World | Blick Bassy is on the rise
Cameroonian artist Blick Bassy carries out many projects in 2019: his latest album was released in March, he just collaborated with the band Roseaux and participates in international festivals.
Singer, composer, guitarist and percussionist Blick Bassy was born in 1974 in a large Cameroonian family. He discovered traditional music such as assiko, bolobo and Mbaye through a stay in his grandparents’ village. Before coming to France, Blick Bassy created two bands: The Jazz Crew and Macasa. The latter has won several national and international awards, for example, the RFI World Music Award in 2001 and the Best New African Group at the KORA Awards. In 2005, the artist moved to Paris and began his solo career.
A socially conscious artist who values his tradition
By drawing on his influences in traditional Cameroonian music as well as other genres such as blues, soul and funk, Blick Bassy interpretes the majority of his songs in bassa, his mother tongue, and tells stories of his native country.
His latest album 1958 (No Format ! / Tôt ou tard) was released in March 2019. In this opus, the artist pays tribute to Ruben Um Nyobè, a Cameroonian anti-colonial activist. He was assassinated by the French army in 1958, two years before the independence of the country. Blick Bassy expresses his admiration for Ruben Um Nyobè through his songs: he sings for the militant’s fight, calls on the political leaders and the younger generations who do not know very well the history and the traditions of their countries.
The album 1958 has caught the attention of international press. British newspaper The Guardian picked him for its selection of world music albums of the month, giving him 4 stars. The newspaper considers that Blick Bassy is “one of Africa’s most important new artists”. Financial Times also dedicated a review to this album and the journalist David Honigmann wrote that “the words are savage, the music is airy”.
Specialised music media Earmilk, Greedy For Best Music and Broadway World also covered this album.
On July 8, 2019, the title “Kaät”, a collaboration between Blick Bassy and French trio Roseaux came out. This is the first extract of the band’s new album Roseaux II (Tôt ou tard) which will be released in September. The Cameroonian artist performed this song for a session on the music promotion platform COLORS.
Blick Bassy’s upcoming dates:
- Septembre 2019 : Reeperbahn Festival, Hambourg (DE)
- 04/10/2019 : Jazz Cafe, London (UK)
- 11/10/2019 : Roma Europa, Roma (IT)