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.