A global icon of African music, Manu Dibango has released well over forty albums, several soundtracks, plus of course the Grammy-winning track “Soul Makossa” which first topped international charts in 1973, and went on to be borrowed, quoted and covered by everybody from Michael Jackson, through to Rihanna.
He wrote and recorded the song Soul Makossa as a flip side to a single commissioned for the Cameroon soccer team, which was entering the Africa Cup. The song took off in New York, and remained on the Billboard charts for two months. The single sold over 200,000 copies, earned a Grammy nomination, and is probably the biggest selling African music single of all time. Success followed in Europe, and the international career of the “Makossa Man” was born.
Dibango is acknowledged as one of Africa’s most eclectic musicians. He is a multi-instrumentalist, and an acclaimed musical arranger who has released well over 40 recordings to date, including soundtracks for several films.
He has always pushed new frontiers for African music, and works in an ever-widening range of musical genres. He has had collaborations with legendary reggae rhythm section, Sly and Robbie, and high-tech productions such as his Electric Africa album. In 1986, he recorded a reworked “Soul Makossa” featuring inputs from longtime associates such as Hugh Masekela, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrel and Herbie Hancock. The 1990’s witnessed collaborations in the Hip-hop genre, and work with rappers such as MC Mello.
Now in his eighties, Dibango continues to tour internationally, and hosts radio and television shows from his base in Paris.��