Willie Jay ready to launch new album
Richard Bockaire (RB):Â Hello Willie Jay and welcome to Sierra Express Media; we are happy to have you and will be grateful if you will take some questions from us.
Willie Jay (WJ): Thank you very much Richard; I am happy to be here too.
RB: It has been some time now since you made an album, we are only coming to learn now that you have got a new album; fans may be wondering why it took you so long?
WJ: Well, I was out of the country.Â After my last album in 2006, I went to China where I was working on an album and a series of other programmes, I returned only a few months ago with the album I recorded in China.
RB: Fans are eager, what is the title of the album and when will you be launching it?
WJ: My new album is titled 50/50 Gender Equality and I am hoping to launch it very soon; after doing the final touches on it.
RB: You said you came with an album from China, how come you are doing final touches on it here in Sierra Leone?
WJ: Well, I did my album in China with foreign producers and engineers so it had a foreign outlook, so when I came back to Sierra Leone, I see that there is the need for me to work out one or two things for every Sierra Leonean so that I am able to cater for my fans who have the exclusive taste of Salone music.
I am still maintaining a lot of what I brought from China; it is obviously one of the best works I have ever done and I am hoping I thrill the entire country with it and even rock the international stage too.
RB: You are just from China, were you invited by someone, a recording label by way of promotion?
WJ: No. I went on my own but in China I was able to work with KOK and other artistes I met there, both Sierra Leonean and other nationalities, it was a wonderful experience.
RB: The album; you said 50/50 Gender Equality, why 50/50?
Willie Jay: Well, as you are aware – for I definitely see you as one of my fans, the music I sing has a lot of advocacy for the recognition of the women folk in society; especially in terms of decision making and leading a responsible life; and so I came to be known as the “Ladies’ Lawyer.” I see that as a complement to the contribution I make, to effect needed changes both in the life and welfare of women through music.
I took that in good faith and decided to do something more specific and more particular about women’s welfare.
RB: I am truly flattered to be recognized as one of your fans. But can I ask what it is that you have in your songs that you think may influence change in lives and welfare of women in a male dominated country like Sierra Leone?
WJ: As you know Richard, we have come a long way in the fight for the recognition of women; what used to happen in yesterday years is certainly not what happens today. What I have in my songs adds up the efforts of many other people that are drawn to join in the fight for the emancipation of women folk in Sierra Leone.
RB: Anything specific, what’s the message?
WJ: I think I speak to all classes of women, I hope that the message I put in the songs reaches all stakeholders; we the women, politicians and women’s right activists as well; it a compendium.Â Â
RB: Willie Jay; you know your songs hit the market quite hot, and you have an appreciable fan base, are you afraid of your record being pirated since that’s the stock in trade in Sierra Leone?
WJ: Well, I fear a lot; likewise lots of Sierra Leonean artistes fear the same problem of piracy as well. But we are hoping on reducing it, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone has developed an interest in the piracy law and with our own efforts we hope to overcome that menace very soon.Â
The truth is this thing called piracy has disturbed the growth and development of Sierra Leonean music to a very great extent; our Sierra Leonean DJs are not helping the situation either. If you listen to the radio and go to nightclubs, foreign music takes preference over local stuff and as such we are not sold out – that’s very bad; you hear Nigerian and Ghanaian music, and no Sierra Leonean stuff – that is heart bugging!
RB: Can you share some of your experience you had in China with us?
WJ: Yup! Like I said earlier, I met and worked with a lot of nice and wonderful people, I got to learn music from a different angle, which I hope to exhibit in my upcoming album.
Most of the other activities I was in were centred on sightseeing and visiting places; you know like the tourist thing. But I tell you something; the Chinese are wonderful people
RB: The Chinese food?
WJ: Oops; some is really good, whilst some I did not like the way it tasted. The only thing is that we have some things in common food wise – we eat rice, fruits and I think I had a lot of it.
RB: Do you mind sharing with us what celebrity life is like?
WJ: Bittersweet. Sweet when you have the money and no one disturbs you, bitter when you are a celebrity with a burst pocket and everyone wants to know how you fare.
RB: Which category do you fall into?
WJ: I don’t want to comment on that.
RB: Can we talk a little about your personal life, people may want to know – any boyfriend or courtship, planning to get married or already married.
WJ: I think Richard I am going to have to disappoint you there, I really don’t discuss my personal life and I don’t think I want to.
RB: Any children, son or daughter, which one?
RB: Thank you very much Willie it’s a pleasure talking to you; I hope you would continue your patronage of Sierra Express Media.
WJ: The pleasure is mine Richard and please next time; no personal thing!
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