For Immediate Release – San Francisco, CA – FELY TCHACO might be one of the Bay Area’s best-kept musical secrets, but not for much longer. Her highly anticipated new album YITA (DEEP WATER), originally scheduled for release last spring but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is now set for release on March 8, 2021, to coincide with International Women’s Day.
YITA (DEEP WATER) marks the fifth full-length album from FELY TCHACO on which she explores themes of migration, human trafficking, and calls for social justice and the end of police brutality against civilians. The title track “Yita” was inspired by her 2016 humanitarian trip to bear witness to Syrian refugee camps in Greece, and the album is dedicated to African and Middle Eastern migrants who lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. YITA (DEEP WATER) was conceived as a tribute to migrants seeking better lives all over the word, but the album is not just a solemn remembrance; it is also a positive, inclusive celebration of cultural diversity and black joy, where FELY TCHACO offers an uplifting vision of immigrant triumph and African excellence.
An immigrant who faced tremendous challenges herself, FELY TCHACO was born and raised in the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, where she released two albums to critical acclaim in the 1990s. She now resides in San Francisco, where she continues to refine her sound and vision. Since 2004, FELY TCHACO has released two more albums and an EP, racking up more accolades on this side of the Atlantic including an Independent Music Award for “Best Song” in the World Beat category, and a “Just Plain Folks Music Award.”
YITA (DEEP WATER) is an album firmly rooted in tradition, but cosmopolitan in composition and outlook. FELY TCHACO’s unflinching lyrics are inspired by current events, and always grounded in her own life experiences. FELY TCHACO sings in many different languages: English and French as well as in the languages she grew up speaking, such as Gouro, Bete, and Dioula. A dancer as well as a musician, FELY TCHACO specializes in the traditional rhythms of the West African forest region, such as gbegbe, gahou, alloukou, and the zaouli – a mask dance from her own Gouro people that has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2017. The track “Zaouli” is a celebration of this very special mask dance.
FELY TCHACO’s commitment to Ivorian music, dance, and traditions led her to found the Pan African Arts Academy in San Francisco, with a mission to teach arts and crafts originating in Africa and the African diaspora based on a spirit of cultural diversity, dynamic growth, and sustainability. FELY TCHACO has deliberately chosen to release YITA (DEEP WATER) on International Women’s Day 2021, whose theme this year is #ChooseAChallenge.
“I am so grateful to be able to represent my culture as a Gouro woman, because there are not many of us. It is mostly men that are known in the crafts, arts and dance. I hope that I can add to that by celebrating not only the Gouro women but to celebrate the entire women all over the world who have contributed so much in art and music.”
Discover singular voice of FELY TCHACO this spring with YITA (DEEP WATER), available on all major platforms March 8, 2021.
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