By Ange Ngu Thomas
His family was initially not supportive when he first told them he wanted to sing for a living but Asamor (born Asamor Morfaw) persisted and today is a fully fledged musician. He dabbled in traditional music while in his native Cameroon but started playing world music only after he re-located to Bonn, Germany. He travelled to Germany to pursue his studies and it did not take him long to start a career in music that he now says puts food on the table.
“Though my childhood dream was to become a singer, I had first of all to overcome two hurdles; firstly from the region where I come from, music is still considered as an irresponsible profession and secondly, I hail from a royal family with a straitlaced code of ethic and they think a royal descendant doing music is a taboo” Asamor told Iroko heritage.
His family eventually noticed he was serious about becoming a musician and through their help, he started playing traditional music in Cameroon.
He later travelled to Germany where he released his first album in 2002, titled Full Force. That was closely followed by a chart-topping duet with one of Africa’s most popular singer Petit Pays titled Etiorndem.
“To use this metaphor, when you have many children, it is difficult to say I love this child more than the other one, so I cannot exactly pinpoint which of my songs has been the best. But as per the public who consume the products we put in the market, I understand that particular track went down well with the public”
Asamor believes piracy is the biggest problem almost every musician faces in Africa.
“In Africa, pirates are millionaires while artistes who work day and night to come up with good music barely survive from their songs.”
He wants government authorities across Africa to allocate more resources to fighting against piracy. This is the only way Asamor says African music can grow and become a respectable brand around the world
In spite of the obvious problems piracy causes to musicians,, Asamor is thankful to the internet which he admits has been helping in making African singers get a global audience
“The internet has done a lot for African music. It has made it possible for us to get into the global market and rub shoulders with other singers across the world through self promotion, thanks to social media such as YouTube and Face book. Otherwise it would have been impossible to hit the international market.”
Asamor who owns a recording studio known as PRAXON in Bonn, Germany has been extending a helping hand to young artistes from Africa.
“I have been writing, recording and mixing songs for young African talents who would like to try their hand in Music. Nobody asked me to do, it is merely out of courtesy and a goodwill gesture to fellow colleagues. ”
Asamor created a web-based radio called African Music Radio where music lovers around the world could listen to African music.
Asamor is a laureate of KAMA- a German-based Kultural Ambassador Media Award’ of 2008.
He is also an actor and has appeared in two African movies DarkZone and Bushfallers.