Hustling hard to make it

Nowadays artists don’t have to wait to be signed up to launch their careers.

They can take control and easily share their music or stream their videos online.

And this has led to the birth of a new generation of African Australian rappers doing just that and making their mark on the music scene.

SALT Magazine caught up with Sierra Leone born Australian African rapper and musician Mag Samoura – AKA Maga G – about his music and his recent album “Journey” in a home studio run by budding artist Marc Mandica AKA TradeMarc.

Mag said he actually got in to the music business during high school when he was given the option to do a 2000 word essay or write and rap a song on binge drinking and underage parties.

Difficult decision?

“I didn’t want to do 2000 words so I wrote the song, it was really good and friends were like ‘hey man your voice was really good’ and then I just started writing.”

Mag says his music is all about his life experiences: “ I call it my life story because everything I’m talking about in my music is about my life and other people do relate to it. I’m not going to school to study… I’m studying by actually putting in the work through my experiences.”

Mag said the sound of the beat is his source of inspiration. “When I do my music everything is controlled by how the instrument sounds like, so for me it’s the beat that drives me, the beat takes me on a journey and it draws it out of me.”

There are plenty of hurdles artist face to make it in the industry so we asked Mag what does he makes of the challenges posed by the industry. Mag agrees there are plenty of challenges facing artists as they try to enter the industry.

Be ready for the uphill battle, he says, adding that the music industry is looking for both talent and hard work.

“To me, everything is possible and it is up to me to make it possible.”

We asked Mag about his style of music and the occasional use of the F and N words in some of his tracks. “With my language its emotion … when I write my music it’s not like I’m planning to use the F word or the N word …  but because the music take me places there are different frequencies you know. If I’m talking about frustrations definitely going to use the F word because of my emotion at the time…when I’m talking about family you never going to hear me use the F word.“

For young people getting in to trouble with the law, Mag’s message is ‘get busy’.

“If you know you have to get up in the morning to go to work, that’s all you’ll be thinking about. A lot of young people say their parents are holding them back but you got to put your plan on paper and show your parents – these are my goals and this is where I want to be in the next two years .. you got to show them what you are doing rather than telling them.”

Mag said his main aim is to be a role model for other young people to know that anything is possible. “I want people to start believing in themselves “

Mag-albumTalking about his recent album Mag said the album is about at his transitioning from Africa to Australia. “It’s just my life story so far, it got everything you can think of… listening, dancing, it got it all.”

We asked Akamap, a friend of Mag who was also in the studio during the interview, about the good, the bad and the ugly of the music business. “My dislike is the politics, it’s about who you know and who gets the incentives but the best thing about it is I know that what we do will one day inspire someone else and somehow we are going to pass the torch on to someone else but for now we are holding it and we are going to run with it,” said Akamap.

The studio owner Marc Mandica said he can’t predict what the future may hold for these aspiring artists but one things for sure, they are passionately chasing their dreams.

“There is a culture that we can appreciate on everyone’s background and I love aspects of African food, clothing and the rest of it the same way I do with Asian food. What we do here is we bring all those cultures together, it’s based on an American kind of music but it has expanded so far. “

SALT Magazine lauds Mag for his effort and commends Marc Mandica at TradeMarc Studio for providing the space where these young men can pursue their dreams. We wish them all the best and look forward to reviewing their album.

You can purchase a copy of the album here. Follow Mag on Facebook


Sidique is the founder of Salt Magazine. He came to Australia in 2001 after fleeing a civil war in his homeland of Sierra Leone. He studied journalism at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone and worked as a reporter for the Statesman Newspaper. He studied a Bachelor of Arts specialising in Multimedia Studies at the University of South Australia.

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