Words by LargeUp Crew—
Marley’s Mellow Mood has come up with a new way to “free the people with music,” launching a weekly free music download series, co-curated by LargeUp, and dubbed Tune in Tuesdays. Each Tuesday, this link features a download of a new single from a different artist.
This week’s featured track is “Any Gal” from Sierra Leone’s Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew. Formed in 2000 amidst that country’s bloody civil war, the group, consisting of Pupa Bajah, A-Klass, and Dovy Dovy, has risen to become their country’s “voice for the voiceless” while spreading their hybrid of hip-hop, reggae/dancehall and African rhythms around the world. Next year will see the release of their first global distributed album on National Geographic Records.
Sample/download “Any Gal” below, and read on for a quick interview with Bajah.
Describe your sound in 20 words or less…
Our music is a bled of hip-hop, reggae/dancehall and African style blended together with a strong message of love and peace.
What role does your heritage play in your music?
We were raised in Sierra Leone, Africa and our heritage has an undeniable effect on our music. For ten years our country was war-torn due to corrupt government and thugs who pick up to the gun to fix things. Instead we took up the mic preaching to both the government and the rebels to find a common ground. We promote peaceful means for them to govern and better represent the interests of the masses. Our role as artists is to sensitize and really address these issues in the most positive way possible by creating songs that can make a positive change in society. Music is something that everybody can relate to and an easy way to consciously and subconsciously encourage positive messages. Songs have a way of glorifying their subject matter, and as artists we make the decision to use the platform to glorify peace, unity, thoughtful action, harmony and and educated discussion……
Love your neighbor is a universal message in almost all of our songs. Recently, just like the US, Sierra Leone had elections and our song “Give Peace A Chance” was one of the theme songs for the election. Through our lyrics we tried to encourage people to vote, and to do so peacefully and based on educated decisions… and the 2012 election will go down in history in Sierra Leone as the most peaceful election ever!
Still, while many of our songs speak directly to the people of Salone, we try and keep the messages universal to all mankind. All too often evil demons can take control, and we are here to remind folks to be proactive and make conscious decisions towards positive and peaceful actions……don’t let the “Dark Temple” take you!
What can we expect to hear from you in the next year?
2013 will mark the first international release from Bajah + Dry Eye Crew on National Geographic Records. After releasing seven albums in Africa, we are finally going international! In addition, Bajah will be releasing three separate albums on his own…all three are self-produced and include: Cotton Tree, the next Bajah + Dry Eye Crew full length, Head of the Game, a solo album from Bajah, and Native Groove, a compilation of artists from Sierra Leone and the diaspora. Expect lots of new music videos! Bajah also helped pen and lend vocals to “High Life,” one of the tracks on Talib Kweli’s upcoming album. We are forever making new music and we look forward to making you dance when we see you at our next show.
Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write “Any Gal”?
We love the ladies and we love to make them dance. We respect woman and show them maximum love…….we want to make them want to stay and never want to go!
What are your ultimate ambitions as an artist?
We want to bring everybody into our world and keep them dancing while they are here! We want to make music that moves people and helps heal the world, always making this a better place. The name of our group “Dry Eye Crew” refers to “No More Tears.” We hope our music bring happiness to all people. Tears don’t solve anything. Instead we encourage people to see the bright side of life, celebrate unity, take positive action and enjoy every moment. At a show, we like to make sure everyone is dancing and smiling the entire time.