PETIT PAYS was born on the 5th of June 1967 in Douala. he was brought up entirely by his grandmother. He was named Petit Moundy Claude Adolphe. Moundy in the Douala language literally means pays in French what explains the origin of the nickname he chose as his stagename.
As a teenager Petit Pays thought of commencing a professional football career, but his passion for music appeared stronger. During his secondary school he took guitar lessons and started to stay away from school, spending sleepness nights te rehearse vocals and instrumental interpretations of populair songs.
Against all odds, despite family pressure, Petit Pays gradually abandoned his study to dedicate himself to his future musical career. In the 80's finding a local producer was an incredible challenge for artists. In those days for many of them emigrate to France was the only possibility to achieve their dreams. In 1985, with the support of his understanding mother and his uncle Jaba, the future African music star flew to Paris.
Upon his arrival, he immediately started to search for a producer. Unfortunately in 1986, during the Giscard government, with Charles Pasqua as Minister of Internal Affairs, the official studies of Petit Pays stopped. Soon after Petit Pays finds himself with handcuffs in an airplane direction Yaoundé.
His expulsion from the French territory inspired him to write the song 'Ca fait mal' in which he describes his administrative detention and deportation. This and other songs drew the attention of producer Joseph Eyabi Kwadi and in December 1987 Petit Pays released his first LP 'Ca fait mal' on Eyab's Production. With this album het set his first step towards the top.
A year later in December 1988, he came with his second album 'Ancien parigo' which established him as a young talented Makossa singer, appreciated by the majority of his compatriots with songs like 'A mumi' and 'Salamalekum'. Very proactive, he did a lot of free services for associations and Afro-Caribbean clubs to confirm his talent and enhance his brand awareness in the Cameroon and Paris music-scene. He released his third album 'Trouver la vie' in 1990.
♫ audio 1990: Trouver La Vie
Petit Pays having conquered his homeland Cameroon, now had the ambition to conquer the rest of Africa, Europe and North America. To reach his goals he developed the concept of Makossa-Love - a mixture of Makossa, Zouklove and Congolese styles - and founded his own orchestra Les Sans Visa. The name of this orchestra refers to his expulsion from France to Cameroon in 1986.
For his fourth album he teamed up with the successful Cape Verdean keyboard player and arranger Manu Lima, who was responsible for the Afro-Zouk success of the Gabonese Oliver Ngoma (Bane) and the Ivorian Monique Seka (Missounwa). This collaboration proved to be a hit because the album 'Les morts ne sont pas mort' made Petit Pays a household name in the whole of francophone Africa. In March 1992 the uptempo song 'Eyamoyo' went number 1 in music charts in Abidjan, Lomé, Ouagadougou, Libreville, Niamey, while the Caribbean were madly in love with the Makossa-Love song 'Ca ne va pas'. His band 'les Sans Visa' now came in handy, because the success of the album 'Le morts ne sont pas mort' led to extensive tours in Africa, North America, The Caribbean and Europe.
♫ audio 1992: Eyamoyo
Petit Pays cashed the momentum by coming directly in 1993 with a sequel album titled 'Avant gout' in the same Makossa-Love style. Songs like 'Mulema' , 'C'est bon' et 'Mumi' were widely played and the album reached the top of many radio hit parades. It was in this period of Pan-African success that Petit Pays coronates himself as Le Turbo d'Afrique. He could not be stopped anymore and the hit songs followed each other in quick succession with 'NioXXer' from the album 'Les meilleur des meilleurs' in 1994 and 'Muto' from the album 'Korta' in 1995. Even school kids sang his refrains like "A Abidjan ca nioxxe, a Etoudi ca nioxxe, nioxxer, nioxxer" and "Chop my mob, I buy you Solex".
♫ audio 1994: NioXXer
In May 1966, he released his seventh album 'Class F/ Class M', which was the most mediatised of Petit Pays albums. In less than a week more than 50.000 copies were sold only in Cameroon. Soon after the release of the album he was declared "wanted" by the Cameroon National Security because he was enacted as "a fool" who violated modesty by posing nude on the cover of the album.He hastely left Cameroon and his mother was imprisoned for some time.
Petit Pays lets the tornado to pass away before returning to Cameroon and continued producing more albums, sometimes solo and sometimes with his band 'Les Sans Visa'. The band became a breeding pond and career machine for new talents like Njohreur and samy Diko among others, who are now established artists. Today Petit Pays has a net worth of 1.2 biljon FCFA and has diversified his activities with construction projects. In the past decade he has carried out at least three projects in different districts to improve local road connections.
Although he is seen by everyone in Cameroon as a very successful man, he remains an unpredictable rebel, who still manages to shock the Cameroon community regularly. For instance in 2005 when he dressed like a woman on the cover of his album 'La Monako'. Or in 2007 when he relased 'Frotambo' which contains the song 'Les pedes'.
♫ audio 2005: La monako ♫ video clip 2007: Les pedes
Very few African artists have dared to break the taboo on subjects like travesty and homosexuality. In Cameroon, a country where homophobia is exacerbated, Petit Pays did it in his song 'Les pedes' singing: "Love has no borders, I'm crazy about you, you're crazy about me, friends, why do you mind us, we love each other" - and then - "everybody is against us, we do not care". Two years later he surprised the Cameroonians again, as he was seen at T.B. Joshua's Synagoge Church of All Nations in Lagos on Emmanuel TV. He declared he has given his live to Jesus Christ and born again. Later that same year Petit Pays released the album 'Caiman' as elected president of the Caiman Football Club in Douala, followed in 2010 by the album 'God go pay'. b ♫ videoclip 2010: - God go pay b June 11, 2011 Petit Pays represented Cameroon at the African Night at the Stade de France. He was accompanied by his band 'Le Sans Visa' and his famous group of dancers 'Les Turbines'. b ♫ live 11/6/11 Stade de France ♫ live 2017: Essen Germany b To date he has more than 40 albums to his name. Unlike many other successful African music stars Petit Pays decided to live in his native country. He lives in his self-built 'palace' in Douala Makepe neighbourhood, which has a street bearing his name. In 2015 he launched his own reality TV series titled 'Ma vie de Super Star' where he lets his fans into his private life as the superstar who has sold by now more than 35 million albums worlwide. Despite his provocative, seemingly often contradictory behaviour, all Petit Pays rebelliuos expressions seem to serve a common purpose, namely to contribute to more tolerance and mutual understanding.
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