Franck Biyong is available with two different amazing projects:
Franck Biyong & Lipombe Jazz (Afrobeat-AfroJazz) and Afrobrainz (Electronic-Funk-Rock)
AFRICA’S 21ST CENTURY ROCK GUITAR HERO
Growing up in Gabon, Nigeria and Ivory Coast before settling in the UK at age 14, Franck Biyong lived in households filled with good music. Little wonder why the towering Cameroonian artist is a composer, guitar player, singer, band leader and producer. This master of musical interpretation recalls American Jazz guitarist, Wes Montgomery’s “Canadian Sunset” as the song that set him down his musical path as a pre-teen.
Fanck Biyong went on to cultivate a personal and passionate relationship with music, recognizing it as “spiritual food for the soul”. Receiving musical instruction and training at the National Institute of Arts in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he scorched a brilliant path with his electric guitar and became a reporter of human emotions and feelings. Franck translated these experiences into several Afro Beat and Afro Jazz albums that made people move, laugh, dance, cry and meditate.
Fanck Biyong has played at countless spots around the globe including SOB’s in New York and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Franck has also enjoyed European tours with music legends such as Nigerian Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen and Ghanaian Highlife guitarist Ebo Taylor. Franck has also worked with Wyclef Jean as well as Salif Keita, King Sunny Ade, Culture Musical Club, Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Olamide, Waje, Phyno, Efya, Diamond Platnumz and Vanessa Mdee during his time as Music Director on Coke Studio Africa Season 1 & 2.
But Franck Biyong, a consummate performer and creator, has reinvented himself.
In 2016, he shared his vision for Alternative Afro-Electro-Rock and Crossover Music with the recording of the LIYOMBA CHURCH single. This exciting single mined the link between rock and electro with dazzlingly good results. Clever use of Swahili lyrics made it immediately familiar with fans in East Africa and the rest of the continent for whom this Bantu language resonates with many of their own.
This is in line with the Pan-African ideals underpinning Franck’s new sound. And, one of two logical evolutions of African Music; the other being creating musical forms that would appeal to diverse audiences regardless of their age and knowledge about new types of African music: “We have to adapt to change, not to dissolve totally our identity and unique approach to music, but to bridge the gap between where we were and where we should go”.
And, Franck is leading the pack…
Having been a musician for decades and with diverse influences and references (from Francis Bebey to Frank Zappa), Fanck Biyong serves as a
“filter” through which two different streams are passing. The first stream is represented by music of the past generation that he hopes to pass on to the next; stretched out, revamped and modernized. While the second is the modern urban sounds that he plans to incorporate, develop and confront working with musical forms that do not belong together in the first place.
Another aspect of Franck’s futuristic idea of African Music is defined by artistic independence and total freedom of expression. This is a marked departure from the current strong push towards commercialization of image in place of music.
Perhaps his new rock oriented project will herald crossover exposure and breakthrough on the international scene…and it may also finally alter the perception of African Music and its musicians at large.