Blick Bassy

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Blick Bassy is a Cameroonian singer-songwriter. His song Kiki from the album Ako featured as the theme song for the worldwide launch of the iPhone 6 in 2015.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bassy was born in Mintaba, Cameroon, one of 21 offspring from his father, a police chief.[1] His mother was the youngest of his father's three wives.[2]

He began singing at the age of three, waking up at 5am everyday to rehearse with the other children of the village.[1]

Musical career[edit]

Bassy's band Macase toured Cameroon for ten years until winning the Prix Elysse Musique du Monde in 2001, which convinced Bassy to emigrate to Paris, France. After performing in small venues, he secured a recording deal for his first two albums.[1] The first, entitled Leman, was released in 2009, and was followed two years later by Hongo Calling.[2]

In 2015, he released the album Ako from which 15 seconds of Kiki were used in Apple's global advertising campaign for the iPhone 6.[2][1] Bassy says that the album was influenced by Skip James, the American blues musician.[3] Robin Denselow, writing in The Guardian, says: "...his new album echoes the delicacy of bossa nova along with reminders of his other influences, from African styles to the Mississippi blues of his hero Skip James. This is an easy-going but experimental set in which he plays guitar and banjo, sings in the Cameroonian language of Bassa, and is backed by the unlikely combination of cello and trombone. He starts by showing off his distinctive voice on a cool, drifting late-night ballad, but then changes direction as he swings into a breezy song that sounds like an African answer to a country-blues hoe-down, before mixing Congolese influences with impressive, bluesy guitar work. A charming, intriguing set."[4] David Honigmann in the Financial Times describes the album's genre as manouche jazz, and describes "lubricious trombone slides" on Kiki and the "relentless Gypsy vamping" of Wap Do Wap.[5]

He has toured globally performing at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in the Africa Utopia festival in 2015,[2] and at WOMAD in New Zealand in 2018.[6] He is due to play the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in July 2018.[7]

Bassy's lyrics are in Bassa, one of 260 Cameroonian languages.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f CNN, Sophie Eastaugh, for. "How an Apple ad changed Blick Bassy's life - CNN". CNN. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Barton, Laura (9 September 2015). "Blick Bassy: 'I want to expose the dangers of the immigration dream'". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Blick Bassy - WOMADelaide 2018". www.womadelaide.com.au. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ Denselow, Robin (18 June 2015). "Blick Bassy: Akö review – charming and wildly eclectic songs". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ Honigmann, David. "Blick Bassy: Akö — review". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Blick Bassy". WOMAD. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Blick Bassy". Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Retrieved 4 April 2018.