1.29.2015

The Soundtrack to Peace Corps Life


Many of my most memorable moments in Cameroon have occurred with the backdrop of some popular Cameroonian or Nigerian song. Car rides to and from post, laying on the beach in Kribi, sitting at shack-like bar, on the train to and from Yaounde - no matter where you are in Cameroon, there's always music playing. 2014 had some 'unique' songs and some really great hits. To give you a glimpse into what's usually playing on the radio here in Cameroon, I've compiled a list of what I believe to be the top/most-played songs of 2014 here. But if you aren't satisfied with these few songs, check check out the Top 10 Cameroon songs of 2014 over at OkayAfrica, and also the Top 10 Urban Artists to Watch Out For. WIth no further ado...

Mani Bella's song "Pala Pala" was probably the most played song in Cameroon this year, without a doubt. While she was a huge hit in the Grand South, she was even quite popular up in the Adamawa - so much so that I often catch my neighborhood girls singing "Pala Pala" while fetching water. 


Rapper Stanley Enow's song“Hein Père" was released in 2013, but it was still a huge hit in 2014. He even gave a concert in Lomie! His song was so popular, that now shirts, t-shirts, and motos are branded with the phrase "Hein Pere".

Coco Argentée's “Fallait Pas” enjoyed much radio play this year, much to Cameroonian's pleasure. Sadly, I found this song highly obnoxious, and I hated it even more when I got punched in the face while this song was playing on the car ride back to Lomie one night, which was the incident that forced me to be evacuated from my village. But, despite that, it is still a much loved song of 2014.



Okay, okay. Chidinma is Nigeria, but part of Cameroon is practically Nigeria, so let's just consider her one of our own. I think this song is super catchy, and the video quite adorable. 

   
Again, Davido is Nigerian, but his songs are well-loved in Anglophone Cameroon and in Douala and Yaounde. "Skelewu" is most definitely one of my favorites of 2014.

  "Aye" is another Davido song, but it was an often played song at the end of 2014, and once again - one of my favorites.

 

"Dorobucci" is a collaborative song among various popular Nigerian artists. The song gets much airplay in the Grand South of Cameroon. The word 'Dorobucci' means "anything that is fun, cool, awesome, or fantastic", according to Don Jazzy.

And I can't talk about Cameroonian music without repping the entire Grand North of Cameroon - whose music is drastically different than the Grand South. Pretty much all Fulfulde music sounds exactly the same - it's all extremely auto-tuned, all high pitched, and nearly all music videos are the same, which feature weddings and people sticking money on performers' foreheads. The song above is your stereotypical Fulfulde song that plays constantly on the phones of all Northerners.

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