One thing to note about Tiken Jah Fakoly, and indeed reggae artist all over the world, is the near to life characteristic of their songs.
Perhaps it is not just the signature vocals or the typical traditional soundtracks; but they have a way of creating the piercing image of life’s struggles and the reality of life itself.
Reggae masters know how to party but beyond the dance hall style they tell the truth that no one is willing to admit.
Take the likes of Bob Marley or Africa’s own late Lucky Dube. Their lyrics reveal that more than the music and money that they make they are ardent observers of the society.
These are the group of people whose songs are clear agents of social change, courtesy of their thought provoking lyrics.
Tiken Jah Fakoly is not just an Ivorian reggae star but an intellect as well. He has written several works on Ivorian politics. Proving the Thespian assertion that the way a nation goes is decisive upon its arts, Tiken, through various art forms, tells it like it is regardless of the risks involved.
“I know it’s dangerous, but it’s my choice to be the voice of people without a voice.”
“It’s the mission of reggae music to do that. Bob Marley did it, and so did people like Martin Luther King. When they were fighting — I don’t want to compare to them, but I think they knew it was dangerous, but they knew they had a role to play and something to do at this time, and they did it.”
“Today, everybody talks about them, everybody talks about what they did. So that’s what’s very important. I’m the reggae maker, and I think reggae is a musical fight.”
“I know it’s dangerous but it’s important today for Africa to have some people like me. In Africa, you have some people like me who talk about the reality. If we want something changed, it’s important to take some risks.”
Tiken Jah Fakoly believes that reggae stars all over the world owe it to their respective societies to speak the truth and foster positive change through music.