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Tune In: Pascal Abuk Na Njaku

My Magazine 2022/12
16 min
We were pleased to get the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with one of the upcoming talented artists by the name of Pascal Abuk Na Njaku, which in the Manjago language means “a child of a Manjago”.

Pascal started his music career officially after finishing high school in 2018. At that time, he was known by the name Pascal the Rap Maestro, which means a distinguished rapper. The decision to change his name later came with the change of performing language. Pascal started making his songs in the Manjago language and became an ambassador of his people, his tribe. He wanted the name to match his tribe, so he became Pascal Abuk Na Njaku.

When we asked him why he chose the music, he said he didn't choose it; the music chose him. His inspiration for music was his brother, who is now a big-time promoter by the name Gambian Chris Black. Before venturing into promotion waters, he was also once an artist. They lived under the same roof and seeing him write songs and do things connected to music inspired Pascal.

It is hard for Pascal to define one single genre of music he does, but at his core, he is a rapper. He can rap on different kinds of beats. One might also define him as a hip-hop artist, but first and foremost, he is a rapper. When he started with the music, he mainly rapped in English and blended it with Mandinka and Wollof. So for him to stand out from other Gambian artists doing the same thing made him think of doing something different. Way back then, he was thinking of making his songs in Manjago, but he also thought: “If I were to make my songs in Manjago, who would listen to them?” It didn't make sense at first until he thought wise and decided to make a freestyle in his own language. The reaction was very positive. So he decided to start making his music mainly in Manjago, but not completely excluding other languages.

He was later convinced he could be successful by doing so, as there were examples in the industry, such as ST Brikama boyo and Sarkodie from Ghana, who have been rapping in their languages, and that has taken them far in their music careers. It made him believe that nothing is impossible because music has no boundaries. That was when he started to make most of his songs in Manjago, his mother language. He believes that if these two can achieve such success by performing in their languages, he can also make it.

Many people think that getting into the music industry is easy, but he explains there are many challenges and obstacles when starting your own career because you need to knock down hard rocks on the way. He mentioned that talent alone or funds alone could not take you there. To make it in the music industry, you must have a combination of funds, talent, and connections. He gives regards to Izzy T, Talibeh Izzy. He was the first artist who linked him up and gave him the idea to start making songs in Manjago. He is glad that his people have since supported his music career.

The hobbies he has outside of music are watching football and playing football—as he says, it was football before music. He is also working on various projects. He recently dropped his debut EP of 10 songs, which was his first big project. He had a launching event at Brikama Box Bar, which was a success. Plus, the EP is available on all music media platforms, so you are welcome to stream it and show some love to Pascal Abuk Na Njaku. He has also started working on a new project, his album, and he promised to drop it next year, in 2023—everyone should watch out for that one. In the near future, he does not see himself only within The Gambia but also going worldwide. He believes in himself and his craft. He knows he can do it. He does not talk a lot, but he gave his word that he would surely be back fulfilling what he said.

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