Born in Cameroon, but moving to Paris with his father before high school, Etienne Mbappe focused on his bass playing in a new country he was unfamiliar with. Though his father attempted to forbid it, Mbappe continued to practice and was soon asked to join the French National Jazz band. Performing with this prestigious group throughout the '80s, Mbappe developed a unique style of bass playing that incorporated jazz, funk, and African rhythms before he broke off on his own to release a solo album in '89. His solo work received tremendous acclaim and was deemed by many as the best world music album of the year. Mbappe has continued to grow as a bass player and establish himself as one of the world's preeminent musicians on his instrument of choice.