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Photo : Pierre Terrasson / Artwork : Balafun

Photo : Pierre Terrasson / Artwork : Balafun


With a French mother and a Cameroonian father, cross-culture is at the very roots of his creative talent, constantly renewed by travel and encounters with musicians and dancers in Europe and the USA. But Africa remains an inexhaustible  source of inspiration for the percussionist and singer that he is.

1961  Manuel “Wambo” Wandji born in Nancy (France) where his father studies.
1970  the family goes to Cameroon where Manuel discovers his second homeland, settling down in Yaounde. A time of real musical education begins as he opens himself to the world and sounds of the equatorial forests and traditional music.
1975  in his adolescence he is dawn to the clubs in the slum areas. Irresistible music! “Wambo” (his nick-name in Cameroon) begins beating out rhythms with his school pals – first band, first concerts.
1980 return to France. While pursuing technical studies in Besançon, he discovers new musical styles and the world of dance for which he continues to compose today (See DANCE page)
1986  he creates “Metissages Co.” in which he is a dancer and musician.
1988  moves to Paris, plays for Ray LEMA, Papa WEMBA (world music) & Emmanuel BEX (Jazz). The new parisian  musical scene is rich and Manuel plays with various bands and discovers the recording studio.
1992 a cherished dream comes true – creates his own recording studio so he can compose and produce in complete freedom – WAMBO PRODUCTIONS is born.
1994/1995  while working on his first productions (see list of recordings), he accompanies Geoffrey ORYEMA, plays on CANAL+ prime time TV show “nulle part ailleurs” with guest artists such as Ben HARPER, Manu DIBANGO, Tom JONES….
1995/1999 he reveals, Cameroonian Henri DIKONGUE and produces his first two albums (“Wa and “C’est la vie”), and tours the world over with for four years.
1997  tours France with the Kenyan acrobats, JAMBO MAMBO.
2001  tours with the Madagascan accordionist Regis GIZAVO.
2002  he records for the famous DJ Martin SOLVEIG  (album «Sur la terre»)
From 2004  first project as a singer-writer-composer released under the pseudonym WAMBO (afro-reggae) and first tours with his own band in Cameroon.
2005  he records and plays with the Gabonese singer Pierre AKENDENGUE.
From 2006  he tours with the “Voices of percussion project “ and his dancers all around the world.
2006  he receives from Cameroon, the price of “the best artist living outside of the country” award by the TV channel “Canal 2”.
2006  he creates “CULTURE MBOA” collective to talk about piracy in Cameroon and organise an independent self market for original CD.
2005/2011  he joins the collective «VOICES» based in New York and lead by Philip HAMILTON.
2006/2011  touring and recording all around the world, preparing the new projects.
2013/2014  “Voyages &Friends” CD/DVD/Film
2016 Production and arrangement of the song “WE LOVE FOOTBALL” for the women’s African cup of nations.
With the pseudonym WAMBO he released several singles and videos clip :
2017 “Bolè Bolè” / 2019 “Je ne peux pas” / 2020 “La jalousie”, “Babylon is falling down” & “Spread lights” / 2021  “Bolingo” / 2022  “Kankélé”
2019  he creates with the singer Landy Andiamboavondji the vocal group COLOR VOICES in Lyon (France).
2024  New digital album dedicated to creations for dance & movies “Créatik sonores”

© wamboproductions.com 2019