- 26 Nov 21
Read Jacknife Lee's input for 100 Voices #AllAgainstRacism below...
Artist & Producer
Rokia Koné is one of the great voices of our time. We have found ourselves in an age when science, logic and truth are doubted but there’s one thing that can cut through all the noise and that’s music. Rokia’s voice feels like truth. It channels the spirits of people that came before and reminds us that we are just baton passers. It feels like gospel music or something older.
Yes, she sings in a language I don’t understand and stories that are not about my life or my past, but they are stories of a universal human struggle to be heard and recognised. This transcends all borders, barriers and language if you allow yourself to be open to it. Working with Rokia and her friends has been one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve had in music. The record dismantled what I felt I understood about music. It forced me to listen in a way I hadn’t before. This wasn’t a cerebral experience, it was felt and instinctual.
The white world still thinks it’s at the centre of everything, like an old colonial map. The music industry certainly does. It’s not the centre. There is so much music from underrepresented places that will change your life. The digital age has made it all so accessible. It’s out there for you.
Me as a white man speaking about racism feels inappropriate. My white privilege enabled me to think that racism was something that was on its way out but it’s not. Our societies are founded on it, the systems are still in place. Music, actual music not the business, is a place for me where the playing field is level and where a truth can be heard.
Read Part 1 of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism, in the current issue of Hot Press. Available to pick up in shops now, or to order online below:
Special thanks to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for their support in this project.