• The allure of music is universal, as we’ve witnessed with our Occur Goes Global series. Also universal? Older generations decrying their descendants’ art as vulgar rubbish. The Cameroon Tribune reported on elder culturists in the diverse, central-western African country. Their take on the generation gap? Immorality reigns, according to Kingue Siga, a staff member of the Regional Delegation of Secondary Education.

     

    Yet, talk to those contributing to a thriving youth movement in Cameroon and you’ll hear differently. Explore some of the artists pushing the envelope with our list:

     

    Gasha

    Taking up the mantel from Lauryn Hill and Rihanna, this Afro-Pop journeywoman includes Lana Del Rey and Nelson Mandela among her influences. In hits like 2013’s  “Kaki Mbere,” she exudes confidence, sexiness and ambition. She also champions human rights issues, bringing attention to the abduction of Nigerian girls by terrorist group Boko Harum with the breathtaking “There He Goes.”

     

    Lady Ponce

    She’s got what she calls “Bikutsi attitude,” afire with the traditions of the Beti peoples and the hot steps of pop music. Like her counterparts in the Caribbean, Lady Ponce radiates with the rhythms of soca and the spirited drive of a woman who knows what she wants. She is currently on tour in Germany on the strength and crossover appeal of 2015’s “Koum Koum Koum” duet with R&B stars X-Maleya.

     

    DeeCy

    No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness,” goes the quote attributed to Aristotle. It’s the first thing one sees when visiting DeeCy’s Facebook page, a hyperintelligent brag from one of Cameroon’s most formidable rappers. He’s got Weezy’s chill and an entrepreneur’s flair. “Ngombey” is invading many a playlist in 2016, with the subsequent album Land of Promise dropping soon.

     

    Jovi

     

    Among DeeCy’s collaborators has been this aesthetically driven MC from Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde. His 2012 debut, H.I.V., stood for “Humanity Is Vanishing,” his lament that his community was spiritually moving away from its roots. He confronts modern struggles like courtship and applies a meditative shellac, all while delivering NASCAR-speed rhymes. (Lead image courtesy New Bell Music.)

     

    Baka Beyond

    From the city to the forest, Cameroon is alive with music. Baka Beyond, formed by British musicians Martin Cradick and Su Hart, is a tribute to the resilient indigenous peoples they met in 1992. Dubbed “Pygmies” by more metropolitan beings, the Baka remain devoted to the earth as their country becomes more industrialized. Cradick, Hart and a rotating cast of other artists write songs that uphold these native timbres and instruments.

     

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