Joe Mboule, whose real name is Njoh Mboule
Ludovic Georges is born on 30 April 1953 and died on 11 October 2015 in Douala.
Joe Mboule's musical career spans four decades.
He comes from a very musical family that
includes famous artists like his cousin Charlotte Mbango and his uncle the
singer/songwriter Eboa Lotin, who was one of the co-founders of modern Makossa.
His father played fiddle and banjo in his lost hours and his mother sang in the
local church choir.
Joe Mboule began his career as an artist in 1972, at the age of 19. He burst
onto the Cameroonian and African music scene with the title Mpuly Mwa Salamander in 1973, which he
recorded with buddies at Radio Douala. As a result of this success, he signs
with Safari Ambiance. Colette Maniatakis the director of Safari Ambiance gave
him carte blanche to freely express his creativity. Joe Mboule returned to the
studio to write Malabar (Longuè le Ndé
Sport). This album saw the participation of some of the members of what is
called at the time, the national team of makossa including Aladji Touré and
Malabar (Longuè lé ndé sport) was released
in 1979 and was with over 20.000 sold copies a big musical success. The
magazine Bingo described Joe Mboule as "a singer of charm, a musician in
the proper sense of the term. Although rhythmic remains conventional, his
choices of instruments and arrangements announce an unusual wind in music”.
During the years that followed, Joe scored
several other hits like Muna ndô in 1982
and O siLinga in 1986. Beside his own musical career, he founded the label
Tempo Records in 1980 with which he produced some of the young talents of the
time such as Ben Decca and Bebey Black. Joe Mboule has also been fully involved
in the issue of copyright and the promotion of francophone artists in various
organizations such as the Conseil Francophone de la Chanson and the International
Federation of Actors. His last album L’essentiel
came out in 2012.
Les Black Styl's1972 - 1993:A short history, based on an interview by Jean Celistin Edjangue with
founding member Nkotti Francois.
"I still do not understand the magic of the Black Styl songs. Even today I start crying when I hear one of there songs", tells Jean-Pierre Mongam a taxi-driver, who was a teenager in the late seventies. "It's the band of our generation, he continious, we grew up with their music".
It's around 1971 when Nkotti Francois leaves Souza and moves to Douala,where his sponsorjust opened a cabaret/dancing in the Deido Quarter. Nkotti Francois has a good voice and starts to sing in the new place.In 1972 Toto Ekane Felix director of the Davum Bar, asks Nkotti if he wants to sing in his bar. He agrees ans as singer in the Davum Bar he meets the young gitarist Mouelle Jean, who introduces him to another young gitarist Toto Guillaume. After some time the bassplayer/singer of the Davum Bar house band is replaced by Emile Kangue.
From the beginning the new band decided to play only Makossa.Finally it is in the Bonaberi Quarter where they celebreate their first success. It isin this period around 1973, that Toto Guillaume writes a letter to Sono Disc in Paris, with the question if the company is interested in recording some of there songs. Sono Disc agrees and at the end of 1973 they record eight songs. The company choo ses the songs 'Francoise', written by Toto Guillaume and 'Ndutu' a song by Nkotti Francois as the A and B sides of the groups first 45 rpm single.
The single becomes a big hit in Cameroon and within a year, the group scores with a new producer again with 'O sambo'.The band goes on tour across the country and gives a very successfull show in the capital Yaounde. They they also play in the club 'Mount Cameroun'in Bali, where they meet the very talented drummer Yves Lobe. He joins the group and remains faithful to the end.
At the height of their success, Toto Guillaume gets the opportunity to study music in Paris. He took the opportunity, left the band and went to Paris. Shortly thereafter Alexandre Ebonickwho lives in France offers the band the opportunity te record an album in Paris. On the 20th of september 1978 the band led by Nkotti Francois arrives in Paris, where they record the album 'Les Black Styls in Paris'in Studio Harrison. The album becomes a success and sells good ans is followed by a second one in 1979. But at the same time the first tensions become manifest.There is a problem about a contract between Emile Kangue and the rest of the group and also the personalproblems of Monny Miller have a negative impact on the band. Both of them leave the band and the rest continious with Eyoum Paul ass the new bass player and Jackson Berry on guitar. But the momentum is gone and the 'second' Black Styl misses the spirit of the 'first' Black Styl's. The band survives but is not very successfull anymore.
In 1993-1994 the group has a brief revival when they record a new album with the female singer Nadia Ewande. Apart from Nkotti Francois, also the old membersKangue Emile,Lobe Yves, Mouelle Jean and Monny Miller participate in this recording. This record is the last sign of life from the Black Styls.Today the band staysalive in the hearts of those who grew up in the seventies.
the emphasis on this blogremains Makossa,
I will occasionally pay some attention to other popular Cameroon music styles
such as Bikutsi, Ashiko and Mangabeu.
Tezano is a singer/guitarist from the Cameroons capital Yaoundé where the Beti
/ Ewondo people live. Most popular music among the Beti is Bikutsi, a
modernised traditional music style. As in the rest of Cameroon, Congolese music
is also popular in and around Yaoundé and in the 80’s most of the Bikutsi
records contained at least one Congolese inspired song.
Tezano made a different choise, before Kotto Bass he is one of the few artists
in Cameroon who seduced his audience with Congolese inspired music. More than
30 years he was quite successfullin
Cameroon with his own brand of "Soukous".Meanwhile theman retired, but for many years
he combined his life as a musician with a job as a police-officer. To me this
looks a quite unusual combination.