Gambian Sounds: E.N.C.

The Gambia is known as a small Jamaica with great Reggae and dancehall artists. E.N.C has been one of the leading names in the Gambian Music industry for the past decade. E.N.C is an acronym for his name and surname. His full name is Essa Colley, and he was born and brought up in Brikama.

He was a young boy who started writing songs in high school before he began recording. He made his first hit song in 2005 and was shot to fame. His music became popular among the young people. After that, his career has been on track and sailing smoothly. He is known as the best solo performer in Gambian concerts and festivals.

He has produced and launched major projects. He can be called one of the most hardworking and consistent artists in the industry. He did an opening performance for international artists like; Chronixx, Beenie Man Busy Signal, Alkaline and more.

He also represented the Gambia in South America’s biggest cultural festival held in Venezuela and headlined his own shows in many European Countries in 2019. This tour is marked as the most successful European tour for Gambian artists.

E.N.C is the founder of one of the biggest entertainment labels in the country, called Worldvibes entertainment, created to support young artists and their careers in the industry. He believes that supporting each other is the only way to build the music industry, that some people need a little push to make a great impact. He wishes to give young people an opportunity where it is needed. He is not only a successful musician but also a musician who wishes to help younger ones achieve their goals.

˝Worldvibes is basically giving a chance to people who wish to become better˝.

His career has been steady and is well established. E.N.C is not only a musician; he is a club DJ, graphic designer, Radio and TV person, songwriter and producer of his own music.

In 2021, E.N.C released an EP ˝Dark Mode˝, which is currently trending on Spotify and other social media outlets. The Covid-19 has been a tough year, but this has challenged him to work on his creativity as an artist. He revealed that this EP is his biggest hit since he started, and it is the most successful project in his entire career.

˝When Covid-19 hit, I nearly went crazy because of the loss; and I love to sell success stories˝.

During these trying moments, he couldn’t go on tours, concerts nor shows, so he decided to concentrate on his other professions. He began working on his EP. He also took advantage of his skills as a producer and graphic designer to work from his house and still earn a little. In 2020 he did the DUBPLATE SESSION for DJs, and it paid well. Even though he lost a lot of money because of Covid-19, he still benefited in another ways.  

He advises the government and private sector to virtualize the system and ensure that when something like this comes again, staff can work from home.

˝Whether we like it or not, Covid-19 has changed the world, and it will never be the same again˝.

E.N.C has not released an album yet due to lack of protection for intellectual properties when he started. Ten years ago, Gambia didn’t have Copyright laws that protect intellectual properties. Artist was at risk of exploitation and piracy. Their works were used as means of earning money by pirates while the owners of the artistic work remain poor. So he did singles instead and lunched them before sending them out to the public. However, he said he is working on an album that is about to hit the media soon. This album has been in the studio for a few years now, and he is still developing it.

He also talks about music as a means of attracting tourists in the Gambia. At the same time, he admits that the music industry is not respected enough in the tourism sector. He believes that music is the fastest way to sell this country, and it is important to see creative and performing art as the priority to attract tourists. One can learn a lot about the country in a 3 minutes music video clip.

˝In the music video, we show you the environment, the ways of dressing, the food, and more˝.

The Gambia is a beautiful country with beautiful people, and it is important to use the culture of the Gambians to attract tourism, and music can be one of these means.

˝Gambians don't understand the various industries they are in, and this is my biggest challenge˝.

He put forward this as his biggest challenge in the industry. Going further in detail, he mentions other industries like the fashion and the movie industry. He realizes that the players of these industries don’t understand how the industry works, nor does their audience understand. So, because of this, you will see that even after moving forward, you will be dragged back to meet the people behind because they are not improving.

˝But thank God now it is getting better, people are beginning to understand the music industry that is where it is improving˝.

He is the ambassador of big companies in the Gambia and also those projects with NGOs on issues affecting the lives of youths and women.

He is a role model to many young people in the country. In this interview, he advises the artists to keep consistency. One needs to be prepared for certain things before you go into it. The reason why many fails after starting is that they do not prepare for what is to come. After doing one project and it fails, they give up. He continues to say that one failure doesn’t define your greatness, it’s a challenge, and you have to overcome it and keep pushing. There is no artist in the world who hasn’t had a failed project, but today they are big.

˝You just have to keep pushing, know your weakness and work on them. You will be better˝.

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