Wax Dey – Makossa


But Makossa as a genre, characterized by catchy brass sections and bouncy bass riffs
that created some of Cameroon’s biggest international stars, has struggled to keep its
place in the Cameroonian urban scene. Nonetheless, its impact is still best felt through
its contribution to the new African pop sound.

In 2010, Shakira released ‘WakaWaka’, an adaptation of the 1983 Cameroonian
classic ‘Zangalewa’, that partly has its roots in this genre. This came at a period when
‘Naija’ or Nigerian afrobeats is enjoying a wave of success across the world. It is also
undeniable that Makossa has had a deep influence in transforming the ‘Afrobeat’ of
Fela Kuti to the ‘Afrobeats’ sounds that have propelled Nigerian artists like Flavour
and Iyanya to international superstardom.
At the same time, a wave of Cameroonian musicians mostly from the Anglophone
regions of Cameroon, to whom the world had been quite oblivious, has awoken with a
new afropop sound that is impossible to ignore. They have also borrowed from
Makossa, blending French phrases and their own pidgin Creole that is similar to
Nigerian pidgin English.
Thanks to this, Cameroon is witnessing the creation of a brand new, lively urban
musical scene that is rich in texture and variety. And the rise of these artists signals a
rise in social consciousness of a youth that have for decades been deemed as voiceless
– but who are stepping into the limelight with the assurance that their place in the
social and cultural fabric of Cameroon, and Africa, can no longer be usurped.
Johannesburg, South Africa (30 October
2014) – Cameroonian singer and activist,
Wax Dey has officially released a new single,
‘Makossa’, to highlight the influence of this
underrated genre in today’s international
pop culture, and to call attention to the rise
of a new breed of Cameroonian musicians.
One of the defining moments of global music
has to be the 1972 release of Manu
Dibango’s Billboard Hot 100 song, ‘Soul
Makossa’, that has been credited with the
creation of the international ‘DISCO’ sound


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