Gambian-born UK-based musician, Sona Jobarteh has opined that most Afropop songs need content to project the African continent. The Kora player who was in Ghana to spend 24 hours in an interview with the media during her stay asserted that, despite the fact that Afropop music is projecting the continent positively to the outside world, she thinks its content should be rich.
According to her, most foreigners learn about Africa through music so most Afropop songs should have contents that will educate such people.
“I think it is great. Anything that can come out of the continent and carry us to any other part of the world is good. I feel in terms of being big and promoting Africa, you have to have content and substance in the music you are taking out. Sometimes the messages are lacking in that kind of music. Despite the fact that I love and dance to it because its good, I sometimes wish there was more content in them for people that do not know anything about the continent. These people outside the continent need to learn a lot about us and Afropo songs can do hat magic for u. For me, the only criticism will be for some of the songs to have more content”
Sona who said she inherited the playing of the 21-stringed instrument continued that countries that know about Kora support the genre of music.
“For those countries that are aware of it there is huge interest in it because of the fact that the tradition is so strong. Some countries in Africa no longer have the traditional instruments taking much role in the society at all. One place I visited is Tanzania, they hardly have connections with their traditional music so they find it very amazing that there are cultures in Africa that are still alive and thriving. So they take a lot of inspirations from that.”
The singer who performed at London’s Jazz Café when she was 4 years revealed that she never dreamt of become a world star but always did what made her happy which has brought her this far as a Kora player. To her, she is happy the world has accepted her career.
Talking about some of the challenges she faced when growing up in UK, Sona Jobarteh disclosed that “being in a country that is unfamiliar with those kinds of traditions and the culture, which you represent, that I had a lot of difficulties when I was outside.”
The “Mamamusa” singer also shared how she handled a crowd when her instruments failed on stage.
“The only thing is to be on your feet and draw attention away from what has happened by singing more or giving the other instruments the opportunity to play. Those kinds of moments are really hard to deal with both at the time of happening and after.”
When asked if she will be collaborating with any Ghanaian musician soon, the owner of Amadou Bansang Jobarteh School of Music in Gambian answered positively stating that “a lot of people have talked to me regarding that but it’s just time difference that has been hindering that opportunity.”
Sona Jobarteh will be performing live at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Accra on May 21st.
Watch “Gambia” by Sona Jobarteh below: