woensdag 4 augustus 2021

Papy Ndoumbe

In the second half of the 1980s, Papy Ndoumbe's musical career got off to a flying start with two successful albums, Lézard trompeur in 1987 and A saute mouton in 1989.  After that, it became quiet around this promising singer/guitarist. I read somewhere that he was disabled as a result of a serious accident. That may explain the shortness of his musical career. In 1997, another CD of his is released with the title Cathy remix, on which a number of songs from his two previous albums can be heard in a new remix. However, this album does not contain any new songs. It seems that Papy Ndoumbe now lives in Germany.

♫ Audio: 1987 – Papy Ndoumbe – Lézard trompeur 5:10

♫ Audio: 1989 – Papy Ndoumbe – Mbemba muto 4:42


dinsdag 13 juli 2021

Pablo Ekambi

Pablo Ekambi started his musical career as a drummer-percussionist of the singer/composer Ngalle Jojo. It was also Ngalle Jojo who was responsible for the production in 1983 of Pablo’s first LP entitled Na wedi mbembe. Pablo’s second album was the CD Bon Payeur, released in 1996 by Aladji Toure. Unfortunately Pablo Ekambi passed away in 2007. 

♫ Audio: 1983 Pablo Ekambi – Na wedi mbembe 8:29

♫ Audio: 1996 Pablo Ekambi - Bon payeur 6:25


zondag 6 juni 2021

Nelle Eyoum Emmanuel 1934 - 1994

  Nelle Eyoum Emmanuel is one of the pioneers of modern Cameroonian music. He is considered the creator of Makossa alongside Ebanda Manfred and Epee Mbende Richard.  Born on 5 October 1934 in Douala (Bonatene - Deido), Nelle Eyoum started playing music in 1950. Self-taught on the guitar, he played and spread the songs of the Assiko repertoire of his region. He also has a real passion for the music of Zaire. He is particularly fond of the music of Wendo Kolosoy, one of the stars of Zairoise music at that time. Between 1950 and 1952, Nelle Eyoum met his idol Wendo Kolosoy and joined the latter's band. He explored the former Belgian Congo and played guitar with his idol. 

Wendo Kolosoy

♫ Video: Wendo Kolosoy – Marie Louise: 3:30

In 1953 Nelle Eyoum recorded his first songs in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) in one of the biggest and most famous recording studios in the region (a 78 rpm record for the famous Ngoma label in Leopoldville. That same year, for family reasons, Nelle Eyoum returned to Cameroon to his native Douala. He made his first recordings on Radio Douala in 1958 with Mouelle Guillaume. The following year, he joined Ebanda Manfred in the Rythmic Band and together they made a series of recordings for Radio Douala between 1953 and 1963, including the song Kembe federal. The most famous recording was Diabala Basile (Basile's Wedding), recorded in 1959 and widely regarded as the first Makossa recording.  Indeed, it is this title which is at the origin of the word 'Makossa'. The word 'Kossa!', which was used to call for dancing, became the central element of this song and ended up designating a musical rhythm and by extension a dance.

♫ Audio: Nelle Eyoum et Los Calvinos – Kembe federal: 3:45

Nelle Eyoum founded and was a member of several groups, the most important of which were Los Calvinos and Le Negro Styl. He was also a member of the famous group Uvocot Jazz in the 1950s, which included: Epee Mbende Richard, known as Epee d'or, Moundo Mongele Isaac, Ebanda Manfred, Priso Makembe, Mangamba Emmanuel, Esaaka. Nelle Eyoum took over the leadership of Los Calvinos after the death of Calvin Nseke, the group's founder. He left Los Calvinos to form Negro Styl with Helle Gauthi, Moukoko, Tintin, Eke among others. Every weekend in the mid-1960s, fans and music lovers flocked to the Flambeau bar where, with the group Los Calvinos, Nelle Eyoum kept the music lovers dancing until the end of the night.

In addition to her numerous recordings on Radio Douala, Nelle Eyoum has produced several singles and two LPs. In 1973 he participated in the first national music festival of Cameroon. He has been a mentor to many artists and has inspired many Cameroonian artists with his style, including Jojo Ngalle, Ele Gustave Nkotti, Francois Misse Ngoh, Toto Guillaume and Nkotti Francois. In 1981 he released the LP Ikwale on the ERI label from drummer/producer Ebeny Donald Wesley. 

Nelle Eyoum died in 1994 as a result of injuries sustained in a fatal traffic accident. Shortly after his unexpected death, Aladji Toure released a tribute album entitled l'Age-d'Or: Hommage a Nelle Eyoum. For this album, Toure brought together a selection of Cameroonian artists, including Kotto Bass, Ben Decca, Nkotti Francois and Henry Njoh.


Arol Ketchiemen, Les Icônes de la musique Camerounaise Tome 1, p. 198,199; Les Editions du Muntu 2017

DISCOGRAPHY (incomplete)

maandag 31 mei 2021

Ebeny Ngosso

In 1982, Aladji Toure released the debut album of Ebeny Ngosso. The album, which includes the songs Miango and Sango Pato, can be counted as one of the makossa classics of the early 1980s. Ebeny Ngosso did not succeed in repeating the success of this debut album. It was followed by another album in 1985 entitled Muna-Muto and after a long period of silence, he released the CD Moussango in the late 90s. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any additional information about the further course of his musical career.

♫ Audio: 1982 – Ebeny Ngosso – Miango 5:35

♫ Audio: 1982 – Ebeny Ngosso – Sango Pata 5:32


dinsdag 25 mei 2021

Danger Ngando Konnè

Danger Ngando Konnè had some success as a singer between 1975 and 1985. In the second half of the 70s, he released several 45 rpm singles, one of which with the legendary Black Styls. In the early 80s, two of his LPs were also released. After 1985, little more was heard from him.

♫ Audio: 1977 – Danger Ngando Konne & The Black Styls – Mpong mo na mo 7:00

♫ Audio: 1983 – Danger Ngando Konne – Benyengue bam 5:36


Jo Dikongue jr.

Jo Dikongue released the 45 rpm single 'C'est chaud' in 1980. This single was followed by the LP 'Ala ala'. As far as I know, these are the only records Jo has released.

zaterdag 15 mei 2021

Ekambi Brillant

Ekambi Louis Brillant was born on 18 June 1948 in Dibombari. He is the son of Ekambi Brillant, businessman and cultural entrepreneur, from Dibombari and Ekambi, Claire from Djébalè. His nickname is "Mot'a Munenya" (big man), which is appropriate considering that through his use of piano, wind and string instruments, he has made a significant contribution to the development and renewal of Makossa music.

Shortly after birth, his mother became seriously ill, so the newborn had to be cared for by his grandmother in Djébalè. As a child, he was introduced to music in the church choir. In 1962, he went to the General Lyceum Leclerc in Yaoundé. There he took his first serious steps on the path of music. His French music teacher, Zane Daniel, gave him his first guitar lessons and taught him to read music. In 1968, he used his summer holidays for the first time to perform in the cabarets of Douala. In 1971, at the age of 21, he dropped out of school to perform with the group Les Crack's in nightclub Le Domino. During this period, he abandoned the guitar and performed mainly as a singer of French chansons, blues and rock.

In those early years, he had doubts about his qualities as a singer. He once said about this: "Actually, I did not want to be a singer in the band, but our singer - who was also the drummer - no longer wanted to sing all evening. The band leader then suggested that I should give it a try, but I was ashamed of it in the beginning because my voice sounded so hoarse". 
The group played at school parties and toured all the cabarets between Douala and Yaoundé. In 1971, he won a talent contest organised by the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF) with the song Djongele la ndolo ( Thoughts of my beloved). By winning this prize, he got the opportunity to release Djongele la Ndolo as his first single with DECCA France. The single became a great commercial success. It sold 20,000 copies. Not long after, he left Les Crack's to start a solo career.
♫ Audio: 1971 Djongele la ndolo / Ngon’Aboh 6:44

His first solo concerts took place at the Centre Culturel Français in Douala and at the cinema in Wouri (Douala). Shortly afterwards, he left for Paris with bassist Jean Dikoto Mandengue to record his second single for Phonogram, which had given him a recording contract. With 25,000 copies sold, this record did even better than his first.In 1973 he performed alongside, among others, Nelle Eyoum, Manu Dibango and Francis Bebey at the Premier Festival de la Chanson Camerounaise in Yaoundé.  He then met a group of young musicians les Black Sounds from Ndjaména with whom he performed for some time.

At that time, he attracted the attention of Slim Pezin, the renowned guitarist and producer of many successful artists such as Johnny Halliday, Michel Sardou and Manu Dibango. In 1974, Brillant broke his contract with Phonogram and allied himself with Slim Pezin who released his first LP under the title Africa Oumba with the song Elongi, which would later be covered by many artists from all over the world. The album became a huge success and earned him a diamond record by selling more than 5 million copies. Several of the Slim Pezin-produced songs from the album were also released as singles, reaching the top 10 in several countries.

♫ Video Clip: 1975 – Ekambi Brillant – Ndutu 3:00 (LP Africa Oumba)

♫ Video Clip: 1975 – Ekambi Brillant – Cameroon Airlines 4:21

♫ Audio: 1975 – Ekambi Brillant – Aboki 4:41 (LP Africa Oumba)

 In 1976, he formed his own band to accompany him: Les Ebis (Ekambi Brillant Show), which included the later greats Valery Lobé (drums) and Aladji Touré (bass). In the same year, he became manager of the nightclub Le Castel. With the release of the LP Ashiko Edingue, he left the club again to go on tour with his band.

♫ Audio: 1976 – Ekambi Brillant – Soul Castle 1:46 (LP Ashiko Edingue)

♫ Audio: 1976 – Ekambi Brillant – Ngal’a Tanda 2:57 (LP Ashiko Edingue)

Following the success of his album, he toured extensively in Africa where he met the singer Cella Stella in Benin. She followed him to Paris, where he became her producer and arranger. He released her album on the label Jengou Records, which he had founded. He had also written the songs for this album. Cella Stella was born in Ivory Coast and grew up in Benin. Because she did not speak a word of Douala, Ekambi Brillant taught her to sing in that language. The album was released in 1980 and was well received in Cameroon. After Cella Stella, Ekambi Brillant helped many starting artists with Jengou Records. The best known of these is the later African diva Angelique Kidjo. In 1981, Jengou Records released her first album, produced and arranged by Ekambi Brillant. 

♫ Audio: 1979 – Ekambi Brillant – La Vie 5:23 (LP Great Bonam)

In 1990, Ekambi left Cameroon and emigrated to the US. There, together with Vincent Nguini, he founded the group Les Malako Boys, with which he performed at festivals all over America.  He settled in California where he studied cinematography and harmony. In 2000, he returned to Cameroon where he hosted a popular monthly show on the national Cameroonian television channel (CRTV), the Super Ekambi Brillant Show.

In 2016 and 2017, London-based record label Africa Seven brought Ekambi Brillant's music back to the attention of an international audience. The first album was a 2016 reissue of Brillant's legendary first LP Africa Oumba, after which in 2017 they released a compilation album of older, mostly funky songs entitled African Funk Experimentals 1975 - 1982.  

♫ Live: 2016 – Ekambi Brillant 40 ans de show : 1:26:55

At the end of 2020, Ekambi Brillant, together with Toto Guillaume, gave two major concerts in Douala and Yaoundé under the title ‘La Saga de Géants. With these concerts he launched his Fondation Ekambi Brillant, which aims to restore the music of Cameroon to its former glory. Ekambi Brillant recently told in an interview that after the death of Manu Dibango, at the age of 70, his urge to preserve his musical legacy for posterity became even stronger. With his foundation, he wants to leave an infrastructure of music schools and other facilities that will guarantee the professional development and guidance of young, musical talent in Cameroon in the future.


45 RPM Singles

33 RPM LP's & CD's