Buea University Geology student Caroline Jabe Takon aka Ciana Banks recently released her first rap single “bangwa sense” to critical acclaim across Cameroon.
She describes herself as an easy going girl and a big fan of American Diva Beyonce. She says Cameroonian music will eventually get noticed globally because the country does have talented musicians (like herself) who are working very hard.
She has been talking to Francis Ngwa about her first single and her musical dreams.
Q Who is Ciana? How will you present yourself to someone who has never met you?
Ciana is an easy going, ambitious and confident young girl of average height, brown in complexion who studies at the University of Buea and is an artiste at the same time.
Q You have a single on the market “Bangwa sense”. What inspired you to do that song?
The Bangwa people of the South West Region of Cameroon are well known for their intelligence and their manner in which they calculate all aspect of life and are usually referred to as “99 Sense”. Although I am not Bangwa originally, I wanted to use this track to pass on the message that I do have some wisdom and I do think a lot about my life.
Q In real life, are you really a 99 sense girl looking for the next man to rip off? You do say in the record the protagonist is looking for someone to pay her rents?
Laugh out loud!! A man to rip off? Why? No is the answer! In life whether we admit it or not, we all need help with one aspect or another and even to succeed we need one another. So though my lyrics may say “i di find na man weh e go pay my house rent,” this is another way of stating that even though I am a hustler, I still need assistance.
Q Why hip hop? Some critics say a lot of African musicians now sound American even when they sing in Creole as you do in “Bangwa sense”
You state “some” critics and “some” rappers, personally I do not think I sound American nor do I even intend to sound like one. My rap is my identity and is unique to me but notwithstanding I do follow up on other rappers in the world to catch up and to also improve myself.
Q What are some of your musical influences?
My musical influences are from everyday life, the hustle and bustle and the desire to succeed in life as well as from other artists such as Beyonce, MI, Foxxy Brown, Phyno, among others.
Q What will you say can be done to make Cameroonian music more visible in the global music market?
Cameroon music is going to go global as time goes on. We have the talent and the determination which I believe is a great start. The technologies are fast growing too and I really think in a couple of years time things will not be the same. We also have to start listening to and encouraging more our home made works not only musically but the entertainment side as a whole.
Q You have just started out in music. Do you face particular challenges because you are a woman?
One can face challenges in the way one presents oneself to the population and to others in general. I do take pride in myself and ensure I am well presented so as to avoid giving out the wrong message. I do respect people and in return
I gain respect back. As the saying goes the way you treat yourself is the way people will treat you so for Ciana it is professionalism first before anything else.
Q What level will you like to get to in music?
I would like to reach the level where my country and everyone will be proud of me so I must keep working!
Q When should your fans expect a first album?
Making an album is not a big deal for me and my team now as the quality and other related instruments have to be put in place first. My team and I believe in “small small, we go”. What is the essence of releasing an album if the population does not yet follow your trend? An album will come in due time but for the moment we are focusing more on perfecting the follow up singles.
10 fun facts about Ciana:
- I still believe in Father Christmas.
- I love children, they are just wonderful!
- I am a sneakers wearing chick although heels are still my favourite!
- I have one thing I love doing when recording, recording in the dark. It gives me an extra buzz!
- I adore the sensation of being on stage.
- My favourite colour is blue…have you seen my logo?!
- I am currently studying a Geology/Petrology degree…not common for a girl right!!
- I love interior decoration and creative art.
- My dimples, legs and waist are my favourite features.
- Call me the dancing rap queen! I adore dancing!