Shakka swaps London for Dominica as he traces his roots


The Voice writes about UK singer Shakka [Phillip]’s trip to Dominica, saying that “Culture, carnival and coconut rum were all part of the experience when the UK singer-songwriter headed to his homeland.” See excerpts here:

Famed songs including Say Nada and When Will I See You Again, as well as his feature on Wretch 32’s smash hit, Blackout, Shakka has racked up numerous achievements since his emergence onto the music scene in 2012. [. . .] More recently, the talented artist left his London home to reconnect with his roots on a trip to Dominica. Here, Shakka recalls his Caribbean capers:

[. . .] What was your first impression?  My first impression was immersed in flashbacks: The colours of the airport, the smell and humidity of the atmosphere. I genuinely expected to hear my mum hurrying me to somewhere in patois.

Where did you go from the airport?  The first spot we hit was the market by the sea in Portsmouth. I surprised my uncle; he knew I was coming, but he just didn’t know when. We poured rum into a full coconut and made a toast to our reunion.

[. . .] You weren’t wasting any time! So what was next? [Caribbean street party] J’Ouvert – 4am with people dancing to a constant drum beat and chocolate smeared everywhere. Nothing but the very few street lights and our voices to guide us. It was like we were trying to communicate with our ancestors. In the afternoon, we drove across the island to Grand Bay, visiting Asa Banton – Dominican artist and Bouyon [music] pioneer – talking to him about his ‘strictly local’ ethos, which emphasises the importance of being himself with vernacular, clothing style and subject matter. The following days included meeting the indigenous inhabitants of the Island, the Kalinago people; learning of their history and the history of mankind, their struggle, and how they live in Dominica today. [. . .]

How did the Homelands collaboration work out?  This was new – I had never collaborated with an outfit who specialised in Bouyon. Neither had I made music in the country of my parents’ birth. I don’t know if it was the stew chicken I had before we started, or the buzz of carnival still in my system. After five minutes, making the song felt like clockwork. [. . .]

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For full article and interview, see

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