I grew up in the buzzing city of Douala in the Littoral region of Cameroon. From my childhood till now, music has always played an important role in my life. Growing up in a big family, my tastes of music have been greatly influenced by those of my elder brothers. So from an early age I was introduced to their favorite music genres, Hip Hop and R’n’B. At their time, during my childhood, African popular music was not as big as today. Indeed, there was coupé décalé and its major artists such as Doug Saga or Dj Kitoko who were very present on the music scene, and same for Afrobeats which was pioneered by Nigerian artists such as 2Face Idibia or even the boys band P Square.
As I grew up, I got to discover other music genres from abroad, ranging from jazz to soul, not forgetting French varieties or even rock music. But recently, a new generation of artists emerged from different African countries, adding their own spices to what have been built by their elders. Some even went on to create new genres of music that reflect their generation’s state of mind. Being born in the late 90s and haven grown up in the 2000s, it is undoubtable that I myself, relate better to the music of my generation: urban music, than that of before.
Although the African music industry has been booming and creating new talents, as a music consumer (I believe with great taste), I have been very attentive to all the changes that occurred. This, I believe led me into becoming very critical when it comes to music in general but more particularly when it comes to African music. The aim of this Pan-African music blog is to share with you new discoveries, comment the latest hits, predict the future major hits and discuss the content (visual and/or lyrical) of songs.
My approach toward music will be very critical and analytical as I believe that if we want a successful industry, i.e one that will profit to all artists, one that will reward artists based on their merit and one that will provide quality jobs (i.e steady jobs with stable revenues) for the people, we need to give the African music industry the attention it deserves. This attention goes-in with the promotion of local artists, the valorisation of the job of musician and the recognition of culture as one of the fundamental elements that will contribute to the development of the African continent and its prosperity across the world.
My motivation for this blog is the aspiration of seeing an Africa that will emerge in all sectors but more specifically in the arts as it happens to be omitted by our leaders in their political agendas. Politicians, the media, foreigners or even some of us, keep on repeating relentlessly that Africa is a continent with “abundant natural resources” or “rich in natural resources”, forgetting about the people that make up this continent. My pride, our pride, is that Africa is multicultural with a variety of people and diverse languages within its territory, making us, Africans, culturally rich. I may not know all the genres of music that exist on the continent, or all the major music artists in each African country, but this blog I believe, will also be an opportunity for me to explore and learn more about the richness of my continent.
See this blog as a journey to a better understanding of the people, cultures, customs and impulses that thrive the African music industry.
Bayn (acronym of my name)