Tukki talks about his new album:
“On the Afro” resonates everything Africa....Afropop, Afrobeats, Afrofunk, Afro, Afro!
Why On The Afro?
I wanted to honor my origins in The Dakar Plateau, Senegal where I grew up playing and singing Assiko drums 20 years ago when it was very underground. I’ve always produced Afrobeats with a foundation of Assiko. Now Afrobeats is popular worldwide. I bring my own touch to it.
I produced some of the songs 9 years ago that were so avant-garde, the public wasn’t ready for it yet. Now, everybody is ready for it.
With Afrobeats you dance guided by the irresistible beats of the percussion and that’s what I wanted: A good time album where you can dance with the stories, the tales, the melodies, and the messages.
The main message is LOVE because we can’t get enough of it, love, self-love, passion, intimacy.
The album starts with “So Natural” a statement and advocate of self-love.
Yes, I sing how beautiful African women are because, through them, I can see all the women and men in the world. Yes, we are all from Africa. But the most important thing about this song is to bring awareness to the importance of melanin; that people don’t need to bleach and poison their skin to match a beauty standard established by the colonizer. I mentioned Lupita Nyong'o as a great example of a talented, successful African woman being naturally herself. I have so much love for that woman.
We can still dance to music with a strong message: “People’s Power - The Sun”
ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY, yes, the sun, I believe, is the people’s power. We have so much of it Africa yet we don’t have enough power and technology. But I am very optimistic the future of Africa is bright.
Love is everywhere in this album. For once, I get to tell my own love stories in songs. I can see most men and women can relate. Having communication issues with my partner, learning about healing through therapy, and how love affects our mental health, love has the magic to bring happiness. “communication, lost in the ocean, save my relation, look at now “Where We Are”.
On this album, I naturally mix Wolof and English together. It flows great so I can teach Wolof to my fans easily. I want to make an affirmation that I'm from Senegal no matter how far I am from home I'm still rooted there.
This is a good-time album. I dedicated the song “We Gon Dance” to the most courageous woman and activist I ever knew, telling her; Hey, you deserve a break. You don’t have to fight all the time. It is in an afro-reggae sound that makes you think, what kind of reggae is this? it feels nostalgic, warming, and groovy and will get you into your 1,2,3 steps.
On this album, I put my version of Fela Kuti and my version of Bob Marley. They are still my reference when it comes to music.
From Assiko, to Afrobeats, to Amapiano, to Dancehall, I’m staying true to the philosophy of TUKKI which is traveling the world without borders. Now afrobeats have no borders. it's not just the waves, it's Africa.
“On the Afro” will take you on a journey throughout Senegal, of course, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and to Chicago, where I love to live now. This album is perfect timing for my journey. It is my ticket to realize my African dream of touring in Africa, sharing my music, learning more culture, more tastes, and seeing more of it with my own eyes. I've always had the dream to drive from Dakar to Capetown.
As far, I’m the main producer and composer. I’m also grateful to have worked and collaborated with great producers from Ghana, Nigeria, and Jamaica and great vocalists, musicians, and engineers from all around the world.
Covid changed the course of most musicians' lives. I've seen musician friends who gave up. I never thought about giving up but I feel the fatigue and disappointment. After I moved from France to Chicago, it took me 3 years to build my foundation again in another new city where everything is different… and then, we all heard that famous line ''COVID HIT''. We had to cancel my first tour, we had to stay home and we were told we aren't essential workers. Yet we all know how music is essential in our lives. So we started doing virtual concerts and releasing singles. As things start to come back into place, the market changed. Most artists are convinced that dropping a single every 2 months is the way to go. I have been doing that too but as my fanbase is growing bigger, as I have been playing these songs at my concerts, my fans go to stream them and can't find them because they aren’t released yet. This told me, ''Hey Tukki, it’s time to release an album.''
This album is my “Gold”, the treasure I have found. Which is my FREEDOM AND PEACE.