Reniss’ Genre Fluidity in Tendon

Dzekashu MacViban

Post-“La Sauce” Reniss is restlessly creative and reinvents herself in a genre called Mboko Pop


Midway into Tendon (Reniss’ first album after two EPs and multiple singles), genre fluidity is the album’s most noticeable attribute. But this hardly comes as a surprise because Reniss restlessly reinvents herself and her music—as do most of the artists under New Bell Music.

Reniss’ musical range in Tendon spans diverse genres such as RnB, Bend Skin, Bikutsi, Makossa, folk music dancehall, afropop and gospel, a gumbo of sounds described by her label as Mboko Pop.

Reniss’ Post-“La Sauce” releases; “Dashiki” and “Pilon”, which were simultaneously released say a lot about her music. While the former ties in with Reniss’ soulful early style (highlighted by “I’m Ready”), the name-dropping latter belongs to her experimental repertoire (championed by “La Sauce”). “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.

Interestingly, the album’s best songs are not the experimental, sample-laden “La sauce”, “Pilon”, and “Michael Jackson”, but rather songs like “Wusai” (which reinvents Highlife), the soulful “I’m Ready”, and the part-reggae part-ragga ballad “Feel Like”, not forgetting “Half”, the album’s overture.








  1. A very close observation, but I have been wondering why she seems to have hidden or should I say “shielded” her “geographical identity” from the mixture of these genres! All the same, her mixture too signals the cultural diversity of her immediate surrounding, but at the same time it says very little about her childhood influences apart from the traces of Pidgin in ” La Sauce” and co. that signal the other part of her setting.

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