Armand Ntep is both a unique vocalist and a prolific, innovative composer. His vocal talent is broad in terms of octave and style from silky baritone croon to pygmy-inspired syncopation to tender tenor ballads. His compositions run the gamut from salsa to hip-hop to traditional "lihongo" from his native Cameroon.
From the time his uncle gave him a guitar at age 4, Armand has been composing music. He began performing at age 8, playing with his father's orchestra in Eseka, Cameroon. While learning in school, Armand was studying different musical styles -- reggae, rumba, cha-cha-cha, as well as popular Cameroonian "assiko", "makossa" and "bikutsi" beats. When he was a teenager, Armand developed partial paralysis in his right forehand, ending his chance as a guitarist. It was not until five years later that Armand discovered his singing talent when he joined the high school choir at the suggestion of a teacher.
After high school, Armand performed at the well-known African club "Farafina" in Paris, France and at "Le Vieux Négre" in Douala, Cameroon. He also formed the group "Longue Djam" with whom he played until 1996, when he moved to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire for a long-term engagement at the "ZigZag Club."
Since arriving in the U.S. in 2000, Armand has performed as guest artist on two albums by Shahin (in 2001 and expected in late 2004). He also began doing voice-over work, most notably for a National Geographic Ultimate Explorer show about Liberia. Collaboration with a group of jazz musicians led to a series of acclaimed performances with the Afro Jazz Explosion, a group that blends straight ahead jazz with African influences for an exciting blend. In 2004, Armand performed in a series of original works titled "Evolution", created by guitarist John Kamman, which blended chamber music and jazz. Finally, work on his CD led to the formation of The Armand Ntep Band, dedicated to showcasing Armand's own rich compositions and vocal versatility.
Performances from Washington, DC, to Baltimore to New York City have shown Armand's talent for creating a magical experience for and with his audiences. Notable venues include Baltimore's National Jazz Alliance, the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute, Brooklyn's "Madiba" Club, U.S. Library of Congress, American University, Camden Yards, and long standing performances at Twins Lounge.
Armand released his new CD titled "Bantuphonic" in May 2004.