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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Makossa is a type of music that is most popular in urban areas in Cameroon. It is similar to soukous, except that it includes strong bass rhythm and a prominent horn section. Makossa originated from a type of Duala dance called kossa, with significant influences from jazz, ambasse bey, Latin music, highlife and rumba. While the makossa style began in the 1950s, the first recordings were not seen until a decade later. Artists such as Eboa Lotin, Misse Ngoh and especially Manu Dibango popularised the style outside of Cameroon in the late 1960s. Makassi is a lighter style of makossa. Sam Fan Thomas developed and popularised this variation in the mid-1980s and made makossa potentially more marketable.

The two musicians largely credited with modernising makossa are Manu Dibango and Emmanuel Nelle Eyoum. Eyoum start using the term 'kossa, kossa' in his songs with his group Los Calvinos. But it was Emmanuel 'Manu' Dibango who popularised it to the world with his song "Soul Makossa", which came out in the early 1970s. The chant from the song, 'mamako, mamasa, maka makossa', was later used by performers such as Michael Jackson, in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"; Eminem, in "Doe Rae Me"; Back To Basics, in "Mamakossa"; the Bloodhound Gang, in "Mama Say"; Rihanna, in "Don't Stop the Music"; Chico Science, in "Samba Makossa"; and El Chojin, in "Algo más que música" ("Something More than Music"). The 2010 World cup also brought Makossa style to the international stage as Shakira sampled the Golden Sounds popular song, Zamina mina (Zangalewa) and brought the Makossa sound further to the international stage.

Makossa artists

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Makossa" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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