April 24, 2024

Nexdim Empire

Camer Entertainment House


In a conversation with PoiseSocial , Award-winning musician Salatiel spoke elaborately about the lack of sound design and mentorship. He pointed that these are problems young artists are facing in the Cameroon music industry. 

“In most thriving music industries, there are a few people that do the sound design and most of the popular artists are attached to these people”

Salatiel cited that, in America, before Justin Bieber popped up, he was linked to certain music sages who designed his sound. Likewise in Nigeria, Don Jazzy is one of those who designs the sound for artists linked to him.

” This is what is lacking in Cameroon not just at the level of artists, also producers.

Sound design is not just about language; French and English. It goes beyond. Cameroon is more than bilingual. There is a language that is neither French nor English but everyone understands. For instance, “Ndolo” is neither French nor English. 

He underpinned that although the word is in the Duala language, it is commonly understood by everyone in Cameroon. Everyone understands “Je te Ndolo” . 

“Sound design is how you position yourself in the market. Whether you like it or not, it’s not about you but about the people that are going to lift you up. You cannot be an artist in Cameroon and expect that your primary fanbase is not Cameroon. 

You can’t be a young artist and think that you’re going to do Ghanaian music for them to adopt you. Most of the artists that have made it started from Cameroon before being lifted up.

I did not need to sing R&B for Beyoncé to contact me. If I was doing R&B music, she wouldn’t have contacted me. I’m not sure Akon would’ve contacted Jovi if he was doing American-sounding Hip hop. 

 Salatiel said when he worked with other producers in Bronx – New York, he realized that what made him different was his musical approach, spiced with originality.

Salatiel added that even when artists are doing contemporary music, they should incorporate their identity to make them special. He said he’s amazed that young artists from Bamenda are not fusing sounds from legends like Ni Ken. In essence, Cameroon has a rich music bank that artists can borrow from. 

“What’s special that will wow people?

Young artists have understood how the trending artists do their music but they don’t know the background. For instance, Chike’s new song with Mo bad is an old song. 

Is it a Grammy that you want to achieve ? There are people from Cameroon that had that before you. 

Nigerians developed their sound from different influences. There was a time their music was influenced from Ndombolo”. 

Salatiel compared music by James Brown and Manu Dibango. Their sounds were designed from funk. The difference is everybody tuned it to their culture. 

“If you search artists of the 70s you will discover each of the trending artists had music that sounded like funk” . 

“Music is like pr0stitution. It’s an old craft. It’s so old that there’s nothing new, you’ll be able to do. The only thing you can do is combinations. You get respected when your craft is put next to the masters. 

The biggest artists right now are those doing music that sounds like something really old”. 

He cited Bruno Mars, Burna Boy.

In a nutshell, Salatiel advocates for originality and identity, even if artists are copying trending genres. He exemplified bottle dance that can be seamlessly fused with Amapiano.