Frank Bessem's Musiques d'Afrique

Back to Musiques d'Afrique
Retour aux Musiques d'Afrique

Back to Music of Cameroon
Wes featured in the charts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, UK and France (in the Netherlands for about 30 weeks, from the end of 1997 until spring 1998 and at number one position for a few weeks) with « Alané », and also high in the charts of Germany and the UK. With this huge hit, Wes became known to a larger public than usual for an African artist. But apart from the song, the artist remained oblivious to the public, for instance, few know that he is actually from Cameroon.

Wes started music as a kid by forming a group called Kwa Kwassi with other village youngsters. A decade later, in 1987, he reformed the group and performed with his kalimba instrument mainly for touristic audiences in his native Bafoun region. A year later he came to France where he co-founded a band Fakol with Benjamin Valfroy and Jo Sene. They performed in various European countries. In 1990, Jacques, Wes' brother and a talented guitarist, died. Their father died a few months later, following a motorbike accident. This left a profound impression on Wes.
In 1992, Wes went to the United States, where he eventually met Michel Sanchez with whom he worked together on the Deep Forest musical project. On his own albums, he makes a mix of dance idiom with African flavoured melodies. He is also responsible for the song « In Youpendi » of the Lion King 2 original sound track (1998).

For the Football African Cup of Nations 2013 he made a song with Zahra Universe, called « Sela Sela ».

Born: 15 January 1964, as Wes Madiko, in Mouataba (or Moutaba), Cameroon
Style: world music / dance / ambient


Title Year Label Remarks
Melowe 2010 Sony Music
Sinami 2000 Columbia / Sony Music SAN 498915-2
Welenga 1997 Columbia/Sony Music 485146-2

Page created February 1998

Copyright © 1997-2013 Frank Bessem | The Netherlands
Contact | Legal Notice | About This Site | Site Search Engine