vrijdag 26 oktober 2012

Douleur - Nguila Moto

Nguila Moto - Lion Man
A short biography
Alexandre Douala a.k.a. Douleur was born and grew up in the Deido quarter of Cameroons economic capital Douala. At the end of his first year at the College de la Salle, he begins to feel uncomfortable in the world of screwdrivers and electrical conductors. He is more inspired to sing his self written texts and as soon as he completed his education as electrician, the young Alexandre decides to explore new horizons. Without going very far in his research, he crosses his street Bonantone to Deido where he meets his cousin Sammy Njonjy, a well respected guitarist in those days.
Douleur discusses his compositions with him and eventually finds suitable melodies to express his artistic inspiration. From that moment he sings his compositions with his guitar, and began to make themselves known in his neighborhood Bonantonè.
During one of his performances his talents were recognised by the Yabassi drummer Ebeny Dihan, known by the nickname Ebeny Donals Wesley, who was the number one drummer on the Makossa recordings at that time. Douleur decides to follow Dihan to Paris in order to develop his musical career further and record his songs. Unfortunately the cooperation didn't work out and after two years of hard struggle in Paris, Douleur still stood with empty hands.
But Douleur didn't give up and continues to renew contacts in the Cameroon music community of Paris. Finally it is the multitalented Toto Guillaume (of Black Styl fame) who helps Douleur in 1984 with the production of his first LP.
Everything goes now so fast that the album is released with a black cover without further design and even a photo of the artist. The album becomes an instant success among the growing number of Makossa 'aficionados' in the Paris of the early 80's. Who is the man behind compositions like 'Lambo la tambo'and 'Ngonkele'? It is the nickname Douleur on the black cover without picture and further information which is responsable for the birth of the mysterious image of the new talent.
♫ Audiolink - Ngonkele 1984
The success of this first album with it's deep, meaningfull lyrics inspire Douleur and Toto Guillaume to continue their cooperation. In 1985 appears Douleurs second LP ''Nkumbele". Also this album is very successful and confirms Douleurs position as Makossa singer/composer. The song "Allo mademoiselle" becomes a hit in Paris, Cameroon the rest of Francophone West-Africa.
In 1986 Douleur releases his third and last LP in cooperation with Toto Guillaume. The album is a mix of catchy, danceable  songs like "Mr. Mamadoua" beside songs full of emotion like "Coco", a song dedicated to the singers mother and "Wake up Africa", a tribute to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela.
With the separation from his producer Toto Guillaume starts a difficult period in the career of Douleur. This lean period comes to an end when Douleur is asked to contribute a song to an album released by drummer Guy Bilong, who brougt together several great Makossa singers under the name of Makossa Connection. Douleurs contribution entitled "Nyouma nyouma" becomes one of the most popular songs of this well received album.
In 1988 Douleur comes back with the very successful LP "Beneground" (Cemetery), produced by the Parisian "Kanibal" record label from Maurice Tanye. The album is arranged by master drummer Valery Lobe and is very successful. In 1988 and 1999 the songs "Musango" (Peace) and "Travailleur immigre", dedicated to the suffering of African migrant workers in France, fills the dancefloors of  the Parisian Afro-Caribean discotheques.
After the succes of Beneground Douleaur disappeared from the music-scene in the same way as he appeared in 1983.
It took nearly ten years before Douleur came back in 1997with a new album, the cd "Fureur".
It is with this production, released on the JPS record label from Jean Pierre Saah that Douleur jumped  in one time into the "major league" of the leading Cameroonian singers/composers/.
Under the direction of the omnipresent bassplayer and producer Aladji Toure, Douleur came back with an even more rich sound than before. With his Rasta look he also changed his image and for the first time he showed (a part of) his face on the album cover.
In 1999 "Fureur" is followed by the CD  "Armageddon", again on the the JPS recordlabel. On this album with a guest appearance from Manu Dibango himself, Douleur continues the high level of it's predecessor.
In 2002 Douleur reached the highest peak of his career until now, with the CD "C'est magique". With the song "Gloire aux femmes" he scored a pan-african hit, who brought him the 2003 Kora All African Music Award for Best Male Artist of Central Africa.

After this period of huge succes followed again a decade of silence around Douleur. Luckily
he is now back again with a new album entitled  "Nguila Moto" - Lion man.
Web links

Live performance at the wedding of Guy Lobe & Patience Ondoa
28 - 07 - 2012


zondag 22 juli 2012

Francois Misse Ngoh

Short biography
Francois Misse Ngoh was born on the 17th july 1949 at Bonjo, Moungo division in the Littoral Province. His father dies when he is only nine months old. His mother has to struggle hard to bring up the little man and his other brothers and sisters. After primary school he continues his education in Yaounde where he is enroled in accounting and shorthand typing. During these years he taught himself the basics of guitar palying. In 1967 the young Francois Misse Ngoh graduated his degree as a stenographist. He left school and started to work because his mother was not able to pay his school fee any longer.

From that moment Francois spent every free minute to improve his guitar playing. In 1970 he joins Los Calvinos, the band founded by Nelle Eyoum and some former members of the disbanded Uvocot Jazz. In 1972, he released his first 45 rpm under the leadership of Jico, a Nigerian producer based in Douala. The title was so successful that in a period of time Misse Ngoh became the informal leader of the group though the others were much older. It was just a matter of the before the group was renamed in Francois Misse Ngoh and  Los Calvinos.

The successful band was asked to become the house band of the Mount Cameroon Bar and surrounded by Manfred Nyamsi (Bass Guitar), Esso Job (Solo Guitar), Edward Ebongué (Drums), Freddy Komé Ngosso (Vocals) and Gustave Ebelle (Rhythm Guitar), Misse Ngoh entertained the customers till dawn with his spicy Makossa rhythms.

Los Calvinos with standing left Misse Ngoh

But, entertaining the visiters of the Mount Cameroon Bar and other venues is not enough for the ambitious Misse Ngoh. It was in 1975 that the young artist decides to contact the Sonodisc record company in France to record his first album. The answer was immediate and two months later he was invited to come to Paris . He just got himself pay for his plane ticket. To solve this problem Misse Ngoh convinced producer Mathias Njocka him to give him the money in exchange for the production of the album. The risk is not in vain, since this debut album released on the Sonafric label and entitled Ngon'a Suza, becomes a true success.

Sonodisc was very content about the cooperation with the promising young artist and until 1982 they released six more LP's of Misse Ngoh on their Disques Esperance label . Together more than 100.000 copies were sold. His biggest hit was the LP with the Ivorian band Bozambo of Jimmy Hyacinthe, of which 35.000 copies were sold. In 1978 he disbanded Los Calvinos and continued his career as a solo artist. He becomes one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation and one of the most influential innovaters of Makossa. 

♫ Audio 1976    Cameroun'am

♫ Audio 1980    Njonjo Mukambe

♫ Audio 1982    Son Langwea Mba

In the liner notes of 'Fleurs Musicales du Cameroun' (The outstanding compilation on 3 LP's of Cameroonian music on the Afro-Vison label) the following is written about Misse Ngoh's contribution to the development of Makossa:

Misse Ngoh was one of the first musicians who adopted the Makossa rhythm and worked hard to escape from the three classic chords system which made Makossa monotonous in the long term. He introduced other modulations. Misse Ngoh is a perfectionist with the words he sings as with his music. He is a singer/songwriter of great sensitivity ans has managed to make Makossa a complete musical genre.

Today Misse Ngoh's career spans over more than forty years,  with more than twenty albums to his name.  His most recent CD Opération Epervier dates from 2009.

Clip Youtube:     1988   Ole ole

Clip Youtube:     1989   La vie c'est terrible

Discography (Incomplete)

maandag 11 juni 2012

Kotto Bass

On the 6th of February 1963,  Kotto Bass was only 33 years old when he died unexpectedly on the 20th of November 1996. Kotto Bass or Nyamsi Theodore Auger for marital status, remains one of  the most brilliant and beloved Cameroon  artists of his generation, even though his star was just beginning to shine. Even today, songs like Edith ndola'a ngo, Nouvelle génération mixte and Concours de patience,  will fill every dance floor in Cameroon.

Full-fledged artist, despite his disability Nyamsi Kotto was only two years old when diagnosed with polio. This will paralyze him the foot, but not curb the enthusiasm of the boy who already at the Camp Berteau primary school, shows his predisposition for music. But in this circumstance, nobody could have imagined he would become an artist of high rank, who later accompanied the great names of the Cameroonian music scene.

In the late 80's he started working in the Makassi Studio from Sam Fan Thomas and soon after he became the conductor of the MBC (the Makassi Band Corporation).

The MBC in Nairobi (Kotto Bass second from right)

Beside a talented bass player, Kotto Bass was also gifted with a formidable, angelic voice. In 1993 he contributed a track on 'L'age d'or: Hommage a Nelle Eyoum, a co-production by Aladji Toure and Kouogueng Moise. It was this track, a brilliant cover of Rochereau's  Ponce Pilate that brought him fame in Cameroon.

In 1996 he came with his first solo cd, Edith ndol'a ngo.The album, with it's fusion of Makossa and Congolese music, combined with his silky voice, becomes a tremendous hit in Cameroon and the neighbouring countries.

Also his second album, C'est comme ca hits the charts with songs like Concours de patience, Yes Bamenda  and a cover of Franco classics Oke mado. Then at once the rising star Kotto Bass dies unexpectedly on November 20, 1996. His sudden death causes a shock in Cameroon. Because the circumstances of his death remain unclarified, many of his fans believe that he is poisened.


dinsdag 29 mei 2012


Super Mama Djombo
Mayaula Mayoni

Dear Makossa friends,
I want  to ask your attention for my new blog AfricOriginal.

blog AfricOriginal

Beside MakossaOriginal this blog gives me the opportunity to pay attention to my other favorite music styles from the African continent. The first two posts on AfricOriginal are about the great Congolese guitarist/composer Freddy Mayaula Mayoni and the legendary band  from Guinee-Bissau, Super Mama Djombo.

Dolf Motz

donderdag 3 mei 2012

Jean Paul Mondo - Ca chauffe !!


His musical career started with two 45 rpm singles, recorded with the famous 'Black Styl' at the end of the 1970's. The following years JPM (Rhythm Guitar & Vocals) formed the band Les Jokers, together with Jacques Ebey (Solo guitar & Vocals), Raphael Biana (Vocals) and Samuel Tchomagni a.k.a. Sam Batcho (Drums & Vocals).  With Les Jokers he recorded at least one 45 rpm single Eleke / Muma mbamba and one LP.
In the 1980's he made his nam as a solo artist with half a dozen records, including Sona Papa, Sengwesse and Dieudonne a tout donne. Jean Paul Mondo's Makossa is distinguished by a very rhythmic sound and (his) excellent (rhythm) guitar playing.

After a decade in the limelight, Jean Paul Mondo disappeared from the main stage. Acoording to his former producer Isodore Tamwo, it was because of piracy that JPM's record output stopped after the 1980's. But he remained active as musician. The last years of his life he played with his Sengwesse Band in local bars. At the time of his death he worked virtually incognito in a tavern in 'the village' on the outskirts of Douala. Jean Paul Mondo died at the age of 51 on the 29th of June 2004.