Gambia we are working with Axon Ova Chat Gullykid Promotion from Basse and Gambia All Events. We are in good contact with them. Let’s see what is coming in the future as we dream big.
The Monitor: Which type of music are you promoting and what category of artistes are working with?
Mike: We promote Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop, Gambia music and more. I work with Gambians and Jamaicans artistes.
The Monitor: We have seen that you are working with some Gambian artistes and Djs, why do you choose to focus on Gambian artistes?
Mike: My father was a Gambian. I love the Gambia and the people. And I’m really happy to work with Gambian artistes and DJs.
The Monitor: Do you have any plans of sponsoring some young Gambian talented artistes and expose them in the European market?
Mike: This is what we are trying now, with two or three Gambian artistes. It’s an exciting project. Support and let people hear the good vibes.
The Monitor: We have seen you are partnering with local promoters in Gambia. How it is like working with Gambian artistes both at home and abroad?
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 would like to do things in the Gambia.
The Monitor: How do you see Gambian music industry?
Mike: I see the Gambia music industry moving to higher heights. We have lot of talented brothers and sisters in the musical arena out there. Gambian music flowing across the world. The world is watching, listening and supporting the music industry.
The Monitor: In the summer you will be bringing some Gambian artists to tour in Europe. What are some projects in the pipeline for Warriors Ina Dance?
Mike: On the 27 March 2020 we are going to be in Mannheim, Germany with DJ Ali Gee, the young general at club California. D’Angel from Jamaica will join us on 4 March 2020. Many DJs will be in the house on that day. DJs like Selekta Adi and DJ M.O.B from the Gambia will be there too. Many nice and big things are in the pipeline cooking up already.
We are in good contact with some Gambia artistes. But T-Smallz a.k.a Katato, one of Gambia’s finest artistes will come to Europe this summer with us. We are really happy and proud to work with Katato Entertainment.
The Monitor: What is your vision in the next five years in both the Gambia and Germany?
Mike: My visions is to create more good links, partnerships, good parties, concerts and big beats and German radios and TV channels will plays Gambian music and support the Gambia music industry.
The Monitor: Are we expecting a Gambian festival in Stuttgart in the next coming years?
Mike: We do have African Festival in Stuttgart and other parts of Germany every year. There are many countries that attend and represent their music and cultures. But for the first time this year we will organise After Show Party from the African Festival and hopefully we can continue this every year as part of the African Festival.
The Monitor: What are some of your challenges in the music business in the past years?
Mike: I had many challenges and I learned many things from it. And I gained lots of experience in the musical arena.
The Monitor: Finally, what is your advice to Gambian artistes, DJs, promoters and event 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.