woensdag 26 juli 2017

From Douala to Havana

The rediscovery of Bill Loko's "Salsa Makossa" and the successful collaboration between Richard Bona and Mandekan Cubano prompted me to make a podcast with pure Cameroon Salsa. So this time no Makossa Nostalgia, but a direct flight from Douala to Havana !!!!!



maandag 26 juni 2017

Pop Makossa - The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976-1984


The best-designed compilation with Cameroon pop music from the '70s to 80s since' Fleurs musicales du cameroun 'from 1983. With beautiful photo material and unique interviews. Listen and buy this album here !!!!















zaterdag 15 april 2017

Joe Mboule: 1953 - 2015









Joe Mboule, whose real name is Njoh Mboule Ludovic Georges is born on 30 April 1953 and died on 11 October 2015 in Douala. Joe Mboule's musical career spans four decades.
He comes from a very musical family that includes famous artists like his cousin Charlotte Mbango and his uncle the singer/songwriter Eboa Lotin, who was one of the co-founders of modern Makossa. His father played fiddle and banjo in his lost hours and his mother sang in the local church choir.

Joe Mboule began his career as an artist in 1972, at the age of 19. He burst onto the Cameroonian and African music scene with the title Mpuly Mwa Salamander in 1973, which he recorded with buddies at Radio Douala. As a result of this success, he signs with Safari Ambiance. Colette Maniatakis the director of Safari Ambiance gave him carte blanche to freely express his creativity. Joe Mboule returned to the studio to write Malabar (Longuè le Ndé Sport). This album saw the participation of some of the members of what is called at the time, the national team of makossa including Aladji Touré and Toto Guillaume.
Malabar (Longuè lé ndé sport) was released in 1979 and was with over 20.000 sold copies a big musical success. The magazine Bingo described Joe Mboule as "a singer of charm, a musician in the proper sense of the term. Although rhythmic remains conventional, his choices of instruments and arrangements announce an unusual wind in music”.
During the years that followed, Joe scored several other hits like Muna ndô in 1982 and O si Linga in 1986. Beside his own musical career, he founded the label Tempo Records in 1980 with which he produced some of the young talents of the time such as Ben Decca and Bebey Black. Joe Mboule has also been fully involved in the issue of copyright and the promotion of francophone artists in various organizations such as the Conseil Francophone de la Chanson and the International Federation of Actors. His last album L’essentiel came out in 2012. 








DISCOGRAPHY




























Makossa Nostalgie Vol. 4 The Hits of 1980

vrijdag 6 januari 2017

Black Styl's

Les Black Styl's  1972 - 1993:  A short history, based on an interview by Jean Celistin Edjangue with founding member Nkotti Francois.

"I still do not understand the magic of the Black Styl songs. Even today I start crying when I hear one of there songs", tells Jean-Pierre Mongam a taxi-driver, who was a teenager in the late seventies. "It's the band of our generation, he continious, we grew up with their music".

It's around 1971 when Nkotti Francois leaves Souza and moves to Douala,  where his sponsor  just opened a cabaret/dancing in the Deido Quarter. Nkotti Francois has a good voice and starts to sing in the new place.  In 1972 Toto Ekane Felix director of the Davum Bar, asks Nkotti if he wants to sing in his bar. He agrees ans as singer in the Davum Bar he meets the young gitarist Mouelle Jean, who introduces him to another young gitarist Toto Guillaume. After some time the bassplayer/singer of the Davum Bar house band is replaced by Emile Kangue.

From the beginning the new band  decided to play only Makossa.  Finally it is in the Bonaberi Quarter where they celebreate their first success. It is  in this period around 1973, that Toto Guillaume writes a letter to Sono Disc in Paris, with the question if the company is interested in recording some of there songs. Sono Disc agrees and at the end of 1973 they record eight songs. The company  choo ses  the songs 'Francoise', written by Toto Guillaume and 'Ndutu' a song by Nkotti Francois as the A and B sides of the groups first 45 rpm single.

The single becomes a big hit in Cameroon and within a year, the group scores with a new producer again with 'O sambo'.  The band goes on tour across the country and gives  a very successfull  show in the capital Yaounde. They they also play in the club 'Mount Cameroun'in Bali, where they meet the very talented drummer Yves Lobe. He joins the group and remains faithful to the end.


At the height of their success, Toto Guillaume gets the opportunity to study music in Paris. He took the opportunity, left the band and went to Paris. Shortly thereafter Alexandre Ebonick  who lives in France offers the band the opportunity te record an album in Paris. On the 20th of september 1978 the band led by Nkotti Francois arrives in Paris, where they record the album 'Les Black Styls in Paris'in Studio Harrison. The album becomes a success and sells good ans is followed by a second one in 1979. But at the same time the first tensions become manifest.  There is a problem about a contract between Emile Kangue and the rest of the group and also the personal  problems of Monny Miller have a negative impact on the band. Both of them leave the band and the rest continious with Eyoum Paul ass the new bass player and Jackson Berry on guitar. But the momentum is gone and the 'second' Black Styl misses the spirit of the 'first' Black Styl's. The band survives but is not very successfull anymore.   




















In 1993-1994 the group has a brief revival when they record a new album with the female singer Nadia Ewande. Apart from Nkotti Francois, also the old members   Kangue Emile,  Lobe Yves, Mouelle Jean and Monny Miller participate in this recording. This record is the last sign of life from the Black Styls.  Today the band stays  alive in the hearts of those who grew up in the seventies.

♫ Blacks Styl (Cameroun):Cameroun Partout Vol.11
♫ Guardians of the heritage !!!


DISCOGRAPHY
ALBUMS





















45 RPM SINGLES















dinsdag 3 januari 2017

Johnny Tezano

Allthough the emphasis on this blog  remains Makossa, I will occasionally pay some attention to other popular Cameroon music styles such as Bikutsi, Ashiko and Mangabeu.
Johnny Tezano is a singer/guitarist from the Cameroons capital Yaoundé where the Beti / Ewondo people live. Most popular music among the Beti is Bikutsi, a modernised traditional music style. As in the rest of Cameroon, Congolese music is also popular in and around Yaoundé and in the 80’s most of the Bikutsi records contained at least one Congolese inspired song.
Johnny Tezano made a different choise, before Kotto Bass he is one of the few artists in Cameroon who seduced his audience with Congolese inspired music. More than 30 years he was quite successfull  in Cameroon with his own brand of "Soukous".  Meanwhile the man retired, but for many years he combined his life as a musician with a job as a police-officer. To me this looks a quite unusual combination.
DISCOGRAPHY