Ivorian musician Tiken Jah Fakoly is releasing his new album titled Racines on September 25. It’s a tribute album to the golden age of Jamaican reggae. An album is composed exclusively of covers of classic songs from Bob Marley, Buju Banton, Burning Spear and Peter Tosh, it was recorded at Tuff Gong in Jamaica and Bamako in Mali, with Sly & Robbie, Mikey Chung and Robbie Lyn for Mandingo Instruments, and features well known Jamaican artists U-Roy, Max Romeo, Ken Boothe and Jah9.
The album is led by new single “Is It Because I’m Black?“, featuring Ken Boothe, aka Mr. Rocksteady, the exceptional performer with a 50-year career under his belt. Together, they tackle one of the first (and beautiful) soul songs about African-American identity, originally written in 1968 by Mississippi soul-blues man Syl Johnson.
Meeting in Kingston for the first time, a few days before they recorded their version of “Is It Because I’m Black?” in Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong, the outspoken reggae artist Tiken Jah Fakoly coming from Ivory Coast and the Jamaican legend of Rocksteady Ken Boothe gel well on the track, with Jah Fakoly adding traditional African instruments that add unique color to this timeless ballad, creating a bridge between Africa and Jamaica.