Sally Nyolo is one of the most successful vocalists to emerge from the jungles of Cameroun. Although she's lived in Paris since the age of 13, Nyolo remains tied to the tribal rhythms and musical traditions of her birthplace. As she explained during a 1998 interview, "I try to be as rootsy as the (Eton) language would like me to be because it's a language we speak with images… I try to be like old singers used to do traditionally in Eton. I try to do like them, speak with image, give my best feeling to the audience." Known for her strong and throaty vocals, Nyolo built her initial reputation as a background vocalist for such Afro-French artists as Toure Kunda and Princesse Erika. Meeting members of Belgium-based women a cappella ensemble Zap Mama at a festival of world music, Nyolo was invited to join the group in 1995. She remained with Zap Mama for a year before resuming her career as a soloist. Nyolo's strengths as a songwriter have been reflected by her solo albums. Her debut recording, Tribu, released in 1996, featured twelve original songs written in the Eton language. The album received a prestigious Decouverte RFI award from Radio France Internationale in 1997. With her second solo album, Multiculti, released in 1998, Nyolo took a more-acoustic approach, forsaking electronic instrumentation for complex, vocal multi-layering. Nyolo released her third solo album, Beti in 2000. ~ Craig Harris
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