GET TO KNOW: BGC Melody
With members originating from Cameroon, The Congo, Germany, and the United States, emerging outfit BGC Melody have always looked to pursue a broad and varied direction, and now return with their vibrant new offering 'Cookie Crumbles'.
Collaborating with Cameroonian artist Tasa this time around, 'Cookie Crumbles' makes for a wonderfully bold and inventive listen. With their dynamic approach to production layered across some sweeping vocals throughout, they are cementing themselves as one of the more explorative names on the rise right now.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with founder Don Julio Bats to find out more about his background and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
First band was American Soul/R&B group, Kool and the Gang whose music will never grow old. First artist was Cameroonian legend Manu Dibango, the inventor of Soul Makossa, the first attempted fusion of African Music with modern soul music. Manu was so great, even Michael Jackson couldn’t resist copying his work in “Wanna be Starting Something”.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
I didn’t form a band in my younger days, but I was always a member of one. In Catholic boarding secondary school, I played the guitar for the school choir and in a small 3-person band with two other enlightened schoolmates. In high school, I was vocalist and rapper with the main school band and guitarist for the school reggae band. In university, I played for the Yaounde University Orchestra and did background vocals. Later in life, I settled on journalism, military, diplomacy and business management before turning back to music with the creation of BGC Melody. But this time I focus on creative direction and management for the artists signed to the label, which also functions as a group.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
Everyday stories that touch the lives of people. Every artist at BGC Melody is required to be attentive to their surroundings and what’s going on around the world, and encouraged to interpret their experiences through their lyrics.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
Wow… so many, but definitely “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. Transcends generations and applies to all humans of all races of all social backgrounds.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
That moment hasn’t arrived yet. When it happens, the whole world will know: “And the Grammy goes to… BGC Melody!”
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
Burna Boy. Just imagine all BGC Melody artists on stage with the African Giant!
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
Right now, Tayc. He’s so awesome… And he’s my nephew too! So I would really love his management to allow BGC Melody as a group and all our individual artists do some real good stuff with him – songs in English and tours around the world.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
BGC Melody as a group and a label with a steady number of artists well established within Africa and in the hearts of African music lovers of the Diaspora, with multiple releases and tours on our belts, and serial contenders for Grammy Awards in several different categories. Let’s profess this into reality. See you in five years?
BGC Melody's new single 'Cookie Crumbles' is available to stream now. Listen to it below.