WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

Cameroonian Musician Brings Afropop and Afrobeat to D.C.

Play associated audio
Bass player Aristide Zogdoule is a mainstay on the D.C. music scene, and says being on stage is "my entire life."
Michael Shereikis
Bass player Aristide Zogdoule is a mainstay on the D.C. music scene, and says being on stage is "my entire life."

Aristide Zogdoule came to the U.S. after years of success playing music in locales as diverse as Belgium, Indonesia, and Singapore. And he expected that within a few years, he'd see his name in lights here in D.C.

"Unfortunately it didn't happen," he says. "But you know, I am still very happy with what I am doing."

What he's doing is juggling a job as a restaurant manager with a thriving career as a bass player for a number of bands here in Washington. He's established himself in the city's music scene, but says it's nearly impossible to make a living in music in the U.S. Still, he says the effort is worth it.

"I might be tired after working 9 or 10 hours, but as soon as I go on stage after those 10 hours I'm still going to give another 5 or 6, [and] those 6 hours are going to be the best of my life," he says.

Zogdoule learned bass from a Cameroonian friend who lives in Belgium, and the bass, he says, is critical to a band's success.

"People... most of the time they're going to be more attracted to something like the saxophone, the solo guitar, but [if] you don't have the bass and the drum, everything is completely empty," Zogdoule says.

He says performing music is his life.

"You know what my dream is? Die on stage," he says. "Not to be on the dark side, but the stage is my life. It's where my heart is beating. You forget everything that goes around you. People are there for you; you are there for them. You give them what they want; they give you that response. It just makes you feel alive."

[Music: "Tindehe" by Zieti on Zemelewa / "What a Wonderful World" by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra from A Very Ping Pong Christmas]

NPR

With 'Formation,' Beyoncé Lights Up The Internet. Here's What People Are Saying

The singer's new music video quickly drew commentary of all kinds — on its references to being black in America, Hurricane Katrina and Black Lives Matter.
NPR

Calif. Restaurant Gives Diners — And Sea Lions — An Ocean View

The Marine Room is a restaurant right on the beach. When the tide is high, waves hit the windows, and bring in unexpected visitors.
NPR

In The Light Of The Morning After, How Bad Was Rubio's Repetition?

"I would pay for them to keep running that clip, because that's what I believe passionately," Rubio said of a much-aired video excerpt if him repeating a line at Saturday's debate.
NPR

Super Bowl 50 Tightens Cybersecurity

This year's Super Bowl will be held in the most technologically advanced stadium in the world. FBI special agent John Lightfoot talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the threat of cyber attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.