With MUHAMMED S. BAH
Welcome to another edition of Arts and Culture, the Column that seeks to promote Arts, Music and Culture in the Gambia. In this edition of the Column, we will feature ‘Bala’ Ranks, one of the Gambia’s finest Afromanding artist on his European Tour.
The artist’s European tour is organised by his label ‘Mansa Jali’ Movement and ‘Stand Tall’ Promotions. He will stage shows in Germany, Italy and Austria. ‘Balla’ also known as the ‘Evil Hunter’, will record his next afro-manding reggae album.
“I give thanks to the Almighty Allah for the blessing. I have arrived safely in Germany and the tour is on! I look forward to seeing you all in my coming events. More love and blessings to all,” he told Foroyaa.
‘Bala’ who is known for his afro manding beats, is pushing his music to a higher level by working with international producers and promoters around the world.
Marshal Telisman, Bala Ranks manager, urged Gambians to come out in their large numbers and do their bookings and support Gambian music. “We want to reach out to a wider audience and collaborate with different music gurus within Europe, by spreading positivity and entertain the people through (the language of) music,” Marshal said.
‘Bala’ Ranks is currently in Hamburg City where he will stage a performance on the 19th of July 2019.
About Bala Ranks
Born on 26th July 1980, Musa Kuyateh popularly known as ‘Bala Ranks’ is a Gambian Afro-manding reggae artist. He was born in a family of griots known as ‘Jali’. There are several singers and players of musical instruments such as the ‘kora’ and ‘balafon’ within his family. His father was a renowned ‘kora’ player and his mother was a singer.
At the age of 11, young Musa began to learn how to play the ‘kora’, but his father encouraged him to start learning the Quran at a local Arabic School. After completing his studies, he taught himself how to play ‘kora’ because his father was too old to teach him anything.
In 2002, Musa moved to Banjul and opened a carpentry workshop with his brothers. In 2005, he released two singles entitled: ‘Am Not a Fool’, and ‘Work Hard’. The songs became a hit and he started growing a fan base.
In 2006, he released two more singles titled: ‘Allah Muta’, ‘Voice of The Children’, and two video clips namely ‘Am Not a Fool’ and ‘Allah Muta’.
In 2008, he was part of thirty young Gambian artists who were selected to be part of a music competition called Gamcel Chart Busters, and became the first runner-up.
In 2009, he released two hit singles called ‘Amako’ and ‘Badinyaa’. The songs became a national success and earned him a household name in the country’s music industry. In 2011, Musa released his debut album titled ‘E-Mira’. The album featured nine tracks such as ‘Allah Muta’, ‘Amakoyi’, ‘Badinyaa’, ‘Kafunyo’, ‘Kanay Dankong’ and others.
In 2014, he released a second ten-track album titled ‘My Home Land’.