BLICK BASSY / “Blick Bassy Mixtape”
Blick Bassy is from Camaroun. Born and raised in the capital city of Yaounde. When he was 10 years old, Bassy was sent to the small village of Mintaba in the center of the country where he lived for two years under the tutelage of his grandfather who initiated Bassy into the traditional culture.
Bassy was also naturally moved by the singing of his mother. Early on Bassy evidenced musical talent and when he was 17 he formed his first band, Jazz Crew. Later in 1996 Bassy formed Macase, an award-winning band in Camaroun. After ten successful years, Blick decided to move to Paris and develop his music.
This was an interesting and almost counterintuitive choice for a musician who chooses to sing in Bassa.
I am from the Bassa tribe and it is very important to sing in our dialects as you know in Cameroon we have 260 dialects and 2 national languages. If we don’t keep our languages in song especially, they tend to disappear. Another reason for me singing in my dialect is that it brings a new intonation in the melody.Additionally, rather than totally embracing world music, Bassy has also chosen to stick close to his traditional roots music. He moves thousands of miles away to more fully present himself to the world.
It is significant that this wonderful debut album was recorded in Mali, West Africa in the studio created by Salif Keita in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Bassy could have easily recorded in Paris but he didn’t. Blick Bassy is both steadfast and forward thinking. He believes in the traditions of Africa and urges his peers as well as the youth coming behind him to embrace their heritage.
His first album, Leman, is a beauty. Music to unwind at the end of the day, to relax to and to accompany meditation. Sensitive music. Tender music. Exactly the opposite of what one expects from a black man trying to establish himself in today’s world.
On Leman there is no posturing, no swagger, no hyper-masculinity. Here is a variant of black manhood that is not often highlighted in today’s world: the sensitive, gentle side of masculinity.
I believe that much of what passes for manhood in the black world today is simply an attempt to compensate for the diminishing of our social position that white male domination forced onto us. Invariably our over-emphasis on alpha-male characteristics is really an attempt to mask social and personal inadequacies. Fortunately Blick is not afraid to reveal a softer side of his masculinity.
When you listen to these songs, these lyrics suggesting that we embrace our people, our traditions, our social realities and develop ourselves in accordance with what is meaningful to us and our heritage, one cannot but be moved by a wonderful example of black male beauty.
All of the songs on the Mixtape are from Leman, Bassy’s 15-track debut album. Enjoy the soft side of African manhood.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Blick Bassy Mixtape Playlist
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 4:09 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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