Source Roots Time:
It is no coincidence that this CD will be released on International Women's Day: singer and multi-talent (she is also a dancer and very strong in graphic arts) Fely Tchaco has her roots in Ivory Coast and therefore knows a thing or two about the position of the woman in today's world. In the seven years since we first heard from her, she herself has developed into a particularly strong woman, who, partly due to the art (s) in which she is active, can no longer be very much captured by male supremacy, which of course, this does not alter the fact that there is still a great deal of work to be done in many areas, which will be regarded and treated as completely equal for women.
This new record by Fely is heavily inspired by the trip she took in 2016 to the Syrian refugee camps; themes such as migration, human trafficking and the call for social justice are central. The title of the album - its fifth by the way - can be translated as “deep water” and the link with the many thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees who lost their lives in the Mediterranean in search of a better life Europe is therefore abundantly clear.
Fely comes from the Gouro from Ivory Coast, a people who highly value the discipline of “storytelling” and it must be said that Fely, although she has lived in San Francisco, USA for years, has by no means forgotten that aspect of her roots. . In a mix of pop, (afro) -jazz, funk and even a bit of techno, sung in several languages from her native country, as well as French and English, Fely shares her vision of contemporary affairs in a large part of the world. You might then expect that, with so much misery on our planet, the whole record of bitter indictments would overflow, but nothing could be further from the truth. The album exudes an enormous positivity and although it is both cosmopolitan in terms of design and design, as well as tight and strict in terms of message where it belongs, Fely very often draws attention to the strength that is present in every person and which, according to her, forms the basis for overcoming all odious systems and situations.
The fact that the record attracts your attention from the first listen has everything to do with the authenticity, the credibility, it radiates; here stands a woman who knows what she is talking about, but who finds within herself sufficient strength to break free from the forced submission. This in turn has to do in part with the connection she still feels with her country of origin and the position of the woman there. The names of the accompanying musicians do not immediately ring bells for me, but I was delighted to see that the gentlemen manage to create a very fine sound setting, in which the powerful and expressive voice of Fely is beautifully reflected. Song titles like -in translation- “Blaming Others” “Shout Out Loud”, “Deep Water” and “It's Never Too Late” pretty much sum up the message of this extremely good album, which manages to put an important message to music without become preachy for just one moment. You don't come across something like this too often and so the summary is obvious: more than worth listening to!