Soul music is a Universal celebration, in its own right. And, what makes it so? Well, simply put, it tells the story (his/herstory) of Black American people and the use of our musical journey, in the reclaiming of our humanity. Let us not forget that at one point, we were painted as being a “Soulless” people. Yet, isn’t it fascinating that the creation of Soul music served as the living, breathing, and performing truth in dismissing such a lie? What is it about Soul music, which permits a people to restore themselves in foreign territory? Perhaps, it was in our desire in simply embracing life. Could it have been that in our experience of pain, we began to treasure pleasure even more? The audacity for our people-Black American people-to still be alive, in the face of such horrendous realities? Perhaps, that is it. Maybe, through pain, we became even more creative, out of desire to experience our humanity when we were together, among our own. Perhaps, that is just it! And so, Soul music was born! As they say, the rest is, her/history!
Soul music is one of over 44 musical genres of Black American people (our her/history and culture), which has been carried throughout the vast majority of the world. Many people desire to dance in this story, even if they are oblivious to the her/history and people, giving birth to it-even if they choose to forget. Even if hatred lingers in a person’s heart, over the very essence of such music, rest assured that it cannot linger for long. That’s the way of the Soul! Soul music does that to you. Once you enter into its domain, you cannot remain in a negative state, for long. Soon, and sometime soon, you are forced to dance in its jubilant nature. Soul music forces a person to feel good. Even if one is in pain, the beat of its nature, forces the melting of any toxicity. Listening to Soul, dancing in Soul, creates an atmosphere of spiritual cleansing, and of mental purging! Wellness is channeled throughout every component and factor, within one’s Being. There is simply no way to remain in a mental heartbreak, during the given times of wellness. When the Soul kicks in, it kicks in, well, Baby!
As previously mentioned, Soul music has traveled through different parts of the world. This peculiar sound, from a peculiar people has been imitated and embraced. There are different cultures, which have even placed their unique languages into the performance of Soul music. Then, there are those nations and cultures, who have mixed their own particular musical genres into the very wellness of Soul music. Pause. Don’t go any further. Of course, we cannot move on, until we address that. Right here. Right now.
Whether it is rapping in Spanish, or singing Jazz and Funk in Japanese, people all over the world have utilized Black American music as perfumes of decoration for their own nation. We have also observed how people have used traditional instruments from their culture, in highlighting their presence within Black American, musical artistry. Such is very important as too often, there are the tendencies for people to use Black American music within their musical, cultural traditions, without identifying the people, whose culture it belongs to. Therefore, no matter where this peculiar sound comes to rest its head, its very name (and the people’s name) must always be articulated. When using the very name, Soul, just know that it comes from a people, who reclaimed, re-nourished, and restored their Souls in a land, which had been created to dehumanize their very Being. And yet, they were able to transform healing into a splendor of wellness.
Navigating into the world of Cameroon, legends continue to manifest their very wellness. Legends have a way of creating a certain awakening within the masses. They are crafted with the ability to awaken the inner fire within the Soul. It moves through endless periods of wellness in order to cleanse away the disharmony and imbalances, which have been stuck, within the mental and emotional psyche of the people. Musical legends share love! Legends utilize the beauty of their magical allure to awaken the Spirit of nourishment and care within others. They do not boast about their happiness, while others are neglected and malnourished. On the contrary, they use it for the beauty of others. Yes! They make sure to take care of their happiness for themselves. Of course, they ensure to nourish, themselves. Simultaneously, they also ensure to spread that love to others, whose Spirits have been neglected.
Another great musical legend was born in Cameroon. Cameroonian Mothers and Maidens seem to have a particular artistry in birthing lions and lionesses. Roaring boisterously, and elegantly, they come to manifest themselves, and their routine into a manner that is brave and audacious! When it comes to channeling that energy, there is one particular singer, who made it apparent, that he embraced Soul music, in combination with Cameroon’s traditional genre of Makossa. Such a person was none other than. . .
It is one of his iconic songs, “Soul Makossa.” What makes it so memorable is how it personifies the ability for Cameroonian people (and the African Continent, in general) to jump into Soul! Many on the Continent are not aware of the her/history of Black American people, and how we ended up where we were. Nevertheless, they feel the music. They feel that sound; that beat! They experience their cultural existence, within it. It feels holistic and well. Furthermore, it moves through one’s Soul and Being.
What is so eloquent about this song is how it combines two different cultural and musical styles. Yet, they seem to work out. One does not overshadow the other. In fact, it is apparent how both seem to work out, perfectly. Two seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum, which unite to create a harmonious vibe for both wonders. Makossa meets Soul! It’s a tale of two cultures and musical inspirations, coming together in order to understand each other. They bask in the pleasures of their dreams. And, in the performing of both musical styles, together, they come to celebrate, the familiar. What may have been lost or forgotten, during one particular time, comes to life, again. It is re-birthed again. And, a healing has taken place. Suddenly, the distance doesn’t seem, so distant, anymore!
The beat of the song, “Soul Makossa” is a familiar, and famous Soul/Funkadellic one! Play it at any Black American themed 70’s party, or the local, cookout, and one will come to see just how popular and dynamic it is. It’s a throw back! That’s 70’s era, which was like no other. Bell bottoms. Afros. You name it, honey. Donna Summers. Those classic jams go on and on. Not only do they always continue, but they move, and migrate, into different corners of the Earth. “Soul Makossa” is an example from the Cameroonian persuasion, into how one perfume from Black America’s gardens have come to lay in tranquility with the Cameroonian paradise. It is truly a fascinating wonder to partake in! Furthermore, it is a euphoric experience, when one is able to. . .observe!
In the video for “Soul Makossa,” by MANU DIBANGO, there are different treasures to be seen. We examine school children, who take time to enjoy the performance of imaginary, Universal rhythms, known as, dance. there is the communal get together of gathering around into dance’s rhythm. We see a culture of festive performances, with the very artistry of adorning oneself in one geometric design and style of Universal aesthetics; while performing in those hidden beats of the land, at hand. We see lions, and their royalty, as they patiently observe Earth’s natural wonders. The silhouette of elephants is crafted for the celebration and wonder of African treasures. Wild dogs stare back in anticipation. A lion in his vibrant dark brown and black mane stares back at whomever is photographic him; recognizing the possible balance between humans and their connection in the animal kingdom. And lastly, we see the mystical enchantment of nighttime, and the celebration, within her womb.
There is an intriguing level of tenderness, within the song, while excitement navigates throughout the land. A cross cultural connection takes place. The treasures of this very song creates a realistic dream for a Black American to travel into one wonderland in Cameroon. And for a Cameroonian to navigate into Black American gardens. It’s a perfect musical recipe!
At the very end of the song, one can feel the intricacies of moving through different trajectories for the wellness of others. It is a musical invitation-a call to feel good, in order to celebrate life. It doesn’t matter where a person is on their personal journey; where they live, their career, and mental wellness! Wherever you are on that particular journey, just dance into the wellness of Soul music. If you happen to be Cameroonian, add Makossa to the mix. Yet, whatever you do, just feel the Soul, Baby! Things always turn out in the end, when the Soul’s, involved!
To listen to more music from one of Cameroon’s legendary musicians and singers, you can click on the link, below: