Tiken Jah Fakoly will sing for the first time in the region, May 4 He will point at the La Sagueneenne Chicoutimi with the intention to deliver parts that have made him one of the most renowned African artists, while sharing his love of reggae through versions grouped on Roots , his most recent album.
Joint Wednesday as singer and musician was in Bamako, Mali, he explained how the idea came to him to take the classics of his childhood idols, legendary figures like Bob Marley, Pete Tosh and Burning Spear . It took a guideline that came from their affiliation with the African culture.
“Early in my career, I refused to do again because I wanted to look like who I was, the present Tiken Jah. There is one year, for against, I found the message in Marley Get Up, Stand Up still present and I used traditional African instruments to draw a link with the roots reggae, “he described.
On the disc, and means of the kora, balafon, djembe and Sokou, a violin with only one string. Admittedly, Tiken Jah Fakoly and his musicians had taken the time to assimilate the songs before entering the studio, something like six months.
“Me too, I needed time to learn the text and enunciate. I’m glad I did with my English accent Africa because it is well to respect his style, “notes the artist from the Ivory Coast.
It remained to be seen if the other part of the equation, the veterans of the Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, would feel challenged. We talk about guys who worked with Marley and Tosh, people like Sly & Robbie who used to see foreign land home to record some tracks.
“As I worked there in 2001 and 2004, I was not intimidated at the idea of returning, notes Tiken Jah Fakoly. I also felt that the guys gave me more respect, now that I’m more experienced, and they were happy to play on Roots. They wondered why no Jamaican had thought to do this kind of album. ”
He speaks of friendly meetings interspersed with nostalgic flashes, like when Robbie Shakespeare registered African, the beautiful song of Pete Tosh. “He told me it was the first time he had this bass line from the piece of creation with Tosh,” says the author of Nothing surprises me.
He who is 47 years old has experienced moments of grace which dates back to his adolescence, a period of his life, which coincided with the discovery of reggae. It was far, Jamaica, but we can never overestimate the spiritual bond between the mainland, across the oceans.
“Bob Marley is always demanded of Africa”, summarizes Tiken Jah Fakoly.
Hope: schools and more unity
“I’m an optimist African,” says Tiken Jah Fakoly. Sensitive to what is happening on the continent of his birth, he notes the conflicts in some regions, but also of hope aroused by the country where people’s quality of life is assessed. In each case, there are lessons to be learned.
One of them relates to education. Sign of the interest shown by the singer and musician, he financed the construction of five houses teaching through the project A concert, a school. “It’s a way to get the message. I hope we put Africans at school, “he states.
To him, an educated population will make Africa a land where life will be better. “There will be less manipulation by politicians,” gives an example Tiken Jah Fakoly. In the same spirit, he dreams of the day when a single passport will be issued on the continent. It will mean that its 54 countries have decided to walk in unison.
“As long as we remain divided, we gain nothing, argues the artist. There are 20 million people in Ivory Coast. How do you want us we impose facing powers like the United States? We are strong when we are united. ”
While admitting that this could not be realized in his lifetime, a man of 47 years chose to lead by example by reconciling with Alpha Blondy, his famous compatriot. had scrambled politics, but now their relationship is harmonious, if not friendly.
“It is important that artists lead by example and it is for this reason that we have to be seen together, me and Alpha Blondy. We have to show that in a democracy, everyone does not have to think like, “suggests Tiken Jah Fakoly.