The Burkina Faso rap musician, Louis Salif Kiekieta (a.k.a. Smarty) on Tuesday played in Ethiopia for the first time at the Alliance Ethio-Franҫaise.
He played his rap music with his band, which uses both modern musical instruments and the traditional ones. His songs mostly featured the demise of those who make Africa a continent for devastation and desperate people. Despite some of the criticisms made against him and some African musicians who play rap in Africa, he applauds rap as being a very good sort of music to transmit messages. Moreover, as a very popular music genre, he believes it can promote African culture and identity.
Being in Ethiopia for the first time, he says he knows the country through the music of Bob Marley and others, and Ethiopia's history and some Ethiopian musicians who play Ethiopian music on international stages. Yeleen is the band he formed together with the Chadian Celestin Mawandoe to impact Burkina Faso's music. They worked together for ten years and separated a few years ago to go off on their own. "Our collaboration brought a huge impact in West African music; but we also learned much to stand alone today," he told The Reporter.
With regard to his relationship with the Ivorian singer Tiken Jah Fakoly, he said that he is proud that he had played with him, and applauded his advice and togetherness to lead him this level. "He is my big brother who taught me many things," he exclaimed. "It is the motive of cheap politicians, to divide people what we are, from the side. We didn't support opposition, he said when asked about their abandonment of Ivory Coast following the allegation that they were behind the opposition group in Northern Ivory Coast. "We had families from Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. My dad is from Côte d'Ivoire and my mother belongs to Burkina Faso, and that made them to label us opposition supporters," he said.