News Brief
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An opponent of current Cameroonian president waves a national flag in front of French riot policemen during a demonstration against Cameroon's President Paul Biya.

Cameroon Protests Call for End to President Paul Biya’s 40-Year Rule

Cameroon's peaceful protests against President Paul Biya's 40-year rule have been violently dispersed by security forces with one protester reportedly killed.

Cameroonian protestors have reportedly been violently dispersed by security forces with teargas and water cannons in the economic capital of Doula. According to EWN, civilians, university students and opposition parties have called for countrywide protests against President Paul Biya's relentless 40-year rule over Cameroon. Numerous videos of clashes between demonstrators and security forces have been circulating on social media since early Tuesday morning.

Demonstrators have expressed dissatisfaction with Biya's government and have called for electoral reforms. Biya implemented a one party system in the 1980 but converted the country to a multiparty system much later. Despite being elected democratically in the past, opposition parties have alleged electoral irregularities and corruption of ballots. Opposition leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, Maurice Kamto, led Tuesday's demonstration and is said to be responsible for organising all other opposition parties to protest what has been dubbed as "President Biya Must Go Peaceful March".

At the center of Cameroon's conflict is the linguistic divide between English speakers and French speakers which is a remnant of colonial rule. These conflicts started violent uprisings in 2017. English separatists in the Anglophone region killed local mayor Ashu Prisley Ojong, this killing followed an attempt to boycott his election under Biya's legislation. The separatist group has to date, killed over 3000 civilians. Biya, a well known loyalist to France, continuously refused to call a ceasefire with the separatist group but in July of this year, a government envoy was sent to initiate peace talks ahead of the nation's December election.

Kamto spoke to international news agency DW before the demonstrations took place. He alluded to Biya's presidency as a dictatorship saying, "Have you ever seen a dictatorship consider a demonstration as legal? What law have we violated?" Kamto is also reportedly facing house arrest following yesterday's protests. One protester has reportedly been killed when he clashed with security forces on the way to barracade Kamto's house.

Music Brief
Image: Music video still via Youtube

Rising Star Libianca Shares Visuals to Hit 'People (Check On Me)'

The Cameroonian-American's breakout single and accompanying video has us right in our feels.

Rising star and former contestant on the US version ofThe Voice, Libianca, has released the visuals to her viral hit "People (Check on Me)." The 22-year-old singer and songwriter's 5K Records/Sony Music Entertainment UK/RCA Records produced breakout hit has quickly become a global fan favorite, both for her sultry vocals, and the emotional relatability it offers.

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Jeune Lio & Magasco Navigate the Pains of Love In Their New EP

Dig into the Cameroonian artists' collaborative release, Love In Transition.

From getting over losing a partner to navigating desire, interest, and happiness again, Love in Transition, a new joint EP from Cameroonian-born stars Jeune Lio and Magasco, touches on it all.

The 3-song EP feels like a confession from a hopeless romantic frustrated with how love is compulsive and fragile, especially when intense devotion guides their expressions. Jeune Lio and Magasco display the purity of these thoughts against a well-composed instrumental mash-up. Their cohesive compositions explore feelings that are often hidden, insisting that listeners play it on repeat.

"Lady" uses upbeat percussions to serenade the listener's soul, while "Njoka" captures the confusion and hesitation one goes through as they lust over new interests while still reminiscing over their last lover. "Strawberry" brings in Iguocho's sultry vocals to compose a tale of desire, attraction and romance.

Based in Abidjan, Jeune Lio takes on creative and artistic direction under his music label Monda Life. The Cameroonian DJ and co-founder of the Bain de Foule collective creates passionate mixes that transcend international borders from Dakar to Paris. Love in Transition is a magnificent follow up to his highly body of work A Night in Cocody.

We caught up with Jeune Lio to discuss the new EP and his future plans.

Jeune Lio.Image courtesy of the artist.

Tell me a little bit about how you got started as DJ and A&R in the music business.

I started doing it back 2013/2014, I was managing DJs in Paris and I wanted to start DJing, but at the time DJ equipment was so expensive. In 2013 my girlfriend offered me the one of the first affordable controllers and the rest is history. I think as a DJ you're kind of an A&R, but you don’t know that yet.

In 2019 I started thinking about doing music and for me it's simple: connecting the beatmaker and singer, with me as the strategist and producer behind that collaboration. In 2020, during the covid lockdown, I documented myself, talked with a lot of music executives, and also talked to my cousin who is a well know A&R in France, which gave me confidence to drop my first single, start producing and working with Ivorian artist.

What’s been the best part of being able to produce and release your own music so far?

I think it’s the whole process. Finding the right beat that will give people chills. Then the production process... recording, arranging the track, thinking about the storytelling of the track or project. And finally, when your music is out, the satisfaction that your idea has become real.

Magasco.Image courtesy of the artist.

How did this joint EP with Magasco come about?

Magasco was the first artist to trust my vision and trust me. So we knew we wanted to work on a joint EP. That idea became real when Magasco’s manager, Eva, told us that we should really do it—and we did. The funny thing is that when Magasco was recording, him and I were going through some stuff in our personal love life. That’s how Love in Transition came to life.

Who would you love to work with in the future in both in the Francophone and Anglophone scenes?

To be honest, I’d love to work with the best beatmakers like Sey Sey, DSK,Bgrz and P.Priime. With their crazy beats I could put spotlights on upcoming artist from both the Francophone or Anglophone scenes. My dream is to work with Tiwa Savage.

Tell me more about the record label that you own Monda Life, and the artists you’re working with under that imprint.

Monda Life is the label I create in 2020 because I wanted my music and the music of the people that I produce to have a home. I mainly work with R&B artists because it's a genre that I love and I think R&B will become of the main genres in Africa. The fusion between Afro and R&B is so crazy.

Photo: The Sundance Institute

In his Imaginative Debut Feature, Walé Oyéjidé Brings Together Elements of His Life’s Work

The Nigerian American director has long used the tools of his multi-hyphenate trade to expand the ways Africans are seen. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, 'Bravo, Burkina!' gives him a larger canvas on which to paint.

Whether it’s employing asylum seekers to model his designs or adding his flair to a piece of pivotal clothing that the late Chadwick Boseman wore in Black Panther, Walé Oyéjidé has always been about using whatever elements he can to push the ways Africans have traditionally been portrayed. What he hinted at in his short film After Migration: Calabria (available on the Criterion Channel), which tells the story of two refugees settling in Italy, he now gets to explore further in the feature debut, Bravo, Burkina!

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News Brief
Photo by C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images

Baaba Maal Releases New Single 'Agreement'

Senegal's Baaba Maal shares a new song ahead of his upcoming album, Being.

Renowned Senegalese singer and guitaristBaaba Maalhas shared a new single called "Agreement." The song is the fourth track on his upcoming album Being, which is slated to be released on March 31st, 2023.

"Agreement," a percussion-heavy record produced by Johan Hugo, fuses both ancient and modern rhythms, and continues Baaba Maal's ongoing musical quest to connect the past and the present, while making lasting cultural and emotional connections through music.

While discussing the record, Baaba Maal dissects the meaning of the song and explains that it draws inspiration from day-to-day relationships.

“Agreement is about the relationships you make in your life, whether they are with friends, musicians, neighbors, people you love,” says Baaba Maal. ”When you say to people, we are going on this journey through life together, through good times and bad, you should be very sure that you mean it.”

The Senegalese legend continues breaking down the meaning of the song by explaining it through a cultural lens.

“It’s based on a proverb from my community — to say no at the beginning to the idea that we will always be together is much stronger and more noble that beginning a relationship and then cutting it short later, maybe forty years later. Be mature enough to take seriously an agreement you make with someone about the future, about your souls being connected,” says Maal.

After a seven-year music hiatus, "Agreement" is one of Maal's new releases, and he will continue to share his music in the coming months with fans. In addition to releasing his upcoming album, the Poor-born icon will be performing at the Barbican in London, for the first time in 20 years on May 30th, 2023.

Maal'sBeing is a riveting extension of his pioneering, transcendent, and inspiring four-decade legacy that has blended the traditional and the innovative, the acoustic and the electronic over the years. For being, Maal reportedly partnered with long-time producer Johan Hugo, and recorded the body of work in Brooklyn, London and Senegal. Watch the visualizer for "Agreement" below.

Listen to Baaba Maal "Agreement" below.

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