"Liyomba Church" opens with high-energy screeches and thumps
that won't let you go. It's a fervent and unabashed call to dance,
an astonishing afro/pop crossover aiming for the clubs.
Franck is a child of many worlds but is anchored to none. The 40-year-old Cameroonian instrumentalist, singer, composer
and producer grew up in Gabon, Nigeria and Ivory Coast before
heading to the UK at age 14. His musical instincts were
awoken in a Baptist household and sharpened by Rock'n'Roll.
The electric guitar would later become his tool of trade.
An extensive and successful detour into Afrobeat and Afrojazz
has seen Franck receive glowing praise for his soulful and dynamic performances. The man's got a trail of accolades spanning the
globe. Now, Franck is nimbly reinventing himself one wild electric
guitar riff at a time.
Liyomba Church's fast-paced guitar and drum pairing reveal the Afrolectric ambitions he's been developing for the past 10 years, drawing influences from rock, electro and experimental sounds.
Franck's deep voice melds with that of a female singer's tenor and
the singing takes on a chant-like quality. In staccato Swahili, the pair reveals that it is time to break into ululations and join in the celebration of life.
"I want to tear down the barrier that separates African music from the mainstream. I want to get inside that space and bring enough African Flavor in the Rock n' Roll world to create a distinctive sound. 'I like having a large palette of sounds, instruments and textures at my disposal to create arrangements that will be reflective of the moods, atmospheres implied by the melodies and songs."