Eyes closed, face relaxed, his fingers caress the strings of a guitar that never leaves him, a tireless companion on the journey to which he invites us. The melodies rise and mingle with deep lyrics in the Bassa’a language, tracing the path to the unknown, to home. Moreover, it was at home in Bondjock, within a family of choristers that Yves Lenoir, whose real name “Ngue Ngue”, met music at the age of 13. His first steps in the gospel universe, through the Acappella group “Rebuilt” which he co-founded in 2009, gave him this ability to sing from the bottom of his guts.
In 2014, Rebuilt is 2nd in the price of the Revelation of the year at the Gospel Musical Awards. The group continues its journey and records an acappella cover of the title “Ndolo Bukatè” by Charlotte Dipanda as part of the “Creativ” project of PSC Prod. This stage marks a click: thirst, the quest for an identity that suits him. Yves embarks on a solo career and integrates, following a careful selection, the “Groove Collective” of bassist André Manga where he will learn considerably alongside elders such as Paul Serge Maboma, Manu Dibango, among others.
Winner of the singing competition organized by the Nextstars label in 2018, he enjoys his first audiovisual single production. The single “Koba” was officially released in November 2018. This was followed by an eponymous maxi single in December of the same year, two clips: “Amoura” in April 2019 and “Bengue” in June 2019 and an album entitled “I ndjel” in December 2020, who will be rewarded at the Prix Espoir RMA where Yves won 2nd place, then the title of champion of BBlackAfrica’s “Cameroon Urban Night” in 2019.
His quest for self leads him, like a predestined, towards the “Bantousoul”. This musical genre mixing several Bantu rhythms such as Mangambeu, Makossa and other derivatives, all wrapped in an air of soul, then becomes the vector of a strong message, an invitation to introspection. Why would silk be more noble than raffia? If we are free to wear nice shoes, aren’t we also allowed to walk barefoot? Sleek, atypical, “Lìbágàg”, Yves Lenoir’s new project, recalls the importance of being oneself and returning to one’s essence. At the heart of this approach, the language, carelessly called “the patois”, becomes the instrument of a reconnection to oneself, its essence, its habits and customs.
Whether it evokes the freedom to be oneself, the memory of the heavy toll paid by “Mpodol” our national hero or the tormented feelings of a soul living in war situations, Yves Lenoir unfolds the story of a return to life. essential with a strong minimalist bias that awakens our repressed desire to be ourselves. Raw, bare, almost vulnerable, the half-airy, half-flayed voice of Yves has not finished telling the diaries of a return trip to the essentials.