Destination Yaoundé, Cameroon. This is where Justin Itoko was born, it is where he grew up, and it is where the person who became Just Wôan now lives. Starting at age 15, he discovered music by attending the choir. At first, his tastes leaned toward soul and R&B. Over time he became more interested in the great African artists of the 1990s and 2000s, including Ismaël Lô, Lokua Kanza, Richard Bona and Fela Kuti.
From his beginnings in the choir, Just Wôan strove to perfect his singing and guitar techniques along with other instruments, including bass, keyboard and percussions. But above all there is his voice, gentle and just, a voice that works relentlessly.
Little by little, he made a place for himself in the Yaoundé musical world, and then across Cameroon. He developed his own style, between soul and Afrobeat, a symbiosis between sub-Saharan musical sounds and the more urban sounds of blues and soul. Following years of work and reflection, his firm album, Des Reines, was released in 2011, earning him critical acclaim in the media and giving him the opportunity to perform in festivals of international scope.
Then he settled in Québec, adding effortlessly to its multicultural wealth. Just Wôan offers in his shows a journey across all the musical worlds that have made him what he is. While at first he was accompanied simply by bass, drums and a traditional African instrument, he now dares to add pedals and a looper , enabling him to vary his compositions and to superimpose instruments.
He can now belt out a funky piece after a ballad and then get the audience dancing to fiery beats. Whether singing in French, Bassa, Duala, Ewondo or pidgin, Just Wôan has a knack for taking listeners to his homeland, immersing them fully in this other culture. Since he came to Québec, two discs have appeared: Ikomo in 2015 and A Second Chance in 2016.