Julius Essoka, Musician from Douala
When I returned to Cameroon in January, I hoped to meet him. He braved the ridiculous traffic jams that are now a mainstay in Douala, to come visit us in our Deido neighborhood.
Julius Essoka works for MTN, in communications, by day. By night he is a talented musician. I brought back his CDs and mailed them to another African Twitter friend, Akenaata Hammagaadji, who has a weekly African music program: First World Music on
Of course, first I listened to the CDs, and really liked some of the songs. I can't label them--some are Makossa-style, some reminiscent of African-jazzy House Music: it's quite a mix of styles.
I interviewed him via email to find out more about him.
. The next one is anticipated for 2013.
At this point, he does not have musical influences per se, anymore, but he is inspired by those who remain wise and humble, despite having great career success. His collaborations are with old friends, who have become like family: the late Tom Yom's (in duet in Silane, he also wrote 2 songs for him; Lo dumea and Ebudu), Gino Sitson (also based in the U.S.) Fred Doumbe (who works with Les Nubians, amongst others), Xavier Mesa, and more.
Julius' musical style: African in general. His philosophy is to enjoy life and to make others happy; to lend a helping hand to those in need. His other passions in life are writing (he wrote novels, poems and children's tales) and... sleep: he doesn't go out much, so sleeping is his pleasure!
To hear some of Julius Essoka's music: http://juliusessoka.bandcamp.com/ (from Epass'i n’Epassi, my personal favorite).
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Juliusessoka (you can see scenes of the city of Douala)
Meet him on Twitter @JuliusEssoka and on Facebook at Julius Essoka.