[Blackstudies-l] Bokanté serves up songs in the key of Creole

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Tue Jul 25 11:22:39 EDT 2017


lisaparavisini posted: " A report by Sonia Narang for SDPB Radio. The
Vancouver Jazz Festival recently drew musicians from around the world to
Canada’s West Coast. One band brought a distinctive sound flavored with
Caribbean rhythms, West African music, and Mississippi Delta b"
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New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> Bokanté serves up
songs in the key of Creole
<http://repeatingislands.com/2017/07/24/bokante-serves-up-songs-in-the-key-of-creole/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: SFJF35_article_hero_Bokante.jpg]

A report by Sonia Narang for *SDPB Radio.*
<http://listen.sdpb.org/post/bokant-serves-songs-key-creole>

The Vancouver Jazz Festival recently drew musicians from around the world
to Canada’s West Coast. One band brought a distinctive sound flavored with
Caribbean rhythms, West African music, and Mississippi Delta blues to the
stage. They call themselves Bokanté
<http://groundupmusic.net/artists/bokant%C3%A9>, which means “exchange” in
the Creole language of the Caribbean.

The musical group’s lead singer and songwriter Malika Tirolien grew up on
the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. She now lives in Montreal, and
sings mostly in her mother tongue of Creole, which is a hybrid of French
and her island’s local language.

“For me, the Creole is very, very important, and I’m very proud of it,”
Tirolien says. “That’s why I put a lot of it into my music. And Creole is
such a beautiful language,” she adds.

“I’m bringing that Caribbean flavor, and also I’m bringing a little bit the
rhythm of gwo ka, which is a rhythm from Guadeloupe,” she says, and
explains how the band’s recent album "Strange Circles
<https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Circles-Bokant%C3%A9/dp/B06XCRJKDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500915927&sr=8-1&keywords=bokante+strange+circles>"
was a collaborative effort.

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdN1VIbq-aI?feature=oembed>

“In all the songs, the exchange is taking place. Every time somebody’s
playing, they’re bringing who they are into the music,” she says.

One song off the new album is “An Ni Chans,” a title in Creole that means
“I’m Lucky.” Tirolien says it’s a classic example of how the band fused an
array of influences on a single track.

“I wanted to have a rhythm that is from Guadeloupe,” she says. “But the
fact that everybody comes from different places, that changed the rhythm a
little bit. Everybody is putting in a line, everybody has something to say
musically. So, it’s like a multicultural discussion and exchange.”

Tirolien says this song is “about being very lucky to be surrounded by
community and a family that loves us and gives us strength.” She herself
comes from a supportive, artistic family — her grandfather was a poet, her
grandmother a pianist, and her father plays multiple instruments.

During her youth on Guadeloupe island, Tirolien found herself drawn to
soul, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and, one of her favorites, Michael Jackson. She
later moved to Canada to study jazz at the Université de Montréal, and
began fusing urban hip-hop with jazz and Caribbean beats.

As the front woman for Bokanté, Tirolien now uses music to create an
exchange with her audience as she sings in both French and Creole.

“Not a lot of people know about Creole, and it kind of puts Guadeloupe on
the map a little bit,” she says, and laughingly adds, “Well, that’s what
I’m hoping.”

She was especially excited to come across a video of students in Malaysia
singing one of her songs in Creole.

“It’s such an example of how this language can be sung by people so far
away,” says Tirolien. “It makes me feel very, very happy, very proud, very
humbled, very grateful to have people from far away singing in Creole.”
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
July 24, 2017 at 10:52 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-wlF

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