…So there I was, momentarily misplaced on Rivington Street, with the Cargo bouncers looking at me in the way that does so much to stop so many from taking a chance on changing the course of their evening. But Cargo was not my destination that night; instead the thumping bass of Alex Bonfanti spilled out of the Lati Re Cafe just round the corner, and guided a select group of tastemakers towards was a night that was typically Out of Africa; if I go to a better gig this year, that would make me a very lucky man indeed. Where newcomer Debra Debs had already set the standard, and the audience now looked to Dutch Cameroonian singing sensation Ntjam Rosie to raise the bar.
She didn’t settle for the bar, she went for the roof.
The comparisons to Grace Jones are too easy and obvious; look just a little under the surface and elements and essence of Richard Bona, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen Lundy and Erykah Badu come oozing out in songs versed in toungues French, English, and Dutch, with Cameroonian roots, rites and rhythms holding it all together.
After the show, and much spontaneous hip gyration from an invigorated aftershow audience I felt compelled to find Ntjam Rosie and ask:
Where on the Web can we find out more about you?
and of course on YouTube
Your favorite photo of yourself:
Do you think your latest work represents the cloud, or the silver lining?
My latest work is a timeframe. That is where I am now. I hope to grow as a singer and songwriter. I want to keep on evolving.I don’t want to get stuck in the same thing. I am just getting started and I am enjoying the ride.
Which football team(s) did you back in the last World Cup, and why?
Holland and Cameroon of course, because I love both teams.
Top 5 UK cats you’re listening to at the moment:
I think Robert Mitchell is a great musician. I played with his trio in Rotterdam a while ago. Drummer Richard Spaven is also an amazing musician that I dig. Drummer Nathan Allen, Bass player Alexander Bonfanti, Guitar player Miles James. They are BAD!!!
Of all the albums or projects you’ve worked on, what’s your favourite , and why?
My latest album “ELLE”. I was the excutive producer, and I throughly enjoyed the whole process of making the album and bringing it out. It feels like my own baby.Me and my team have worked really hard on this album, and I am proud of the result.
The Best James Bond is obviously:
Sorry, I don’t watch James Bond.
Diva is to be fabulous.
Where are we going wrong with our youth at the moment? How can music help?
I think the youth is being indoctrinated by music that is not always positive. Or music that does not have a message of peace and wisdom. Music nowadays is sometimes too much a one dimensional tunnel. I think it is our duty as artists to feed our kids with food for thought.
Who do you think you are, anyway?
I am Ntjam. I am Rosie, Afropean in a Jazzy State of Mind.
You’ve got room for one more in your lifeboat, but no oars. There’s a fatcat record label boss and an illegal downloader, they have an oar each. How do you get home?
I’ll just swim back home. Ha!
If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would it be?
When’s the last time you treated yourself?
I bought myself an ice cream today.
The worst thing about my job is:
There is no worst thing about my job, I have the coolest job in the world.
I must introduce you to Corey Mwamba. What does your name mean?
Top US cats you’re listening to at the moment:
Do you have anything like the Boondocks on Dutch TV ?
Can Anakin Skywalker ever be redeemed?
I have no idea..
Anything you’d like to say to your old school teachers?
Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?
Your favourite Spike Lee films:
Girl 6 and Crooklyn
What’s going on in your world besides music / art ?
My friends and family. I love my people. When I am not working I like to have dinners with my loved ones, enjoy nature and stuff like that.
Read any good books / seen any good films lately?
Book. Wreck this book. Films. Biutiful and Black Swan
How do you teach what it is that we do?
3 tunes that changed your life, and why:
No tunes, but artists that made a huge impact on me:
If you could force–choke someone for 30 seconds, it would be:
Hahahah wauw…I am a non violence person hahaha…
What’s been the best superhero movie you’ve seen, and why?
X-men and Terminator
I’m sure Schwarzenegger could use a time machine right now. So you bump into Wesley Snipes, and you say to him:
What do you want to do next?
Pray for and with him.
What’s been the worst superhero movie you’ve ever seen? ( Clue: The answer is “catwoman” )
What’s that you’re wearing?
A huge T shirt and jogging pants ( @home )
What message do you want people to take from your work, and why?
Peace, calmness, sensuality, confidence, spirituality, fun, enjoy life
Ntjam Rosie’s new album “Elle” is available via her website http://www.ntjamrosie.com .