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Reniss’ Experimental Bikutsi in “La Sauce”

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“La Sauce” is undoubtedly Reniss’ biggest hit and it is a refreshingly original take on a dominant Cameroonian music genre.

Reniss’ single, “La Sauce,” whose video was recently released, serves as a departure from the hiphop/pop style of her last EP, Milkish (2015), which was in turn a breakaway from the afropop sound that characterized Afrikan Luv (2013), her maiden EP, which, as well eschewed the gospel overtones of her early singles such as “Holy Wata” and “Fire”.

Reniss’ appropriation of Bikutsi (a Cameroonian music genre which was developed from the traditional styles of the Beti) in “La Sauce” makes it difficult to define her in terms of genre, given that her style is gradually becoming all-embracing and more experimental. While this may be a PR nightmare, experimental music is often the product of a restlessly talented mind, and experimental music is undoubtedly a landmark of New Bell Music, the label under which Reniss is signed.

 

“La sauce” is more than just experimental Bikutsi. It is a refreshingly original take on a dominant Cameroonian genre

 

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Photo Credit: February 16

“La sauce” is more than just experimental Bikutsi. It is a refreshingly original take on a dominant Cameroonian genre, and Reniss’ version is urban, full of recognizable social commentary and slang. The beat, produced by Le Monstre, bears his signature eclectic touch.

While the audio version of the single is more playful with the meaning of sauce/soup, offering a dichotomous reading, the video limits this by offering its own narrative, with embedded comic overtones all too recognisable to Cameroonians. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stray from the audio’s double entendre.

 

 

[youtube id=”fDSapcbf3_I”]

 

See excerpt below:

 

Les hommes aiment les femmes à cause de la sauce

Je le mets dans la sauce, je tourne la sauce

O moussongo na weti, o moussongo na weti

O moussongo na weti oh, situation a changé

O moussongo na weti, o moussongo na weti

O moussongo na weti oh,  situation a changé

 

Dans la sauce ! Dans la sauce !

Le piment dans la sauce.  Les condiments dans la sauce

Le plantain dans la sauce…

 

“La Sauce” is undoubtedly Reniss’ biggest hit up to this point, and an early sign of the song’s popularity was a fan-made video that attempted to tap into the song’s potential. Nevertheless, one doesn’t need to look any further than Reniss’ talent, Le Monstre’s approach to the Bikutsi rhythm and February 16’s comic video for the song’s originality.

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