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Sally Nyolo and the Original Bands of Yaoundé - Studio Cameroon

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Album Review

Although it has her name on it and she's involved in many of the tracks, Studio Cameroon isn't Sally Nyolo's album. Instead, it's the product of her return to Cameroon, where she sought out and recorded new talent. There's a vast range of music here, from the celebratory Afro-pop of "Marche Mokolo" to the near-gospel feel of the voices on "Pek," where Nyolo combines with La Voix Du Cénacle. "Bikoutski" is Nyolo's only solo track, handily evoking that Cameroonian style. Elsewhere she takes a hand in the compositions, but the performances are by the artists themselves, like Mr. Eddy's soulful "Obili Eba." There's an insistence to much of the music here, like Mama Andela's urgent "To Le Bepe." But others lay back to excellent effect, such as Mandeng or D'Embazo Star De Nkometou. With this disc, Nyolo has used her name to help bring a number of very talented artists into the international spotlight.


Born: 1965 in Eyen-Meyong, Cameroon

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Sally Nyolo is one of the most successful vocalists to emerge from the jungles of Cameroun. Although she's lived in Paris since the age of 13, Nyolo remains tied to the tribal rhythms and musical traditions of her birthplace. As she explained during a 1998 interview, "I try to be as rootsy as the (Eton) language would like me to be because it's a language we speak with images… I try to be like old singers used to do traditionally in Eton. I try to do like them, speak with image, give my best feeling...
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Sally Nyolo and the Original Bands of Yaoundé - Studio Cameroon, Sally Nyolo
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