Stanley Enow was granted an interview on C’Koment magazine where he made so many revelations, some of which is the fact that he shares the same view with Ma-ahlox on the issue of artists booking and equally gave a clue on the where the surprised artist for his February 11th concert might be coming from
Without further ado, let’s get to the heart of the matter and talk about your second and to date last album “Stanley vs Enow”. Can you tell us what it is actually sending to? Who is Stanley, who is Snow? Is it an opposition between two personalities in one person?
“Stanley vs Enow” is actually my second album. So who is Stanley? Who is Enow? The concept of the album at the bottom is duality, it’s the opposition between Stanley who is the son of his father and Enow who is the son of the world. At Stanley, we find the cousin, the boyfriend, the husband and the brother you see. On the other hand, at Enow we find the gar who has the rage, who must win and win for Cameroon, who must at all costs be positive and live in the most positive way possible, the boy who is afraid of nothing.
In this new album, we find several collaborations with Cameroonian and foreign artists and a mixture of several different rhythms. Is it for you a way or a will to join in what is being done now? Don’t you think there is a risk for you to lose your musical identity?
I think that we evolve musically, we are not here in the United States or in France where it is necessary to be frozen, where one is not dynamic in his style. I grow, I rap, I sing and I say okay it would be much wiser for me to make this little mixture because I have an audience that demands many more other sensations and other waves from me. And by cooperating with other artists I fell in love with the melody and it’s difficult to be very melodious when you only rap you see, you have to either sing or sing, I decided to sing. I have a fairly large fanbase, people who are basically hip-hop fans and people with great melodies who say it would be good to listen to me on Afro etc. There are people who wouldn’t listen to me if I was just stoic on rap. So I think there is no loss in my musical identity if people love me they will listen to me whatever the style.
Before “Stanley vs Enow” there was “Soldier LikeMy Papa” which was very well received by observers and the general public. With this new album do you think in terms of quality that you met the expectations of your fans and the general public? How does it feel to learn that some actors and observers of the Cameroonian and African music scene would be disappointed and far from satisfied?
“Soldier Like My Papa” is my very first album, it has been well received by observers. But who are the observers? The observers I don’t know but the general public yes I know. The public likes what I do, they liked this album even if it’s true they don’t necessarily have an album culture here. I think you have to grow, you have to change and tie in with the times without necessarily doing like the guys of the moment. In fact what I mean is that I make music that I feel I can defend to my audience. I do not make music which I think can only be good for observers, but I make music which I feel and I think that it is necessary to be true with oneself. If I have the impression that it’s the Bend skin that is going through my mind, that’s what I’m doing and the public over time understood my artistic approach. I’ve never locked myself in a style, but if you have to stay in pure hip-hop don’t worry there will be albums that will have just that, as there will be albums that will have just ‘afro or something. The world is open and I think the music I do today is representative of the audience that I raise and that’s all that matters
Why do you think it was sometimes reprimanded you this will and this desire affirmed to shine abroad? Is it because you already feel that you have conquered Cameroon? To have left enough mark on Cameroonian music?
I think this is a free reproach. I’m currently doing a lot of things for the youth here. I have just been appointed Unicef Ambassador, it is to work for the children of Cameroon. I’m going to say that even beyond music, I’m a child from here and I work a lot more for people here. Seeking to shine abroad is only normal, Cameroon is a very large country but it is only one in 54 if we just limit ourselves to Africa. So we must not only shine for our country, we must shine elsewhere. It’s important, it’s good for business, for the image of Cameroon, it’s even something to applaud. But now do I think I have conquered Cameroon enough? You can never think of completely conquering where you come from, but I have the hearts of people and I receive testimonials every day. I am a child from here and I will stay here as long as possible. Cameroon is my home and if I can sell it outside I won’t even hesitate for a moment.
You are today a voice that counts in the landscape of Cameroonian music. Therefore there are subjects on which we would like to have your point of view. What is your opinion on the installation and activities of Universal Music in Cameroon? For some players in Cameroonian music, the coming of Universal to Cameroon is not necessarily good news for labels like yours. Do you think they are right?
I am not at Universal but at MotherlandEmpire. So, I can’t comment on it
A few months ago, a debate raised by Maahlox on the cachet of local artists compared to that of foreign artists animated the canvas. And it was clear that Cameroonian artists were far from being unanimous on the issue. What is your guess on the subject?
I am of the same opinion as him, perhaps the approach is different because I see things differently. But I think it is high time that Cameroonian artists are paid their fair value for what they do, for what they represent. It is true that all, we seek to have a long career, but it is not past oi who decide the longevity of it and all that goes with it, it is really not us who decide and therefore have need to live thanks to our work. So personally, I regret that we cannot make a return on our investments and our work. Not only must the cachet of Cameroonian artists be upgraded, but it must also be revisited because, to tell the truth, the Cameroonian artist really does not gain much.
Next February 11th you will be in concert in Douala on the occasion of the Youth Day. What should the public expect?
The public should expect a concert they have never seen in Cameroon. My partners are working on something that will be truly magical. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen that day, but damn god I know it’s going to be fine and good things will happen. It will be a mix of live, semi-live, guests, we We are negotiating for a very influential American artist whose name we prefer to keep silent for the moment. There will be a lot of surprises for the public.
Three years ago or more, you gave us an interview in which you claimed to be “a businessman in the making”. Are you today? If yes can you tell us more about your achievements as a businessman?
We do business. Music is a business, we are businessmen, not only my partners too. Now bury with achievements there is a lot to do and we must let people speak for us.
Thank you Stanley and good luck for the future.
Thank you very much for this interview, it is really something nice and with great honour that I participate in this interview. MerciC’Koment.