LiveList Discovery: Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Cameroon

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Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Africa: Cameroon
March 22nd from 12:00PM – 4:00PM PDT on Boiler Room TV

Last November, we featured the first stop on Boiler Room and Ballantine’s four-city True Music: Africa tour. In Cape Town, YoungstaCPT, Dope Saint Jude, K-$ and more showed us why underground music in Africa can’t be ignored. The tour continues with stop number two this week in Douala, Cameroon, a city with an entirely different – yet equally exciting – independent music scene. Here’s an introduction to a few of the artists that will be there:

Askia describes her fusion of West African rhythm, American-style hip-hop, and European-influenced electronic elements as “Afro-Urban” music. As she’s toyed with and tweaked these different sounds over the past five years, she’s developed a loyal fanbase, industry recognition, and critical acclaim. With an accessible sonic appeal and a multi-cultural and international upbringing – her father is Nigerian and her mother lives in Germany – don’t be surprised if her “Afro-Urban” anthems make it well beyond the borders of Cameroon.

Cameroon is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, home to well over 200 different languages. While English and French are the two official, most Cameroonians speak at least one African language in addition to or instead of the European lingua francas. Boy TAG, from the the Southwest region’s capital city of Buea, introduces you to some of these different vernaculars as he meshes English, French, the regional Bamileke language, and more. Pay close attention, though: Boy TAG’s lightning fast verses aren’t easy to keep up with in any language.

Like many singers, Locko’s musical career began in his school choir. He spent many of his younger days spinning his Uncle’s American pop and jazz records, and in his late teens he studied African music extensively with a deliberate ear toward incorporating Afrobeat sounds into his own music. All these influences are clear in his catchy Afro-pop and R&B songs, which have earned him a national following and a contract with Big Dreams Entertainment, a Cameroonian label he’s helped put on the map in recent years.

Ahead of the showcase, Boiler Room and Ballantine’s also produced this documentary preview on independent music in Cameroon, which features these three artists heavily. Check it out below, and learn more about the showcase here. Finally, don’t forget to set your reminder to catch the showcase on Livelist!

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