Emmanuel Pi Djob is an authentic Prince NdogSul Bassa from Cameroon. Deeply inspired by African American Gospel, his unique voice won the recognition of his peers. But it is in his approach to Afro-Soul music that he finds full artistic sensitivity to the world’s vibrations.
From the Dixie Hummingbirds to Rhoda Scott, including the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama, the band Ma Case, Olivier Tshimanga, Doudou Gouiran, Lavelle, the Duke Orchestra, Georges Seba, the Golden Gate Quartet, Liz Mc Comb, Were-Were Liking and the Village Ki-Yi, Ray Lema, Pierre Akendengue, Soriba Kouyaté or Screaming Jay Hawkins… his career is marked and enriched by encounters and partnerships. Since he is open to all kinds of music, he receives invitations from artists such as the band Rinocérôse. It also offers him the opportunity to record the music of John Adams with the Orchestra of Montpellier.
The story begins in Cameroon when Pi Djob Emmanuel Pi participates in Yaounde in founding Bayembi’s International, a Pan-African gospel band that is going to be quite famous at the turn of the 1990s. He then leaves his native region, Bassa, to settle in France and continue the adventure with a mixture of African, American, but also European style Gospel through various bands, such as the Black & White Xperience or By the Gospel River.
Today, the music of Emmanuel Pi Djob draws from its roots and influences to create a powerful Afro-Soul driven by the bright density of African beats, the dark raspiness of Blues, the ecstatic vibrancy of Gospel and the pure emotion of Soul. The Afro-Soul Gang founded with two companions and partners, Benilde Foko and Sega Seck, accompanies him regularly and holds together wonderfully this enriching world.
Released in 2008, Seven Minutes is the first album that carries his own name. It deals with the death penalty; the show From Jailnight will later be based on it. He works with the Spanish label Coda (Temps Record) to record a series of albums entitled Terrassa’s Conversessions, Remember and The Miracle of Life released in 2010.
In 2013, he is one of the finalists in the French version of the television show The Voice. In the blind audition, he immediately convinces and stuns all the jury with his interpretation of Georgia On My Mind, and wins popularity with the public throughout the rest of the competition. Following is the show Me and Ray where Emmanuel combines his own repertoire with that of one of his major influences, Ray Charles.
In 2015, Pi Djob starts preparing the album Get on Board! as an invitation to discover his world imbued with humanity, tolerance, spirit and commitment. He travels across France (Solidays, New Morning, various Jazz festivals and World Music) and abroad (Europe, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa) performing both in small shows and huge, spectacular events. That is how, in January 2016, he gathers more than 3000 spectators in the Zénith concert hall of Montpellier around his extended Afro-Soul Gang, accompanied by the Afro-Soul Mass Choir of 500 singers. The whole concert was recorded and published on a DVD released at the end of the year 2016.
Distributed in digital version by the American label A-Venture Music, the resulting album in a clearly Afro-Soul style alternates R&B, Gospel, Reggae, Afrobeat as well as some titles in French. Most of the songs are recorded live by the Afro-Soul Gang, joined by David Donatien, Sydney, Christian Martinez and Thierry Ferrugia, as well as some famous guests such as William Galison, Fally Kouyaté, the Kelin-Kelin Orchestra, Francis Lalanne and Wally Badarou.
Building on this success, Pi Djob prepares in 2017 an enhanced version of Get on Board!, even more dynamic than the first one and including unreleased titles. Get on Board! DeLuxe Edition is scheduled for release in the fall of 2017, for CD and digital distribution. He is already working on the next album scheduled for 2018. Without giving too much away, we can announce that it will be called Exile Radio, featuring the great Manu Dibango.