FRANCK BIYONG | AFROLECTRIC
Africa’s 21st Century Rock Guitar Hero
Growing up in Gabon, Nigeria and Ivory Coast before settling in the UK at age 14, Franck Biyong lived in households filled with good music. Little wonder why, at 40, the towering Cameroonian artist is a composer, arranger, lyricist, guitar player, singer, band leader, sound engineer and producer. This master of musical interpretation recalls African-American Jazz guitarist, Wes Montgomery’s “Canadian Sunset” as the song that set him down his musical path as a pre-teen.
Franck went on to cultivate a personal and passionate relationship with music, recognizing it as “spiritual food for the soul”. Receiving musical instruction and training at the National Institute of Arts in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he scorched a brilliant path with his electric guitar and became a reporter of human emotions and feelings. Franck translated these experiences into several Afro Beat and Afro Jazz albums that made people move, laugh, dance, cry and meditate.
He has played at countless spots around the globe including SOB’s in New York and the Jazz Café in London. Franck has also enjoyed European tours with music legends such as Nigerian master drummer, Tony Allen and Ghanaian Highlife guitarist, Ebo Taylor. Franck has also worked with Wyclef Jean, as well as Salif Keita, King Sunny Ade and Seun Anikulapo Kuti during his time as Music Director on Coke Studio Africa Season 1 & 2 But Franck Biyong, a consummate performer and creator, has reinvented himself.
In 2015, Franck shared his vision for Alternative Afro-Electro-Rock and Crossover Music with the recording of the MOONWATCHING albums and the LIYOMBA CHURCH single. This exciting single mines the link between rock and electro with dazzlingly good results. Clever use of Swahili lyrics makes it immediately familiar with fans in East Africa and the rest of the continent for whom this Bantu language resonates with many of their own.