Today's FREE Song is by Coco Mbassi, She is Cameroonian, but she is principally based in Paris. Winner of the 1996 Radio France Internationale Decouvertes 'prize in the African music category, she is both an author and a composer.
Coco's songs tell stories often based on personal life experiences that she recalls. It's these stories and feelings that make her songs what they are today, and a great deal of these memories are made up of those old sepia-colored (black and white) photographs from home.
With a postgraduate degree in translation she began singing lead and chorus in the African gospel choir "Les Cherubins" and as a backing vocalist, she collaborated with various artists like Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Manu Dibango and Ray Lema.
The words to the songs of her mother tongue, Duala, are often found combined with jazzy, minimalist and classical arrangements, where vocal polyphony and African rhythm continue to play an important role. Coco Mbassi composes her own pieces and writes the words. Although her husband - who teaches as classical double-bassist - exercises a strong influence on her music writing, in her childhood she was permanently exposed at home to a wide variety of Händel, Makossa and jazz bigbands.