Let’s face it: Sandra Nkaké has a voice. Sometimes powerful, sometimes soft, sometimes hoarse. This is the title of the first piece of her new offering – La voix éraillée.
Scars is for scars. At forty-nine, the Franco-Cameroonian singer takes stock of the scars she has accumulated as a black woman of African origin who immigrated to France.
“These scars are my strength, these scars of the past are filled with dreams, gifts of life and love”, says Sandra Nkaké in the text presenting her fourth opus.
And musically: soul, folk, R&B, jazz? A bit of everything, but more in minor than major mode. More Solange than Beyoncé, I might add. With a bit of Nina Simone.
Of the 13 songs, there are four in French and nine in English, with a bit of Douala. Cameroon, that is.
And Sandra Nkaké’s voice is subtle and incredibly magnified by the sound of the studio, a very well-polished musical envelope. Around the singer are musicians from her band, and the flautist/arranger Jî-Drû, of whom I recently spoke very highly in a review of his album Fantômes.
And the lyrics? It’s obviously about wounds, violence, but also about sounds, success and love.
It’s an opus full of truth and sincerity. Despite the dark theme, it is extremely pleasant to listen to. This singular voice will continue to dig (and trace) its furrow.