Sierra Leone musical trio X Project are now the envy of most Sierra Leonean artists as they are quaking MTV base with their music video.
Sam Kargbo, a lawyer, businessman, journalist, entertainment promoter and a struggling money finder said his dream was to ensure that the group grab several international awards including the ‘Grammy.’
Explaining how he came in contact with the group, Mr Kargbo said, “I met X-Project by providence; either God directed them to me or me to them.”
“Sometime in 2000,” he explained, “I went to a refugee camp in Nigeria, at one of these visits they had a welcome party.”
On the agenda, Mr Kargbo noted, “was the performance of four young men. I was impressed with their performance I thought they were Nigerians.”
At the end of the programme, “I called them wanting to thank them for the spirit for aligning with their own fellow Africans, but surprisingly one of them [I think he must have been told that I was Temne] spoke Temne to me. I asked them, “did you come all the way from Freetown for this performance? But they replied no, adding that, “they were staying at the refugee camp. That actually caught me and I thought that I should do something about it. I went home and pleaded with my wife for them to stay with us, not actually to promote their music but I thought that they should live in a better environment, so I took them in as my younger brothers,” he said
“For about a year I looked for people that I thought were in the entertainment industry that would promote them,” Mr Kargbo explained.
“I met people like Jimmy B when he was in Nigeria, Kenny (2 Face’s producer) and many people who were in the entertainment business, but they had no space for them by then,” he maintained.
Three years after, Mr Kargbo said, “I sent them to the studio to record their first album: “Tumba Dance”
Mr Kargbo explained, “after the success of Tumba Dance I thought some other music promoter could give them a life line but it didn’t happen. My friends who were musicians said to me man you have gold here it is only you give them what they want all these so called music promoters are there as businessmen they could not give them the attention needed for them to become superstars,” he said
“In 2003” he maintained, “I had produced movies under the name of Sam Kargbo Productions, I just thought I could have the music part of it that how they became the first signed artists for Sam Kargbo Productions. Apart from X Project in Sierra Leone I produce German and Sierra Wailers; in Nigeria I have a group called LK2 and Dodo by Nature.”
He said, “X Project are already on MTV Base. We had a very good song and a good video as well…You really have to meet their standard before they can play your video, our task was to get a video that would meet this standard and indeed we made it our video makes it to MTV base,” he said.
The music promoter disclosed that “it cost me about $13,000 to produce the video, as far as I can recall, X Project are the first Sierra Leonean artists resident in Africa to appear on the MTV Base.”