The best of world music

Nya Soleil


Biography :

Born in the New Bell district of Douala, Cameroon, songwriter, composer and guitarist Nya Soleil developed an Afro multi-groove sound, the result of a musical vision originating in his Bamileke 6/8 roots that he shaped into an invigorating Afro-jazz, bend-skin and mangambé groove in search of other worlds (Afrobeat, reggae, salsa, funk). As his name suggests, musical energy from the sun is rooted in his warm voice and in his guitar playing that lets you savour the melodies and dances of Africa, calling for the unity of peoples. As a teenager, he began playing at school balls and neighbourhood celebrations before being recruited to the Mont-Fébé band in Yaoundé. He later travelled around West Africa with his guitar before settling in Paris. His varied repertory and original compositions forge a unique contribution to world music, and his stage presentations have delighted audiences at the Festival international Nuits d’Afrique, the Festival Journées internationales d’Afrique de Québec, the Festival international des rythmes du monde, Afrofest, Bana y’Afrique and the Smallworld Festival in Toronto, the Kora Awards in Sun City, South Africa, and the Festival de Colombes in France. Blending talent, heart and reasons, Nya Soleil provides some of the finest musical nights in Paris, bringing together artists of the African diaspora. In September 1997, he organized the sole concert in tribute to Fela Anikulapo Kuti at the Divan du Monde in Paris; Concert of the Undocumented at the Hot Brass, La Villette (1996); Concert for peace in Congo at the Divan du Monde (1997); Africa celebrates the abolition of slavery at Confluence (1998); A Christmas for child refugees from Rwanda at the New Morning (1998); Concert for peace in the world and in Africa at the Divan du Monde (1999); Africa Carnival Night at the Divan du Monde (1999); Midsummer Night’s Festival at the Cabaret Sauvage (1999); Mumia Abu Jamal Concert for justice and against the death penalty, Petit Journal de Montparnasse (1999), Paris; in 2004, Solidarité Haïti-Gonaïves, concert victims of tropical storm Jeanne under the aegis of the French Red Cross; and Concert for Solidarity at Christmas (2008). In 2004, he recorded the album Soleil pour tous. His regular concerts attract an audience curious to discover his repertory of African musical styles and multi-groove. In 2012, he was honoured for his work as an artist with the Trophée des Leaders de la Minorité Visible at the National Assembly in Paris. Since 2007, he has toured Canada regularly with his group Soleil pour Tous. In 2013, he took part in International Peace Day activities in Montréal. He is currently working on a new album that combines the multi-groove gambe beat sound with traditional ancestral rhythms.

Nya Soleil


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