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Blick Bassy To Release 1958 This June

Blick Bassy To Release 1958 This June

Blick Bassy is set to release his new album 1958 on June 21 via No Format/Tôt ou Tard/IDOL. Watch/share the video for the single "Ngwa," HERE.

The album follows Bassy's acclaimed 2015 album Akö and is a defiant tribute to the heroes who fought and died for the independence of Bassy's native Cameroon, including Ruben Um Nyobé, the anti-colonialist leader of the Popular Union of Cameroon (UPC) who was shot dead by French troops on September 13, 1958, two years before the country became independent. The UPC had been campaigning for fifteen years during which time many people died, something which has been subtly annihilated from history by the French and Cameroonian state until recently.

The song, "Ngwa," which translates in English to "my friend" was written for Um Nyobé. Blick says; "Ngwa, I wanted to pay tribute to your fight, our fight, but also to your philosophy, where the values of equality, antiracism, anti xenophobia, serve emancipation and fulfilment for every human being."

The video for 'Ngwa' was shot in South Africa's Lesotho, and directed by rising South African Tebogo Malope (aka Tebza). A meditation on the relationship between present-day Cameroon and its former French colonizers, the visuals embody not only the spirit of Um Nyobé the man, but also the Cameroonian nation and their intrinsic cultural identity. A recipient of the Cannes Gold Lion prize, Malope's recent work includes the ambitious video for South African artist Kwesta's track 'Spirit', which has received over 4 million views to date.

1958, a soulful collection of songs sung in Bassa, Bassy's ancestral language, is out now in the U.K. and receiving much critical acclaim. Featured as The Guardian's "World Album of the Month," and The Evening Standard's "Album of the Week," The Times and Mojo also awarded the album 4 star reviews, with Mojo, remarking on the "sepia-tinged songs blending sad brass and boss nova rhythms." Bassy is currently on tour in Europe with U.S. tour dates to be confirmed shortly.

1958 features collaborations with Clement Petit (cello), Alexis Anerilles (trumpet and keyboards) and Johan Blanc (trombone), and was co-produced by Bassy alongside Renaud Letang (Feist, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lianne La Havas, Saul Williams, Manu Chao). The song "Mpodol," which means "He who carries the voice of his people," was the nickname of Um Nyobé; "Maqui" speaks of the courage of the bush fighters in the face of French terror; while "Ngwa" has Bassy briefing the ghost of Um Nyobé on the state of the country for which he fought. The track "Ngui Yi," bemoans the blithe ignorance of modern Cameroon youth, hypnotised by the baubles and empty promises of the West; and "Pochë" reminds modern Cameroonians of those who betrayed the country's true interests.

Blick Bassy was sent away from the capital Yaoundé at the age of ten to live with his grandparents in the great equatorial rainforest. The lessons he learned there about the primacy of nature, the importance of village society to African identity and the uniquely poetic qualities of Bassa-the ancestral language he uses in his songs-underpin his life and resound through his work. They first took shape in Macase, the highly successful award-winning group he founded in Cameroon, and their expression matured after Bassy moved to France in 2005 with a string of acclaimed albums culminating in the 2016 release of Akö, whose track "Kiki" was chosen for Apple's iPhone 6 ad campaign.


1. Ngwa

2. Nguiyi

3. Kundé

4. Woñi

5. Mpodol

6. Sango Ngando

7. Maqui

8. Pochë

9. Bès Na Wé

10. Where We Go

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