Photo : Eric Mulet
HENRI DIKONGUÉ is a rebel with a sensitive soul ; his expression, his whole personality, is the fruit of passion, of chagrin, of love, and of revolt … Henri sings from the heart. His guitar lends rhythm to his melodies and emotions. A native of Cameroon, Henri Dikongué grew up in Yaounde, the capital.Born into a family of musicians, he learned the acoustic guitar with his uncle. Attending the local Protestant church with his grandmother in “La Briquetterie” quarter of town he was given the opportunity to test his vocal cords. The original music of Douala is “Makossa” and as Henri’s parents are from there he sings in the Douala dialect.
Henri Dikongué has been living in France since 1985.
First of all he studied law for a year in Besançon, but quickly dropped it to give everything to music, joining the panafrican musical and theatrical company “Masques et Tam-tam”. With them he met the actor Martin Yog, the singers and musicians Alfred M’Bongo & Manuel Wandji.
Paris 1989 : classical guitar lessons and a recording project that come to nothing … But, he is to meet up with Manuel Wandji again three years later and begin a close collaboration.
Manuel Wandji produces and arranges Henri’s first 2 albums, “Wa” and “C’est la vie”. seizing the opportunity to bring together some of Cameroon’s best musicians, Etienne M’Bappe, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Martino Atangana and Vincent Nguini, not to forget Cathy Renoir a singer from the French Caribbean. Having become one of the best-known and best-loved artists in Cameroon, Henri Dikongué becomes a real success in the USA, also.
The “C’est La Vie” album comes No. 1 on the “European World Music Charts” in January 1998.
The song “C’est La Vie” is classified twentieth in the world media listing for the most frequently broadcast French language song.
The song “Ndutu” is used in 2000/1 by Kodak in the United States for their television ad.
Today many titles of these 2 albums still continue to be appreciated by the new generation. See the several millions views on YouTube and the cover of the song “C’est la vie” produced by “The Voice” Africa & Universal sing by all the singers from the season 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbZCRESRbsU