Gambian Wolof (EC)

Gambian Musicians

With the 66th Annual Grammy Awards happening recently (February 4, 2024) the topic of African music has been fresh on my mind. This year was the first year the Grammys included “Best African Music Performance” as a category. It was also the first year that Afrobeats music had been performed on stage. This new category 5 artists were nominated David Adeleke, aka, Davido for his song Unavailable, Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy for his song City Boys, Ahmed Ololade, aka Asake and Olamide Adedeji, aka Baddo for their song Amapiano, and Oyinkansola Aderibigbe, aka Ayra Starr for her song Rush and finally, Tyla for her song Water. All of these artists, except for Tyla are Nigerian, she being from South Africa. While Tyla winning this category as a new upcoming artist at the young age of 22, against artists coming from the country that has arguably led afro beats became a huge topic of discussion online, my interests in this blog post are around the popular phrase “Africa to the World”.  


In this Grammy example, we see representation from Nigeria and South Africa creating music that’s not just popular on the continent, but impactful, loved, and listened to globally. This is a huge deal and very exciting as an academic interested in Diasporic communities and thus consumption, but also as an African who loves music. This leads me to think about Gambian artists that although are not as big as Burna Boy for example currently, are still producing amazing music and adding to the concept of “Africa to the World”. Last semester I also used my music research to aid in my language learning. One of the artists I found is Jerreh Jallow, professionally known as Jizzle.


Jizzle is a Gambian Afro-pop artist. He was born in Bakau, The Gambia, one of my favorite cities, and is amongst the many Gambian artists I got to know and enjoy songs from recently. Jizzle started in music in 2009 and is still very actively producing music, the official music video for his song TKTN came out last month, and a discography of multiple albums. Jizzle currently has 24,652 monthly listeners on Spotify and has an array of music accolades. He won the Artist of the Year award at the Whasahalat Music Awards in 2018. He has also been nominated for the All Africa Music Awards Best Artist in 2016. In 2014, he won the Best Upcoming Artist of the Year 2014 category at the Gambian Entertainment Awards.


One of my favorite songs by Jizzle is Turn by Turn, found in his album Finally released in 2019. Although it does not include Gambian Wolof, it was beneficial in participating in Gambian popular culture. Jizzle is known for blending locally used languages as well as English which makes him popular in Gambia. Turn by Turn specifically uses Mandinka. I believe that this multilingual aspect of his music will aid in his international acclaim, continuing to bring “Gambia to the World”. Turn by Turn



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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.