Whether he’s belting an English pop song (with an African twist) or smoothly serenading through a world beat in a local Cameroonian language, World Music’s new posterchild aka Nde Ndifonka is in a class of his own. The South-African based Cameroonian has undoubtedly carved his own niche in a competitive world music industry that has been captured by compelling maestros like Richard Bona and Peter Gabriel. But what is really different about Wax, and does he really make it to the top dog class?
The answer lies in a combination of factors – he is an incredible singer/songwriter who has evolved from the shy try-it-all artist we saw back in 2005 when he released his debut “Ali gets his arms”. His new offering, ‘African soul’, to be released in early 2008, is a treasure mine of music, graced with a blend of rich afro-Caribbean influences and a compelling twist of effusive western pop. Musically, lyrically and vocally, the album gets two thumbs up! While ‘Ali gets his arms’ drew criticisms from music specialists for its controversially outlandish stylistic variations, ‘African soul’ is a confirmation that brilliant versatility can define an artist. And In an age where every young artist scurries towards commercial dance music to make a name, this is one youngster who has chosen his place among the real custodians of the African musical art. And very convincingly so!
Besides music, Wax is also a budding academic and fiction writer. His writings, published under real name, Nde Ndifonka, include ''Somalia'' (Rutledge Encyclopaedia of Adolescence), and short stories, ''Faraway Child'' and ''On the Bridge'' (Qace). His first play, "The Chosen One" (Ditlou Publishers) was approved by the Department of Education for English text usage in South African schools, but struck off because "the standard is too high", and then recommended for usage in higher institutions.
But it has not all been smooth riding for the young start who arrived in South Africa a few years ago with nothing but 20 dollars to his name. A self-taught guitarist and singer, Wax started performing in order to meet his bills. A musical career only kicked off when veteran producer, Neill Solomon invited him to record a song with fabulous Zulu crooner, Shaluza Max. Following the success of the single, Wax was invited to perform at Awesome Africa Festival. There he met, and was thrilled by the inspirational bassist Gito Baloi of Tananas fame, who encouraged him to become a recording artist.
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