Thursday, February 25, 2010


Krotal is one of the big names you hear mentioned when talking about the Hip hop movement within Cameroon.

A music aficionado with a distinct voice and the passion and attitude needed for success, Dulce Camer caught up with him at his studio in his home in Yaoundé.

Happy reading y'all!

DC: Thank you for accepting to talk to the DC blog. Tell us why music is such an integral part of your life.
Krotal: Lets say that as a person from a very young age I had a lot of feeling towards music. In my house there was a lot of music so I grew up surrounded by music and my dad was a musician in his youth though he grew to become an architect.
Even at school, I always had music with me. I learnt music there and even after school I took up piano lessons.
During the hip hop phenomenon of 1984, I was in the centre of it with a breakdance group and then continued with writing lyrics and rapping.
I studied in France and came back in 1993 and then stopped studying. I was given the opportunity to delve really deep into music and start Mapane Records which I left in 1996 and started Ndabott’Prod my new record label which I have just signed an artist called “Le Reflet”.

DC: How do you relate your experiences and reality to your music?
Krotal: My reality is Cameroonian so I would say I was very precocious, I started everything too quickly...I grew up and had to know about life on my own. It is all my experiences which make me take life today with an artistic viewpoint. These experiences have helped me a lot. I had the opportunity too to be taught by people who were older who engraved in me some much needed values. I believe in self confidence and even in confidence in God.

DC: What was it about Hip hop that made you focus on this genre?
Krotal: I started breakdancing which is a part of hip hop and emotionally I knew I had more to bring to the table than dancing. I went towards the writing and rapping part because in my opinion it was worth a lot more. I was passionate about it and it was from my soul.

DC: What was the Cameroonian public’s reaction towards your genre of music? Has that changed today?
Krotal: I would say that Hip hop in Cameroon was imposed by force though it should have been a natural process in my view. The public react to what they receive from the media and the government however the number of talented Cameroonian hip hop artists have helped to get this industry noticed and to get the public very interested in this genre. Now we have concerts and thousands of people turn up. So yes, this is changing today.

DC: How big is this Hip hop industry in Cameroon at the moment and do you think it will get bigger?
Krotal: I think it will get bigger because we have the industry but we do not have the distribution and as a result I am not sure how we can evaluate the music market.

DC: Who needs to sort out this distribution aspect?
Krotal: The government is the one who needs to sort this aspect and they do have the capabilities to sort this. I think there are methods which can be put in place to change the face of the music industry in Cameroon.

DC: We are here in your studios in your house, now this is gangsta!! Was it easy to set this up?
Krotal: No no no took a lot of time, a lot of work and a lot of money to set this up. It took a lot of sacrifice as well to get this and I wouldn’t say music in Cameroon is easy.

DC: As a producer and the owner of your record label, do you have the ultimate influence over the production of your songs / album?
Krotal: I have total influence over my work however when I do compose a song I do get other people’s reactions / contributions. It is great when you can see the emotions of others and you may be seeing things one way whilst another sees it in a completely different way.

DC: Do you think an artist should have some control over the music they put out?
Krotal: The music industry is a business first of all don’t forget it! However an artist should have some control over their work. An artist without control is an interpreter in my opinion!

DC: What makes your fans relate so much to you?
Krotal: I don’t really know. It may be the way in which I deal with certain themes, the proximity or the attitude or maybe the mystery which surrounds me.

DC: Talk to us about your new album?
Krotal: The second album should be out next month entitled “La B.O de nos life..” I chose this title because B.O in French means “Bande Originale” which refers to the soundtrack of a film. So the title of my album translates as “the soundtrack of our life” The album will have 19 tracks but the maxi single which is already out now has 6 pieces.

DC: “Jamais” is our favourite to us about the message in the song and who came up with the concept of the video.
Krotal: The message in this track was to tell people that before you teach or judge someone, teach yourself first and judge yourself first and if you don’t succeed to do this first then never say anything. The video concept and direction was by a young dude who had just gotten back from France. He showed us what he had in mind and we went along with it!

DC: Any other artists you would like to collaborate with?
Krotal: Yes, a lot!! In Cameroon, I would like to collaborate with people like Esa (Makossa), Bebe Manga, Manu Dibango, Dina Bell, Pedro (Bikutsi). From abroad, I would like to work with Papa Wemba, Lokua Kanza, Ami Koyta (Malian), Kadji Celi (Ivory Coast), Meiway, Talib Kweli, John Legend, the Roots, Steel Pulse (Jamaica), Morgan Heritage, Tanya Stevens...etc

DC: What is your music taste like?
Krotal: I listen to everything, from pop to traditional, to jazz to neo soul... everything!

DC: To conclude, do you work with any young hip hop artists to help them succeed in the industry?
Krotal: I try to but you know production is money. If I was a multi millionaire, I definitely would. Nevertheless, I always advice young music artists to know what exactly it is they are getting themselves into and know their industry. They need to go to school as it is important in life to enlarge one’s mental horizon.

DC meets Krotal!!

He was a great character to meet and to chat to about music in general. We definitely need people like him if we want to create a new wave of change in all things Camer!

Get your hands on his maxi single if you can..
Watch out for more talents here on DC.
Stay sweet

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