Prince Eyango emerged from the African music scene in the late ’80s to become one of the continent’s most popular musicians. Born in a rural, mountainous region of Cameroon, far from the center of African pop music, Prince Eyango’s talents were recognized at the age of seven when he began singing in the church where his father was a pastor. In addition to singing, by the time he was 17 he had mastered the intricate arpeggio guitar style practiced in Cameroon, and was already turning his attention towards updating makossa, the traditional Cameroonian music that had always been played with a slow, soft beat.
By 1982, Prince Eyango had revolutionized makossa music by transforming it into a much more danceable form, and his group, Les Montagnards d’Afrique (the Mountain Dwellers of Africa), were performing nationwide. A move to Paris netted him a recording contract and access to state-of-the-art studios, which led to the creation of his biggest hit, “You Must Calculate,” in 1987. From this hit, Prince Eyango was named “Best Artist of the Year,” Cameroon’s highest musical honor, awarded by the Minister of Culture. By 1991 he had achieved a “Number One” music rating on the powerful, transcontinental Africa No. 1 Radio.
Since immigrating to the United States in the early 90s, Prince Eyango and his explosive band continues to fuse world beat and African rhythms with a vibrant display of intricate choreography, never failing to bring audiences to their feet. Prince Eyango was nominated in 2000 for the Los Angeles Weekly Music Award in the World Music category. He was also called upon by respected pop music producer Don Was to record a track for Bette Midler’s album, Bette, where his impeccable guitar lines add a distinctive flavor to the song “Moses.”
In addition to performing extensively in Africa, Europe, the United States and Canada, in 2005 Eyango increased his geographic scope to Asia where he was invited to perform as the headline artist at New Delhi, India’s “Samath” festival and in China, for the “Shanghai May Festival.” His reputation as a leading African musician resulted in Prince Eyango being asked to perform at the opening gala dinner for the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Baltimore the summer of 2005.
Prince Eyango has continued to expand his repertoire to incorporate a wider range of musical genres, thus bringing with it a more global scope. In addition to being the lead singer, guitarist and bandleader, Eyango composes all the music and is the sole choreographer of the band’s spectacular dance routines.
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