Sierra Leonean Musician Excels Overseas
A Sierra Leonean born artist, Joseph Amos Bangura aka Mos-B, who is based in France has excelled in the diaspora.
Mos-B became popular abroad and has been invited to perform in many music festivals and shows across Europe. He has been nominated in many award shows and has won a prestigious award in France for Best Sierra Leone Performer for his uniqueness in music making.
It all started three decades ago after Mos-B had been born in Madina Tonko, Kambia District, in a musical family. Amos Bangura’s mother Mrs Alice Bangura was a great gospel singer and writer for the Wesleyan Church in Madina Town. She was known for her melodic voice
and had many a time led her church choir in singing praise and worship songs, as a chorister when she was much younger.
At aged 14, Mos-B started producing music using drums, cups and household utensils, as his obsession grows for making music at a time when musical instruments were hardly accessed.
According to Amos Bangura, he was first inspired by a Catholic priest in Madina Town, Rev. Father Franco who
he said was a wizard and acoustic in making music out of guitar and piano.
“I was first inspired by father Franco who first gave me the opportunity to listen to the good sounds from his magical fingers in playing his piano
and guitar. But unfortunately, he did not teach me music at that time, as I was very anxious to learn how to make music especially to play the guitar, but he could only let me hear him when he plays. Since then that image lives
in me,” he explained.
He said, “Luckily for me, after a while another man who was also called Franco Nero (Late), a guitarist of the Refugee All Stars, came to my town playing guitar and singing songs of the great Jamaican Bob Marley, so my parent asked him to teach me and he agreed but he was staying very far away from my
town, so I had to walk 18 miles away from my town every weekend for his teachings.”
As Mos B’s anxiety for making music becoming
while growing up as a young boy. He learned faster from his unforgettable teacher Franco Nero. He replicated his teacher’s playing skills and started making music for himself using the guitar, as he has now become one of the best Sierra Leonean musicians.
His singing and writing skills in music started growing tremendously after he finished his secondary school and got admitted at the Performing Arts Department, Milton Margai College of Education where they formed a musical group called the Young Stars.
Through his melodious voice and skills in playing the guitar, he was discovered by music stakeholders in the country including King Milan, an anchor and entertainment presenter of the then Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS).
“King Milan used to come to our campus to film us whenever we have a concert in order to broadcast it on the state broadcaster, which is where he discovered me and called me the R Kelly of Sierra Leone. He told me that I have many vocal similarities with the R&B music icon and I was proud and felt inspired to have heard that from a renowned music promoter and a presenter,” he said.
From there, Mos-B got an encounter with Sierra Leone’s God-father of music Jimmy Bangura AKA Jimmy B, who he said admired his talent.
The songwriter, singer and performer said, “I can remember very well that Jimmy B once inspired me the first time he discovered me. He told me that I have a great talent and this was his exact words: “I see myself in you and please keep the fire burning”. Since then we established a good relationship and he gave me an opportunity to record a song in his studio which I titled “You’ve Got to Love.”
The song “You’ve Got to Love” was released by Mos-B at a time when the country was just after the 11 years Civil War, and love was needed at that time and the song through its powerful rhythm, lyrics and super extraordinary melodious tone helped changed hate rhetoric, as there were too many odds in the minds of people. The song got attracted to a cinematographer who was working for the then SLBS Charles Oostove who videoed the song for free and had it aired on the state broadcaster SLBS on frequent bases.
Mos-B later became a member of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) Peace Band, where they toured the country staging musical concert, singing peace songs and got recognition for his one of a kind revolutionary song “Sweet Salone” and a Cover song “Lean on me.”
The song “SWEET SALONE” became his breakthrough, and got attracted to dignitaries including the then President Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabba and performed at his residence in Freetown.
Mos-B got invited to perform “Sweet Salone” across five cities in The Netherlands where he performed in front of thousands of audiences and started getting recognition for his standing innovations in Europe.
“It was a lifetime to remember when I first received the invitation that I will be travelling to The Netherlands to perform in front of thousands of spectator. I surpassed every fear I had made the history for myself and my country as it was all I ever wanted,” he said.
Mos-B later became an awarder of a scholarship at the Rotterdam Pop Academy, a renowned pop music university in The Netherlands, to study Pop music, where he graduated with BA in Pop Music with distinction.
It was from there Mos-B got attracted to many musicians there in The Netherlands and had much collaboration with famous stars like Rymzter a famous Dutch rapper, Mrs Hips a singer and a songwriter and one of the Netherland’s finest artists Trijntje Oosterhuis, a female pop star whose songs have crossed bother lines in Europe.
The songwriter, singer and performer became thirstier for making songs as he had recorded two albums in Europe. He titled his first album “A Journey of a Thousand Miles”, which was purely pop, soul and RnB songs which talks about his early life and many foods for thoughts music can be found in that album.
His second album is titled, “New Chapter”, which was influenced by Afrobeat and Funk. The exceptional songwriter, singer and performer held a countless festival in Europe especially in Germany, Belgium, and France etc.
Speaking of a good relationship with Sierra Leonean artists, Mos B said that he has established a very good relationship with Sierra Leonean artists but haven’t done much of collaboration, especially with the big stars. He expressed hope that could be soon achieved.
“ I have been nominated for the 2018 National Entertainment Awards (NEA) as the Best Diaspora Artist of the Year, and as well as the FANEA Award in Makeni in the northern province of Sierra Leone MOS-B is someone we could hear more from as he continues doing excellent gigs in Europe. He hopes to come home soon to develop his career at home and to work on a video clip “BACK TO MY ROOT” and more.
By Hasbin Shaw