Nguila Moto - Lion Man
♫ Audiolink - Dimene - 2012
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.
Video: Travailleur immigre - Live !
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.
Clip: Peux maintenant 2002
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.