Dikongué was born in Douala, Cameroon into a musically
talented family. It's no surprise, then, that he sang in a local
church choir with his grandmother and learnt basic guitar skills
from his uncle. However Henri's parents were not prepared for
their son to be a professional musician. Henri began Law studies
in a University in France in 1989 but soon abandoned that course
and enrolled in Ecole Normale de Musique instead. With no financial
support for that he had to do casual work while becoming part
of the African music scene in Paris at that time. Henri continued
composing and performing. Another interest of Henri's was theatre
and he set up his own company, Masques et Tam-Tam. At one time
he also worked with the South African choir 'Banthu Maranatha'
and collaborated with Manu Dibango, Manuel Wandji and Papa Wemba.
He cites the late Cameroonian
composer Eboa Lotin, vocalist/poet Pierre Akendengue and Armenian-born
French singer-composer Charles Aznavour as influences. Henri
has a song, 'Ndol'asu', which was written by Eboa Lotin, on
the very attractive 2002 compilation CD Africanesque.
Being a very meticulous composer, Henri worked on his own first
album project, Wa, for a number of years before it
was released in 1995. The lyrics, which cover issues such as
war and racism, were first written in French and then translated
Malanca et Alain Paris
The album Wa was a great success and Henri then had
a very busy concert schedule which included many festivals.
Returning to the town of Bresancon where he had first lived
in France, Henri's next CD was C'est la Vie (1997)
- love and refelction are the themes of many of the songs and
the CD is dedicated to Fela Kuti and Robert Mitchum! His next
album N'oublie Jamais came out in 2000. In
2005 Henri completed his 4th album, Biso Nawa.
Henri has performed in Europe and USA, and in 2003 went to Cameroon
for 'Les Rencontres Musicales de Yaoundé'
and also a highly popular concert in Douala.
acoustic sound is definitely different from either a typical
makossa or bikutsi beat: he also uses rumba, reggae and flamenco.
Some of his songs are very pleasantly soothing!