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Julius ESSOKA

18/02/2010 - Lu 1687 fois
  • Note moyenne : 2.21/5
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Note moyenne : 2.2/5 (14 notes)


Julius ESSOKA

Born in Douala (Cameroon), I spent my childhood and adolescence at Bonaberi, a calm and nice-living quarter.
At home, waking-up was similar to a rhythmical ritual that turned into an involuntary artistic conditioning reflex of my father; a tape recorder and turn table of German origin (precisely the Grundig, for whom it was the most solid brand). Every 4.45AM begins by his music selection that goes till 7.30AM the time for me to turn the set off before going to school. In the meantime, he must have already gone to work and I will have changed the volume and programming. All the new tunes, curiosities and selections for animations and festivities were taken into account. There was also a microphone to announce a song or simply to record on Sundays, poems and songs that the children had learn at school... I grew up in that routine till the age 22 when I left the family home. By the age of 12, I started with 3 neighbours _ Richard & Alex Ndoumbe _ as well as Guy Toto _ to frequenting rehearsals of the only cabaret of the locality _ situated 200 metres from home; Venus Night Club _ that later on became the Columbia Night Club. There could be found spotlight artists that would come to have more concentration while preparing their shows; Pierre Didi Tchakounte and Andre Marie Tala were amongst the first I saw there. The bouncer would make us comfortable in a corner of the room. At the end of the rehearsal, we would go back home to do practice the repertoire with instruments we had made at our best; drums and percussions, a guitar and a piece of wood as microphone for me. We would above take advantage of our parents’ absence for being a musician in those days meant being a vagabond! When the cabaret closed down, a Nigerian occupied the premises by a well stocked music store from where American, European and Cameroonian music were alternately and noisily diffused. After listening, we would go back home to try them. This took us more than four year of sharing together. 1982 – I meet childhood friend who has become a guitarist named Ndema System. He likes the way I sing and instead of guitar courses I requested for, he proposes to form a band that would play something different from what radio stations are diffusing, and above all, to play our own songs. One of his friends Richard Bona, a bass player later joins us… and the trio would rehearse every Saturday. This adventure will last for three years with the same consistency and pleasure of playing music. 1983 – I meeting Fred Doumbe, a calm and humble multi instrumentalist. This collaboration lead to my first demos with the pioneer of home studios in Cameroon. Knowledge and riguour were his watch words. Then came opportunities to improve my own music with groups like Ding Deng Dong Jazz Quartet and Azîk Bantou 1992 – I meet the late Tom Yom’s. Professionalism was my aim, but we rather shared brotherhood, calling each other “Ah Frèr’am” (Bros!). I have shared the floor, recorded, composed and written. 1994 – I leave for Europe with Tom Yom’s. I quickly found my way with Afro Pop groups (Mou Djeri, Melodic Vibration, The Fantastix), before forming with a Spanish friend of mine(Xavier Mesa), a band band of afro rock blend dubbed Ultra Freak an’ Mixture to promote the Afro Sauvage concept. Meet people and exchanging ideas was the most important aspect of these years. 1998 – November: a 5 track CD is released, blending techno music, rock and African rhythms;Jokin’at home ! for the Afro Rock concept (The tangling beat of Africa ). Back in Cameroon, I discover anew the wealth of our rhythms and start designing projects, giving a helping hand here and there, while finalizing the product you have right now, Epass’i n'Epassi..

Julius Essoka
BP: 18 403 Douala - Cameroun
Telephone: (00237) 77 55 02 84  or/ou  (00237) 77 16 08 91
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