woensdag 29 september 2010

PIERRE DE MOUSSY 1953 - 2018

  1981 Jomba jomba

With 8 albums in 11 years on his credit, Pierre de Moussy was one of the most productive and successful Makossa singers of the 80s. Born in 1953 in Ndogkoko-Yabassi he started to make music with school concerts together with his lifetime friend Aladji Toure. They played together on Sundays in the so called 'Matinees des Jeunes'. When he grew older he started to play in Cabarets and bars until 1975 when he left for France. He returned several times to Douala on vacation and during those hollidays he continued to perform in the cabarets and bars of Douala. In those days he also recorded his first 45 rpm single entitled Mbengue nye bobe for which Aladji Toure took care of the arrangements.
In 1981 his career really took of with the release of his first LP Ka Lonka on the Africa Oumba label. But he really hit the top of the charts in 1984 with the title track of the album Ndolo L'Amour. The main themes of his songs were, love, sorrow, euphoria, hope and social issues like gossiping such as in the song Radio Trottoir.

During the 90s he disappeared from radar until 1998 when he came back with his first CD Zero Amour on the JPS label. It turned out to be a one-off come back. After he settled in Switzerland he led an unremarkable existence in his new residence in Geneva. On January 26, 2018 he died in Geneva of the consequences of a traffic accident. He was finally laid to rest at the 'Bois des singes' cemetery in Douala on Saterday March 17th. He was made knight in the Order of Value posthumously by the Minister of Arts and Culture during a requim mass in Douala. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said Pierre de Moussy "was a musical icon and one of the flag bearers of Makossa in the 80s whose popularity went beyond  the national boundaries. Pierre de Moussy is dead but lives on through his works".


vrijdag 24 september 2010

Bill Loko - Nen lambo 1980


Searching the web to find a webshop where I could buy a cd released by Guy Lobe & Joelle Esso I found out that the particular album contains a cover of Bill Loko's hit "Nen lambo".
This gave me the idea for a post about the original. I think it is about six years ago that I bought my second hand vinyl copy of the 12 inch 45 rpm. single "Salsa Makossa / Nen lambo" in Paris. When I played it for the first time, I recognized the melody immediately from the late Charlotte Mbango's medley "Makossa non stop". Here is the original version:

♫   Nen lambo - 1980

Apart from the fact that he is born in 1953 and has released at least two more LP's in the early eighties I don't know anything about Bill Loko. I would therefore not be surprised if it appears that Bill Loko is a nick name and he is actually called Bryant and is the uncle of basketball player Kobe Bryant.

The following Afro disco boogie influenced track "Ndolo" comes from his 1981 LP "Dipita"


maandag 13 september 2010

Ngalle Jojo

     1978 Bandolo na momba mabu

     1984 Sona loko   

After some musicians who came to fame in the eighties, it's time again for a singer, Ngalle Jojo who started his career in the seventies. Still a schoolboy, he was discovered as singer by Nelle Eyoum, the father of modern Makossa. In 1977 while studying in Paris, he recorded "Alliance" which made him a star of cameroonian music scene.

Two years later, he records "Madilla" his first album which was awarded the International Grand Prix for young singers. In 1980 "Petit Madam" took him up to the top of the charts. In 1981 he founded his own record company and produced records by Ebanda Manfred, Villavienne, Janette Ndiaye and other talented young people. During the first half of the eighties he released at least another three successful records, among which "Sona loko" in 1984.

Since the mid-eighties his musical output becomes irregular. His most recent CD's are: "Ewa Ewa" from 2000 and "The Best of Ngalle Jojo" from 2005. Both CD's are available on : $ FNAC - Ngalle Jojo

1975 SAF 1771


1976 SAF 1840

1975 SAF 1941

Ngalle Jojo now lives in Paris where he is active as born again evangelical. Despite his religious activities, he still finds time to act as makossa singer. In 2010 he gave some shows in the US together with Dina Bell.

vrijdag 10 september 2010

Ndedi Dibango - Esther 1983

Ndedi Dibango

Great Makossa singer/songwriter, who released a string of hits during the eighties with songs as - Epapala - Victory Makossa - Eye me - and It's all right. He had his last success with "Tchoki dance" in 1990. All I could find about him from the period after 1990 is that in 2002,  two "Best of" CD's were released with all his hits from the eighties. If you know more about Ndedi Dibango, please let me know.


dinsdag 7 september 2010

Mekongo President - Kare ma dis le moi 1983

Mekongo President

Early 1980 were the two 'Sound d'Afrique' LP's on the Mango label, for many their first introduction to African pop music. Volume one opens with the song 'Me bowa ya' by Mekongo.

Mekongo (President) hails from Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. At a young age he started singing and playing piano, sax and guitar. In 1970 he decided to become a professional musician and moved to Douala. He worked with Ekambi Brillant and in 1971 he started his own band, 'Les Tulipes Noirs'. With this band he toured in Senegal, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Kenya. In 1975 he visited Canada and Europe. In 1977 he joined the French disco group 'Black Soul'. In 1979 he returned to Cameroon and made his first record for Disque Esperance. In the eighties he became one of the modernizers of Bikutsi music.

In the study 'A history of Bikutsi music in Cameroon' by Hortense and Charles Fuller, the following is written about the role of Mekongo President in the development of Bikutsi music.

'Mekongo President introduced his bland of Bikutsi-Jazz,combining complex harmonies and arrangements'

For those who are interested in reading the whole article: Africasounds: History of Bikutsi

The following track by Mekongo President is not a Bikutsi track. It is more in the style of the Sound d'Afrique track, with some Makossa guitars added by Toto Guillaume.