“Music is noise that thinks”-Victor Hugo
In a musical universe swinging between urban and traditional music, one might think that there is no more room for other genres. EDM (electronic dance music) a genre which occupies a significant place in clubs and sometimes to the detriment of the regulars who feel this is ‘white people’s music’, is still unknown to the Cameroonian public or at least not really accepted.
Like many music lovers, I always thought that electronic music was separated in 02 subgenres: electro and techno and had as their main ambassadors, David Guetta, Bob Sinclar, Martin SOLVEIG. But upon listening and educating myself on the topic, I discovered electronic music with its own defined universe.
From visual effects, crazy atmospheres,to the various genres (dubstep, trance, techno, ambient, electro-house ..), and artists of the new generation such as Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Petit Biscuit Martin GARRIX to name a few, electronic music is gaining more momentum alongside the other musical genres.
Only one question arises: Does electronic music have its place in the African musical environment (in general) and in Cameroon in particular?
The incursion of electronic music in Africa is very recent and the most famous variation is the Afro-electro trend made famous by DJ AuntieFlo (real name Brian D’Souza). The Afro-electro trend followed in several African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya) and gave rise to several artists such as Steloo, Anbuley, Ibaaku, Caleb Rimtobaye and DJ Xpect.
Speaking of Peter Kerre aka DJ Xpect, this Kenyan living in the United States, has been working for several years to create an electro sound that may be adding to African musical sounds. After a long period of working for the acceptance of this genre, his efforts were rewarded in July 2016, as his remix of “COMMON IN” by American artist ALICIA KEYS has been chosen as the official remix by the artist. And in light of the media hype created around his collaboration with ALICIA KEYS, DJ Xpect released his first digital album NOMADIC SOUL that you can listen to on his website: http://www.theafroelectronic.com/Xpect/
In Cameroon, despite the fact that electronic music is still lagging , some Artists like SKRIIM or Mr MANGA gave it a shot.
Mr MANGA or John MANGO is a HIP HOP oriented Cameroonian beatmaker whose works, if not always highlighted, resulted in some interesting collaborations with artists in urban music scene like Ghanaian artist AKO .The beatmaker has surprised us recently by released a remix of “JAILER” by Nigerian singer ASA. If electronic music is practiced by Mr MANGA as a hobby, this is not the case for Skriim.
The torch of EDM in Cameroon seems to be held by Skriim, music composer, member of the group 3009 Rascal. His name is certainly unknown to many of you (as it was the case for me a few months ago), yet this young artist stands as the precursor of electronic music in Cameroon. Just as Mr MANGA, Skriim was passionate about urban music, but this year marked his establishment as an electronic music composer with the release of his debut album “EVOLU+ION” whose single EVOLUTION reached 197,000 plays on YELLOW RHINESTONE RECORDS(Swedish label distribution ) label’s soundcloud account.
His influences are Martin Garrix, Jay Harway, Hardwell, Zedd, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake, David Guetta, Marshmellow, The Chainsmokers, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, Timbaland, Pharell Williams, Polow da Don. His latest news is the release of his single DON’T GO available on all major download platforms including Beatport: https://www.beatport.com/artist/skriim/551333
While it is true that electronic music is not a musical trend in Cameroon bets are taken regarding if it will(or not) reveal new artists and what would it be? The discovery of a new electronic sound made in CAMEROON?
That said,all appreciation is left to the audience who tend to remain masters of the game.
Written By Emma