Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Oliver N'Goma (born 23 March 1959, dead 7 june 2010) was a Gabonese Afro-zouk and reggae singer and guitarist. Nicknamed "Noli," he was born in Mayumba in south-west Gabon in 1959. He is best known for his 1989 song Bane, which was popularized by Radio Africa N.1 and Gilles Obringer
Oliver N"Goma was born in Mayumba, in southwest Gabon, on March 23rd 1959. His father, a teacher, was reputed to be the best harmonium player in the area and he got young Oliver started on it at age 8.

In 1971, the family left Mayumba for the capital, Libreville. There, Oliver studied accountancy at the technical lycée. He very quickly joined the school band, Capo Sound, where he became a guitarist. Playing everywhere, from formal balls to dances, Oliver learned about appearing on stage, playing with the group African or international standards.

But Oliver wasn"t all that keen on his accountancy studies, preferring to devote himself to his two passions: the cinema and music. He began collecting musical instruments, put together a little home- studio and cherished a secret ambition – to become a professional musician. But it was towards his other passion, filming, that fate led him: he was hired as a cameraman by Gabon TV"s second channel, and went to Paris for training in 1988. During a long winter spent in Paris, he added the finishing touches to some outlines he"d done back home. One day, he met Manu Lima, one of the best director-producers on the Afro-Parisian scene, ex-leader of Cabo Verde Show, and a man who has helped the careers of many great African artists take off. The tunes that Oliver brought him interested Manu, and he handled the artistic direction of Oliver"s first record. The album, which included the song BANE, finally came out and enjoyed modest success, but then it got more air-play – thanks especially to Radio Africa n°1, Gilles Obringer on RFI - and BANE became a big hit in 1990, all over Africa, in France, as far as the French West Indies, where even today a party isn"t a party unless there"s BANE on the turntable.

The song BANE is one of those major hits belonging to modern African music, just like MARIO by Franco, BRIGADIER SABARI by Alpha Blondy, ANCIEN COMBATTANT by Zao, or again KWASSA KWASSA by Kanda Bongo Man. Manu Lima was influential in forming Oliver’s sound and introducing danceable rhythms.

Another track from the album, ICOLE, was also a huge success; BANE, the album, became one of the biggest sellers in the history of African music. Oliver travelled to the great African capital cities, where he"d been invited to come and sing his song, and was welcomed like a head of state. Since 1990, no other song has measured up to BANE, whether in hit parades or people"s hearts.

Strengthened by all this success, and keeping a level head, Oliver went quietly back to work, knowing that everybody"s hopes were up for the second album due out. He continued to work with Manu Lima, and together they began recording at the end of summer "95. In mid-December 1995, the album ADIA came out, a blend of sophistication and teeming rhythm...

With BANE, Gabon and Africa discovered a new star. The follow up album, ADIA, also proved to be a huge success, with sales of over 40 000 units. The album also features two bonus remixes of “Lina” and Muendu” – more Afro-Zouk than ever! Since ADIA, Africa has adopted the heady swing of the West African Zouk. With a little help from a Cuban arranger, Oliver prolongs his success with his newest album SEVA. SEVA presents rich African melodies and zouk rhythms that are great for dancing. With SEVA, South Africa is introduced to a new world music star! He received due recognition from the SA music industry, by being nominated for the Best African Artist at the South African Music Awards 2002.

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