Sherif Modo Lamin Hydara, later known as Faya Soldier, is is a reggae artist of Gambian origin. This name was given to him during an encounter with some elder rastaman whose name was Dada and who told him : “FayaSoldier, you name FayaSoldier !”…
Lamin has a very special relationship with music from an early age. Born and brought up in Gambia in an environment strongly imbued with culture and tradition, he quickly showed a particular attraction for the rhythms and music of the songs that surrounded him.
In Kerawang primary school already, he distinguished himself by performing every Wednesday morning hymns and religious songs for the enthusiastic school assembly composed of his friends and teachers.
While he will always grant to his African roots and culture a very special place in his life and in his heart, it is his encounter with reggae music that will shake his life up forever…
The magic of the combination of both simplicity and efficiency of the syncopated rhythms, the call for freedom and the revolutionary truth that is expressed through the lyrics, every single aspect of that music was resonating deep inside him. It then became obvious for the young boy that reggae music would play a significative role in his coming life.
Ever since that time, the reggae was to become omnipresent in the life of Faya Soldier.
At 14 years old, Lamin knows by heart all the classics of the major reggae artists and loves to interpret the hits of the Jamaican charts.
He still often recalls all those joyful moments shared with friends during the harvest season or while fetching fire-wood in the bush, when at night around a fire, they would gather to chill and rejoice, singing the latest hits of Cocoa Tea or Cutty Ranks.
Later on, as he moved in the district of Kombo Central (Gambia’s Western Division), Faya Soldier has the opportunity to evaluate his real impact as he meets his first audience on some open stage called “fooral”. The warm welcome and the encouragements that he recieves from the crowd for his performance comfort him in the pursuing of his objective : to participate in spreading and making people understand the message delivered in reggae.
Then came the time for the learning and the traveling… Day after day, trials after trials, the imprint of reggae became deeper and the mystique of its message clearer in the mind of Faya Soldier. As a shrub that grows and hardens over time to become a strong and deeply rooted tree, the seed of reggae had gained ground. During hard times and in complicated situations, he always drew on reggae the force, the determination and the perseverance to continue on his way through positivity.
In 2000, after many and various wanderings and struggles, Faya Soldier’s road eventually lead him to Switzerland. There, both the environment and his relatives all around him strongly contributed to remind him the reason to keep up the vibes alive within himself, until now…
“Friends would start punching riddims with their mouth and beat boxing as soon as they sight me coming from a far. Passion to sing, to transmit good news of righteousness and salvation begin to be my focus lyrically …”, says Faya when he talks about that time.
His first appearance on a swiss stage happened in 2003, in a club in Bern, the capital city, during an open stage session hosted by “Roots & Culture Sound”. The performance was very positively welcomed by the general public, and everybody present on that night would remember of a soulful african reggae artist sharing pure and positive vibrations through a true and conscious reggae. The show was so stunning that the host sound system invited him to join their crew as their main MC right after that night.
Faya Soldier then spent a few years traveling accross Swiss and Europe, performing with different teams on various stages, clubs and concert halls.
Together with his good old brothers Shango, Solomon and Fada Mo, they decided to form their own crew and soon after the “Emmanuel House” was born.
Always open to new collaborations, Faya Soldier will accompany the “Fearless Sound” family (later known as “Full Force Click”), with MC Fada Mo and DJ Babakar Fall, on several tours on french stages. He will also join the “Kill Babylon Sound”, with Ras Shanti-I and the Family, and cross the borders to bring the vibe accross Europe.
Years have gone, and Faya Soldier’s dreadlocks have grown longer now… He is already a skilled singer when he crosses the road of the Gambian Reggae Superstar “Rebellion The Recaller”. From that encounter, he will be brought deeper into the path of being an advocates of the people through the music.
Faya Soldier’s first album “Judgement Time” is now about to be released!