The singer and his record label mates were slammed by some Anglophone Cameroonians few months back for accepting to perform at a Campus concert in Douala in the heat of the social and political instability within the Southern Cameroons. Critics took the war to his songs, claiming he’s not to sing in french if he claims to be an Anglophone.
The famous singer and songwriter says not speaking about the fight publicly doesn’t mean he’s not aware of the issues surrounding the problem but assures everyone that he has never denied his origin and his music has never been for the Francophones alone.
“I am an Anglophone… a very proud one. I come from the North West Region and I have never denied that and will never do. I’d rather not talk than say the wrong thing and be crucified for it. Because the moment you say something, there are people ready to twist every word to suit their own needs or agendas,” Leo tells pressmen at the Cliq Urban Music Festival Press Conference at Chariot Hotel, Buea on July 11.
“I think before you question my music, know me first. Try to know who I am, where I come from and what I sing about. I am an original. I am real. I don’t fake it. I can’t sing what I don’t know or haven’t experienced. I don’t condition my music for some Cameroonians. I sing for my fellow countrymen and women, both English and French,” he goes on.
Mr. Leo was accused of making his music to suit the francophone Cameroon. Critics slammed the fact that “most” parts of his lyrics are delivered in the French language and questioned why he won’t do music to represent his originality.
“Mr. Leo does music for everybody. There are no Mr. Leo songs that’s totally in French. I write as it comes to me. I need every ear to listen to my music. I am not singing in French because I’m turning my back on the Anglophones. The language I use in my songs shouldn’t be a problem. I come from Bamenda. I could sing in my dialect but you guys will also be the first to complain. Music is music. Music doesn’t and shouldn’t have a language,” Leo explains.
The Alpha Better Records star didn’t end there. He goes on to sight fellow singer Locko who sings most of his songs in the English language despite being a francophone.
“Locko is brother. He’s a close friend and he’s a francophone but sings in English. I have never heard Francophones complain why he sings in English. So why then should my own brothers complain about me adding French to my songs?” says the “Jamais Jamais” crooner.
Mr. Leo is right, music is music. Music should unite not divide friends, families, people, homes or a country.