The general cry from keen lovers of Cameroon’s music industry has been that Cameroonian singers should for once diversify their themes and not only sing about love. The theme of love, to most, is a tired one and needs to be redressed. We have recently seen a more mature Mr. Leo explore new avenues of storytelling in terms of content and vision. Next to him on the queue is Locko in “Magnet”, a piece from the album “Rhythms of Zamunda” constituting soundtracks of the movie “Coming to America 2”.
Charles Arthur Locko Samba AKA Locko is one of Cameroon’s Afrobeat fine artists who has sung a number of songs centered around love. Most often than not, he presents reciprocated and/or unreciprocated love. Locko heeded the call on the need to pluralize love and has done something spectacular about love, his favorite theme. Teaming up with Adah Akenji, the video director, for this project paid off. We see a new type of storytelling that pays attention to details.
The music video is a passionate romance tale tailored from a laboratory and presented amidst a cajoling taste of the diversity of African art. The video can be termed a visual arts frame.
The Sahel decor is glaringly visible throughout the song. It ranges from the dress code and stage props on the walls and those held by the beautifully clad African ladies with items like beads, calabashes and straw fans. The significance of these items could be arrived at from different angles and perspectives depending on one’s setup. Art is diverse and thus has loose ends that warrant the elasticity of its interpretation.
The Sawa San’nja and its components are equally a mojar costume in the clip. This particular dress code is concretized by the African sculpture that is hung on the walls. The ring on the artist’s finger speaks for itself. We even get a free ticket to visit one of the Marvels of the world, that is, the great Pyramids of Giza. The last seconds of the song will airlift you to the beauty of these pyramids.
The contemporary touch given to the clip manifests through a laboratory scene that materializes through the artist and his muse, the queen of his kingdom who has to “wind kridikibang bang bang bang.” Her Arabian winding moves are graced by the radiance of jewelry done in a typical Indian style and taste. Thus, a blossom of “Magnet’s” universality.
One thing I love about this piece is its incorporation of modern technology and the effects it (technology) has on us. The love in “Magnet” is not just a superficial one but a type of love generated in a laboratory and guided by codes. So far as the password matches for the two, then it’s a secured type of love for it has a back up. The well-coined lyrics, the leveled afrobeat notes and the visuals are representative of “Rhythms of Zamunda”.
“Magnet” is a well laid out audiovisual story and as such, it qualifies as a timeless museum in itself. The universality given it can’t escape notice. It’s not just Cameroon in miniature but a contemporary representation of Africa enhanced by costume and setting.