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)