Cameroonian Music: 10 Exceptional Artistes and Songs You Should Listen To

The music of Cameroon has diverse traditional and modern musical genres.

Their most popular contemporary genre is Makossa, a well-known musical style across Africa, and its related dance craze Bikutsi. The word ‘bikutsi’ literally means ‘beat the earth’ or ‘let’s beat the earth’.

Here we will look at ten musical artists from Cameroon and of Cameroonian descent, you may not have heard about.

1. Mani Bella

mani bella

Véronique Mani Bella, 33, is a Cameroonian singer from the Central Region. Her first album Pousse la vie (2010), introduced her to the Cameroonian music scene, but Pala pala(2014) established her on the international music scene. In 2015, she performed the African Cup of Nations’ official anthem in Equatorial Guinea alongside Singuila, Fally Ipupa, and Toofan.

2. Pit Baccardi

pit-baccardi

Guillaume N’Goumou, aka Pit Baccardi, 42, is a Cameroonian-French rapper. He released his self-titled debut solo album in 1999. In 2000, he released the EP Ghetto ambianceur and a duet with Joe, a North American singer of RnB, which brought him out at the time. He has released several tracks since then. In 2013, he launched the Empire Company label which has produced big names in Cameroonian music such as X Maleya, Duc-Z, and Magasco.

3. Grace Decca

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Ndom’a Deccah Grace, 54, is a Cameroonian singer and producer from Douala. Younger sister to Ben Decca, a prominent Makossa singer, performed with him and other artists, before launching her solo career in 1989 with her debut album Besoin d’amour. Her five other Makossa albums are Le Duo DK (1992), Doï La Mulema (1993), Appelle-moi Princesse (1998), and Donne-moi un peu d’amour (2001). She returned to the Cameroonian music scene in 2014 with a gospel album, Mouna.

https://youtu.be/jZbW6DzigGY

 

4. Ben Decca

Ben-Decca

Benjamin Decca, 62, is a Cameroonian musician, singer, and songwriter known for his makossa compositions. He began his music career in the 1970s in France, after his studies in auto mechanics. Ben Decca has 25 albums and more than 150 tracks to his name. His twenty-fifth album, Électron Libre, was released in 2017.

5. Lady Ponce

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Adèle Ruffine Ngono, aka Lady Ponce, is a Cameroonian singer and songwriter. She is also known as “La Reine de Bikutsi” (the Queen of Bikutsi). In 2007, Ngono released her 6-track debut album, Le Ventre et le bas-ventre, which won her the Canal 2’Or’s Best Voice and Musical Revelation awards. In 2017, she released “Patrimonie,” an album regarding her early life, consisting of twelve tracks and produced by KMG Productions.

6. Petit Pays

 

petit pays

Makossa legend Adolphe Claude Alexandre Moundi, 53, is a Cameroonian musician. Petit-Pays has over 35 albums to his name and is the Cameroonian musician with the highest number of songs. In 1996, he sold over 50,000 cassettes the day of the release of his Double Album Class F and Class M. His music has evolved over the years, adapting to contemporary African genres. He mixes native Cameroonian Makossa with soukous, zouk, and salsa, leading to the portmanteau label of Makossa Love for some of his music. He is the crowned king of Makossa and the most famous artist in Cameroon.

7. Stanley Enow

stanley-enow

Stanley Ebai Enow, 35, is a Cameroonian rapper, radio and TV presenter, and voice actor. He is best known for his 2013 single “Hein Père.” He was the first Cameroonian to win in the Best New Act category at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards. Enow has worked with several icons like Davido (Caramel (2017)). He dropped his debut studio album Soldier Like My Papa in 2015. His latest is Stanley vs. Enow (2019).

8. Richard Bona

Richard-Bona

Incredible talent, Bona Pinder Yayumayalolo, 53, is a Cameroon-born American musician, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist. Bona began learning to play the guitar at the age of 11, and in 1980, aged just 13, he assembled his first ensemble for a French jazz club in Douala. His debut solo album, Scenes from My Life, was released in 1999. In 2005 Bona released his fourth solo album Tiki, which included a collaboration with John Legend on one track, entitled “Please Don’t Stop.” The album was nominated for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 49th Grammy Awards. Richard Bona’s music took on a distinctive Afro-Cuban flavor with the 2016 release of the Heritage album with Cuban band Mandekan Cubano.

9. Manu Dibango (1933-2020)

manu-dibango
Manu Dibango Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Emmanuel N’Djoké “Manu” Dibango, 87, was a Cameroonian musician and songwriter who played saxophone and vibraphone. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music. He was best known for his 1972 single “Soul Makossa.” At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards in 1974, he was nominated in the categories Best R&B Instrumental Performance and Best Instrumental Composition for “Soul Makossa.” He died from COVID-19 on 24 March 2020.

https://youtu.be/u7oNGnViluY

10. Yannick Noah

Yannick Noah

Yannick Noah, 60, is a former French professional tennis player and singer of Cameroonian descent. He began his music career in 1991 with the album Black or What, featuring the famous track “Saga Africa,”. In 2010, Yannick made a comeback with the release of Frontières, his eighth album, containing the single “Angela,” a tribute to Angela Davis. It also had a duet with Aṣa in “Hello.” On 25 September 2010, he filled the Stade de France for an exceptional concert attended by close to 80,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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