Afro pop world music
Price Range: $400 - $5000
What to Expect
Abstract Vocalist, percussionist, Multi instrumentalist: acoustic guitar, kora, and ngoni African traditional lute harps, accordion, piano, kalimba, African rain forest flute, alto saxophone, harmonica
Debut album in 5 Top 100 Best albums of 2016 Charts including WorldBeatUK Top 10 Best albums of 2016. (link hidden)
Sings in four languages. French, English, Bassa and Douala Cameroonian dialects.
Just wrote my first Spanish love song
“Hot chocolate for the ears, Moken’s vocals are silky, rich and totally moreish … The man has style, sass and a vocal range even Mariah Carey would kill for.” Alice Mills, Pop Matters
Afro pop artist and balladeer Moken makes mystical music that celebrates the diverse, vibrant melodies, harmonies and heartbeats of world music. His personal, poetic lyrics demonstrate his deep talent as a storyteller and help him connect to audiences through his experiences. Moken’s intricate recordings and captivating live performances magnify the extensive range of his acrobatic voice, which Killakam of Okay Africa calls, “the biggest voice you’ve heard this year.” It soars amidst inventive, playful arrangements plentiful with acoustic guitar, drums, xylophone, and rare percussion and stringed instruments from around the globe.
A Cameroonian who sounds like an otherworldly combination of Manu Dibango and Nina Simone." - Johnny Leather, Mecca Lecca
Moken’s work features a spectrum of time-traveling sounds that reflect his passion for a wide range of musical styles and instruments. His debut album, Chapters of My Life (Bantu Records) is a collection of hand-crafted songs that bring his many travels to life and play with the multitude of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic textures that have influenced his artistry. Recorded in both Paris and Atlanta, this spiritual album also includes the talents of world music superstars Jean LaMoot (Ali Farka Toure, Salif Keita, Vanessa Paradis), Blick Bassy, Pascale Danae, Baptiste Brondy and Roselyne Belinga. James Nadal of All About Jazz says that “amidst a backdrop of African sensibilities, [Moken] represents the new face of those seeking a fresh start, with their own dreams to follow.”
“When [Moken] sings, a lifetime of passion emerges from his voice … Moken’s vibrant music and zest for life is a needed reminder to never stop dreaming.” – Johnny Leather, Mecca Lecca
Moken’s delight in music took root when he felt a magical connection as his father sang call-and-response tales of his village, encouraging him to contribute his own renditions of the choruses. At the same time, his mother’s fascination with different religions filled his childhood home with hymns, and he learned village dances from around his home township in Cameroon and to connect spiritually to the notes through movement. As his worldview expanded, he soaked up all forms of eastern, western and even popular American music, falling in love with intense, penetrating songs featuring powerful climaxes across rock, Afro-pop, blues and many other genres, performed by expressive singers such as Nat King Cole, Julio Iglesias, Manu Dibango, Van Morisson and James Brown. Moken continued to sing and invent his own melodies and as a teenager, crafted his first guitar from carved wood and light plywood with nylon fishing strings as well as wooden African xylophones and different homemade percussion instruments in order to conjure music through both his voice and his fingertips.
This slender almost spindly man has a captivating voice that ranges from bellowing baritone to piercing falsetto. His modulating delivery is somewhat reminiscent of the Avant- garde sound of jazz singer Leon Thomas, although it is more warbling than Thomas’s yodel style." -Huffingtonpost, Ralph A Miriello.
Now, Moken plays acoustic guitar, piano, Ngoni, Kora, flute and Kalimba as well as the alto saxophone and accordion, all of which help him make limitless music that incorporates a variety of global textures. Moken’s love of traditional African dance music and rap has also inspired him to adopt a form of harmonic talk singing, which he blends with spoken word poetry and unexpected rhythms in order to inhabit different characters within his songs. His heartfelt, earthy compositions have always come to him through the strike of a single note or chord, triggered by a spontaneous feeling.
A natural collaborator, Moken has performed and recorded with many renowned artists and musicians, from his home province in Africa, to France and the United States. He has worked with acclaimed producers and artists including Manuel Nguesso and Marcus Belgrave and has even toured and recorded with rock bands. Moken’s original creations have been heard on radio stations in the U.S., Canada and beyond, and he has shared his magnetic performances in clubs, concert halls and other venues worldwide.
Chapters of My Life has been praised by critics and has been featured on many “Best of 2016” lists, including Mad Distraction, African Revolutions, OTHER LISTS:
“In his sound, you’ll hear hints of various African styles, from afrobeat percussion and the funky energy of makossa, to the desert blues guitar sound Mali great Ali Farka Toure. There’s also clear links to the soulful jazz sound of Nina Simone, and Van Morrison’s synthesis of rock, jazz and folk. There’s also rhythmic connections to samba and rumba … This synthesis of styles results in a record that beautiful reflects Moken’s own upbeat spirit.” – Johnny Leather, Mecca Lecca
“His vibrato is so powerful that at times you might think you are completely immersed in a holy garden with the richness and diversity of his musical universe.” – de Aodren, Djolo
“Chapters of My Life is a debut album, but Moken arrives fully formed … there’s something more: a complex amalgam of thoughts, experiences and sounds. It feels like an album a lifetime in the making.” – Peter Moore, African Revolutions
The album reinforces Moken’s belief in the power of a song to transform the spirit. When describing it, he explains, “Chapters of My Life is not just answers to my own prayers, but also a vehicle – a medicine to ease the individual journeys of those to whom I sing.”
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