Backxwash closes a chapter of its tumultuous life by launching Friday evening His Happiness Shall Come First Even Though We Are Sufferingthe last album of an autobiographical trilogy that began in the spring of 2020 with God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of Itan album that won him the Polaris Music Prize a few months later.
“I can’t keep talking about my life like this and everything I’ve had to go through, so this new album marks the end” of this creative cycle, explains the trans musician, who exorcised the demons of her existence there. . And these demons will only have to stand Friday evening in the room of the Ministry, which, promises Backxwash, will become a “theater of expression in its most radical form”.
Anyone who has ever seen the atypical rapper on stage will also be convinced. In concert, the Montreal musician of Zambian origin does not do half measures, screaming as much as she raps, whipped up by her music combining rap with extreme metal – and, for the first time with this new album, with the soul and classical music. No kidding.
The most metal
A few months ago, Backxwash warned us on Twitter, his favorite communication channel, that the last album of his trilogy would also be the one that sounds the most metal. She’s not wrong, especially on the first half of the album. But it is also, paradoxically, the most accessible of his discography.
“Yes, I’m ready to say that it’s the most accessible, but if we compare it to everything else in music, I’m not sure it’s that accessible!” said the rapper, bursting out laughing. I simply wanted to play with musical forms, to prove to myself that I was capable of doing something different. »
After the brief introduction, the sound explorations of Backxwash can be heard behind the heavy drums of vibandaged (“Spirits”, in Nyanja, one of the Bantu languages), while a synthesizer prowls and a choir emerges singing the famous tune (Lacrimosa) from Requiem of Mozart.
On the next, Nyama (“Demon”), the metal takes back its rights, the musician having requested the singer and guitarist Kate Davies, of the extreme British metal trio Pupil Slicer, whose name is already enough to instill horror.
In Africa, the idea of witchcraft must be explained by the era of colonization, when our traditional spiritual practices were considered by the colonists to be witchcraft. Thus, to call a woman a witch is something pejorative, but as far as I am concerned, it is, on the contrary, positive.
“I had composed this very metal rhythm, he was begging for a chorus sung by a metal voice, says Backxwash, who discovered, then contacted Pupil Slicer by Twitter. It was so logical for the band to be on this song, I’m very grateful that they accepted, being fan from his work. »
Similar recognition will be addressed to the few other collaborators on the album, Michael Go on guitars, Morgan Page (who does “industrial-classical music”, the rapper tells us) and the MCs Sadistik, Ghais Guevara and Censored Dialogue, who had already collaborated on the previous album: “It’s like [le rappeur] Pusha T, who always invites Rick Ross into her projects, claiming that he always gives her good verses! says Backxwash.
The album ends on Mukazi (“Woman”), an astonishing rap in that it is delivered on a rhythm based on soul samples that Jay-Z would have appreciated 15 or 20 years ago — from Backxwash, it’s the unheard of. The rapper compares this surprisingly tender song to an epilogue, or “the final scene of a movie”. ” [Le nouvel album] is a nice way to end this chapter since it tells a lot of different stories, each song having its own theme. »
The first album was a way of presenting his character and his conflicts, explains Backxwash, whereas on the second, a little more biographical, “I was scared and angry”. This new album plunges even further into her childhood memories, she who grew up in a pious family and a very conservative society. To illustrate, let’s say, that the celebration of Halloween was rather frowned upon…
Subject to interpretation
If the notion of God and all that he made him carry comes back again in the themes of the album, we will notice two songs each presenting a facet of Backxwash’s identity: Juju (“Witchcraft”) and Nfwiti (” Witch “). “If I’m a witch?” It’s subject to interpretation,” she replies in a mysterious tone.
“In Africa, the idea of witchcraft must be explained by the era of colonization, when our traditional spiritual practices were considered by the colonists to be witchcraft. Thus, to call a woman a witch is something pejorative, but as far as I am concerned, it is, on the contrary, positive. In the context of my album, the two songs symbolize two different feelings: Juju evokes the bad look that we have on witchcraft, and Nfwiti symbolizes our strength. »
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The rapper Backxwash, a witch like no other
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