‘With his haunting, soulful voice, Blick Bassy has become one of Africa’s most inventive and distinctive singer-songwriters.’ The Guardian
Imagine a West African artist with the tenderly subversive touch of Bon Iver, the haunting falsetto of Skip James, the razor-like mind of Akala, and the inventiveness of Moses Sumney: you’ve just imagined Blick Bassy.
In the slipstream of his acclaimed album Akö (2015), the Cameroonian singer has followed up with 1958 – a homage to one of his country’s resistance fighters, Ruben Um Nyobé, who was killed by the French in that year. It’s a powerful statement that sheds light on a little-known period of French colonial history.
Its focus is specific, but its themes – the bondage of neocolonialism, the need for heroes, the relevance of history and the search for true identity – are universal.
For Songlines Encounters 2020, Blick will perform an intimate duo set in Hall One with Arno de Casenave on keyboards/trumpet.
1958 was one of Songlines’ album picks of 2019. Find out more about the inspiration behind the music in this interview.