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P Brodaz: The Buzz

Posted In: Hype by Albert Arrey

PBRODaz official

American based Pbrodaz is a Cameroonian duo with a love for Afrobeat that shows through in their music. The brothers, aka Flexy and Dexzy, moved to the United States a few years ago and have moved full speed ahead with their music.  They recently released a fast breaking hit called, ‘Do it your way‘, that blew up virally to give them over 100,000 views in a week.  The uplifting song gets you moving as the brothers sing about doing your best and persevering through the hard times. Their album, ‘Do it Your Way‘ was released a few weeks ago in  December.

P Brodaz have recently paid a first official visit to Cameroon as artists, just to make their presence felt in the country as it is in the US where they are based. They have some of their songs already playing on national radios and TVs. they have promised to stage a come-back in the months ahead, in what we could term a ‘premier-sortie’, with concerts in several regions of the country. Kudos!

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nicoleIn a recent interview granted to a Cameroonian site, makossa singer  Nicole Mara contends that other forms of music are copies of Cameroonian music. Such a declaration is not very strange and joins a long list of other such declarations by other

Cameroonian musicians. This situation begs the question whether the waning popularity of Cameroonian music and musicians hasn”t made these artists feel inferior to their international counterparts from Nigeria or Côte d”Ivoire? Or is just resentment from losing the favour of Cameroonians – who are normally supposed to be their number one fans? These questions arise because when quizzed about the dwindling fortunes of Cameroonian music, many Cameroonian artists make statements like Nicole Mara”s. Be it an inferior complex or resentment, one thing is clear: our artists are not happy with playing second fiddle to international acts. But strange enough, there seem to be doing nothing about it except make hollow declarations like Nicole Mara”s. Most are still trapped in the 70″s when makossa ruled supreme. Wake up people and smell the roses. Even if other music forms get their rise from makossa, our artists should endeavour to be in sync with the sounds of the times which happen not to be makossa. Let me ask again: do Cameroonian artists have an inferiority complex or are they just resentful or ah hah are they just frustrated with the situation?

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It is not uncommon to hear some Cameroonian musicians lace their singing with French if they sing primarily in English or English if they sing mainly in French. This has made some budding artists to think singing in two or more languages is an asset. Permit me think it is  not. While every artist is free to sing as he/she pleases, it is hoped that the reason for this is not to reach a wider audience.  If this is the reason then there are at least two problems with this way of seeing things.Firstly, such a view is implicitly based on the view that linguistic diversity is  an obstacle to the exportation of music. This is certainly not the case when we know that Cameroonian artists like Richard Bona are popular although they sing in their native languages. Secondly, if  artists believe that singing in more than one language will get them acclaim in more than a community then they are underlooking the power of their talent to enable them connect with people with whom do not share the same language. Let’s remember that music can still exist even without words being uttered. Furthermore,when an artist has a limited view  of his/her talent then it will be difficult to convince a producer. This is because as business people, producers would  like to invest in somebody whose music can echo loud even in communities speaking a different language. Budding musicians should avoid having such a defeatist attitude because it might cage their talent. They should endeavour to borrow many leaves from artists  like Henry Dikongue and a host of others who all sing in their native languages but are heard worldwide. This issue equally concerns other artists who sing in their native tongue but often inject French and English into their songs. If you sing only in your mother tongue and are talented, you will still connect with people. Language should  not be seen as an obstacle to how high an artist can soar because talent and only talent is the  propeller of every carrier.

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Let’s be sincere with each other because although the truth hurts it is indispensable; most of all the down -and- trying as well as the up -and- coming Cameroonian musicians have no idea what music is all about yet they want to stand in front of crowds and entertain. It’s no fault of theirs and they shouldn’t be ashamed of their handicap; we live in a country where not much thought and worth is given to art forms like music so those with music dreams can only count on themselves to get to their destination. But the problem is that music in its present -day configuration needs far more than passion, desire or dreams to be handled brilliantly. Simply put, to be a musician today you must master basics like learning to play an instrument, choosing a style, negotiating  a deal and much more. Even when you can dabble or use  beatmaking  software to produce your own songs, what do you do when you must play live? You cannot be the artist, manager, stylist and more simultaneously. This reality equally concerns filmmakers. The Cameroonian filmmaking “industry” (I don’t think we have an industry yet) is littered with people who have always wanted to be either in front of  or behind the camera. But you cannot make a film just by standing in front of or behind a camera. You need to understand lighting, editing, shots, and more. We have already said we live in a society where the arts aren’t held in high esteem so what must we do?  Although, schools for art aren’t common, people with these aptitudes are. Go close to someone who can play a guitar,piano or something and learn. Or why not go online. They are free videos from which you can learn. But please, if you’ve always dreamt of being a star, don’t think of how passionate you are, rather think of how much learning you are supposed to do because in entertainment passion isn’t enough. It can be if you want to remain mediocre. Hope you disagree. Lol

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The  recent demise of  famed r’n’b diva Whitney Houston  seems to have caste a spell on the world. All over , the Whitney stock seems to be at an all- time high. In Cameroon, this worldwide fervour manifested itself through tributes,small and meagre to the fallen star. This is a good initiative though and it got me wondering. Who celebrates or will celebrate our fallen stars ? If yes,is it done with the same pomp and pageantry, scale and sales ? The Cameroonian music family has suffered its  fair share of losses; Eboa LotinFrancis Dom, Tom Yoms just to name a few. Yet these legends have progressively slipped away from the public memory because few , if not nobody, border to keep their flame burning. Despite their immeasurable contribution to our socio-cultural heritage, those who matter and should have failed to resurrect their memories  and keep them alive in every generation. Even those artists who owe and profess loyalty to these our fallen stars have failed to give them the due consideration by way of tribute, memorial concerts and etc. If they have, other actors like journalists and the State  have failed  to give these events  their deserved importance. I agree with you,Whitney Houston was a global icon. Agree with me that Francis Dom and Eboa Lotin were local icons whose   popularity reached all the nooks and crannies of this nation. But on the anniversary of their deaths, do recognition and tribute sprout from every corner of this country. Do cameroonian artists come together with the same passion to celebrate them as they would do or are doing for others. If we do not  raise our fallen stars ,who will? Justin Bieber ? I don’t think so. Why should we keep respecting people who do not have us on their compass. Why do we keep abandoning those who had us in their sights while they were here ? We all share responsibility for protecting and promoting the legacy of our stars. Feel free to disagree or better still agree after watching this Eboa Lotin classic.

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