1 on 1 with Check B Magic
With a voice that shifts seamlessly between melodic, blunt and humorous, Check B is becoming part of a wave of artists exploring Afrobeats in East Africa. Still young and making waves on his own, we caught up with the singer and humanitarian and spoke about his music aspirations and inspirations.
What was the inspiration behind becoming a Musician?
When I was young, I grew up with stigmatization and discrimination from family, school, and community. I felt isolated and received numerous forms of abuse from my peers and the public. All this was because I had double physical impairments; I lost half of my fingers to fire disaster when fleeing war and was born with one foot shorter than the other. I was rejected and my father abondoned me because he was ashamed of who I had become. My music journey began at school as a drummer/ percussionist. I found joy in entertaining and making people feel excited, free and at peace. I ventured into singing in high school; I sang my sorrows and worries away with music as a portion of food to my soul. So, my disability inspired me to pursue music and be a voice of youth with disabilities in South Sudan, Africa, and the entire world.
What are some of the challenges in being a singer in South Sudan?
I would say the biggest challenge that needs to be dealt with is the lack of infrastructures such as proper stages, sound equipment, and venues. This makes it hard for musicians to travel around the country for music tours and shows outside Juba.
How would you describe the s.s music scene?
The South Sudan music industry is slowly gaining momentum though it’s still in dire need of continental and global investors, exposure and quality production upgrades. The music industry is ethnically driven, as many promoters, music stakeholders tend to invest in artists based on their clan and tribe. Every industry needs protection from piracy and for that reason, South Sudan music needs the copyright law to be established and implemented so that artists can earn from their digital music sales instead of free circulation of artistic works by creative minds. With few TVs and radios, there is still a need for the establishment of new Tv media houses to broadcast and air various South Sudan music videos and audios.
What is the best career advice you’ve been given?
Someone very close to me once told me that; “Music is a very powerful tool, make the best out of it and you will travel all around the world. Speak out what pains you and what pains others like you, make music your stepping stone and use it to impact change in your community. Use your music to Advocate for Human Rights ( disability rights) and make music your weapon for change.”
What advice would you give to others who wish to get into music ?
Music is a medium for communication, a very vital cake for soul therapy, my advice to anyone that wishes to get into the music industry is to firmly take it as a career. Music requires hard work, commitment and sacrifice. Let your music heal, inspire and motivate people, don’t bow down to violent music lyrics but instead write amazing content consumable by almost everyone. Originality should be consistent in your music, do all you can to reveal where you come from and expose the beauty of your culture and tradition in your music. Music is a long term investment, be patient and be focused, it might not pay off sooner than you expect but it will eventually pay hugely off one day.
Tell us a little bit about your charity work
Check B Foundation (Able Disabled) was launched in 2019 as a charity organization working and leading as a champion voice for inclusion, empowerment, and integration of vulnerable people with disabilities in South Sudan and Africa. Able Disabled Organization (ABD) tells authentic advocative and accessible stories in the form of music, dance, skits, films, pictures, poetry, sports, and documentaries. The stories challenge exclusion, discrimination, and stigmatization and redefine narratives around disability and mental health societal perceptions. We are using our small income from shows and charity events to cater for school fees, social support, livelihood sustainability for vulnerable youth living with disabilities.
Listen to music by Check B Magic, here.