James bks belongs to a new wolves’ breed. Not the one that roams the European mountain pastures for ages and carries ancient myths. Rather the one that settled in Africa, called “golden wolf” and which embodies another era, a new travelling generation. Across France, the us and Africa, home to his ancestral roots; wolves of Africa. It is the outcome of a long personal, artistic and family quest, a testimony to how finding one’s own musical route may sometimes take a lifetime.

His life begins in France in 1982, but radically changes when his family moves to the united states. Over there, within a prolific musical scene, he discovers hip-hop production alongside his own talent, that he never knew existed. Faced with this new found passion, he works and composes relentlessly and quickly manages to produce instrumentals for heavyweights such as Snoop Dogg, Akon, puff daddy and ja rule.

In the twilight of the 2000s, he achieves the famous American dream and moves to Atlanta, where the future of electronic music is brewing. At the dawn of the 2010s, his will to regain control over his musical creativity and to free himself from the stranglehold of the music industry leads him to return to France and set up his own structure, grown kid. Until the day he finally meets his biological father, the famous Manu Dibango. Thanks to a storm of events that some may call “fate”, he gradually forms a strong bond with his father, like a slow and thoughtful journey back to his roots. Following this reunion, James BKS’ musical vision takes an unprecedented turn. He immerses himself into Douala culture, into bulu and even bikutsi rhythms. Shaped by these new-found musical influences (and his pop background), his new album reverberates African culture.
In 2017, James BKS composes the song “Kwele”, based on the sample of “Senga abele” which was recorded by his father in 1990. After all, you don’t just erase your hip-hop reflexes in the snap of a finger. “kwele” is in fact the first stone to compose the musical edifice.

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Jocelyn Mathieu


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