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Tiken Jah Fakoly’s reggae talks about present occasions in Africa

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His songs are lined by demonstrators in Madagascar, Togo or Lyon: that is logical for the Ivorian Tiken Jah Fakoly, ambassador of a reggae that sings about “present occasions, actuality”.

Underneath the dreadlocks of this strong fifty-year-old, there are greater than thirty years of profession and eleven solo albums within the studio.

The newest, “Braquage de pouvoir”, launched on the finish of 2022, extends a piece that preaches pan-Africanism and scratches the political dysfunctions of the African continent.

His first solo album is named “Mangercratie” (1999), a few democracy swallowed by sure predators in energy. An analogous neologism emerges from the title observe “Braquage de pouvoir” with “Le peuple dit non à la famillecratie” (The individuals say no to the familycracy), a missile launched at nepotism.

However his reggae is common and resonates far past the borders of Côte d’Ivoire, his native nation and one in all his bases together with Mali and France.

“My music +Quitte le pouvoir+ (2004), individuals stated I had written it towards Laurent Gbagbo (then in energy in Côte d’Ivoire), however it was additionally taken up by demonstrators in Togo,” says Tiken Jah Fakoly, met by AFP in Paris. His suitcase prepared not far, vacation spot Zanzibar for a live performance.

The Mediterranean grew to become a cemetery

Similar sample with “Y’en a marre” (2000) heard in an illustration in Madagascar and “Le monde est chaud” (2019) extra just lately on the street in Lyon.

“Since Bob Marley, the function of reggae is to sing the information, actuality; my pleasure is to cross messages to youth, or to be the voice of those that can’t specific themselves, on their dwelling situations, specifically, “says the singer.

On his new album, the music “Où est-ce que tu vas?” (The place are you going?) is there to make clear “the difficulties of crossing” on makeshift boats to the European Eldorado. “There are pictures taken of Paris from the Champs-Elysées and the Grands Boulevards that make you dream and the truth, the Mediterranean that has turn into one of many greatest cemeteries for African youth.

One other observe, “Beau continent”, bounces on the topic: no want to go away, a future could be inbuilt Africa. This observe, recorded with Dub Inc, a duo from Saint-Etienne with roots in Benin and Algeria, celebrates the vitality of Africa. “Africa isn’t poor, it has been impoverished, for me it’s the continent of the long run,” insists Tiken Jah Fakoly.

“Embassy of reggae”

“It is simply 60 years for the reason that independence of some nations, it is younger, when there may be stability, once we are united, Africa shall be listened to love China, the USA or Europe as we speak,” he predicts.

And to paraphrase a well-known maxim about China, “when Africa awakens, the world will tremble. Within the meantime, the musician is appearing on his personal scale with what he calls “the reggae embassy” in Yopougon, a commune within the north of Abidjan. A constructing supposed for younger artists with a recording studio, rooms and two rehearsal rooms of “European commonplace”. In order to not relive the pioneer days, when his percussionists “rehearsed by banging on pots and pans”.

With out forgetting, his delight, “the one full library on reggae and Rastafarianism” in Africa. And a “radio fm to broadcast reggae and concrete music to assist the brand new era”.

For individuals who are nonetheless questioning, reggae has its place in Africa. On the duvet of Bob Marley’s 1979 album “Survival”, African flags could be seen, as if to name for African unity, an thought mirrored within the music “Africa Unite”.

“We’re right here to proceed Bob’s battle: no one will change issues for the individuals, we’re right here to impress them. One in every of Tiken Jah Fakoly’s newest tracks is “The Folks Have the Energy”.