From home to home, she forged a strong character and began to write her first rhymes as a teenager.
She quickly became known on the underground scene and became part of Mars Patrie and, after that, Etat-major (Grand State), both of which allowed her to make her name. In 2003, she launched her solo career, releasing her first maxi, translated from the French as The Missile Has Been Launched. Of course, she had to wait until 2006 before a record label showed some interest in her and allowed her name to reach national recognition with her first album Entre ciment et belle etoile (Between Cement and Beautiful Star – Because Music), a highly convincing piece of work, fruit of her experiences on the street, in direct contact with the people.
The Hip Hop scene in France in general, and in Marseille in particular, boasts significant creativity and is often related to the demands of disadvantaged social collectives.
The artist, a staunch Altermondialiste, is no exception and her musical work is united with the movement, La Rage du Peuple (The Rage of the Population), and to the association Appel aux sans Voix, for whom Arkana doesn’t have to think twice about placing herself at the front of demonstrations, defending the ideas she holds deep in her heart. On this occasion, she presented us with her new record, Desobeissance (Disobedience – Because Music), released last month, with a powerful concert which met completely the expectations of all those who love authentic Hip Hop.
After the appearance of the first local group, At Versaris (Rodrigo, pau and Bel), the room was already charged with a positively revolutionary energy.
These guys, with their critical, aggressive Catalonian rhymes, taken from their work Va amb nosaltras (Propaganda Pel Fet, 07), brought to us the social reality to be found in the majority of neighbourhoods in this country, those that we never see in the media, those on the margin of political rhetoric who can only rely on their own people to progress anywhere.
The pretty young and mainly French-Catalonian public were totally involved. Fists in the air, shouting Liberty; it was an echo of the reality that we have to live (or suffer...)... so many lies, speculations and so on... Is this really what we want? The live words of Keny Arkana, her voice offstage, and her appearance on the stage as an ‘envoy’ sent a clear message and a vital clarion-call. The room was on fire before her just rhymes, with complicit smiles, constant participation and a huge connection between artist and public during the entire concert, especially with tracks like ‘Victoria’ (an emotive song for the oppressed Argentinean population) and the long-awaited ‘La Rage’ (The Fury). Both let us all take out our frustration as a people, everyone united by a true collective yell… “La Rage, La Rage, La Rage!” The energy never decayed at all and, after massive cries from the crowd, the rapper gave us an encore, climbing down from the stage to personally salute the public. A group of young people lifted her up onto their shoulders as the true winner of the evening. With great charisma, so much to say and such quality sound, Keny is the QUEEN, leaving us with great energy and a great deal to reflect upon.
After the concert, we chatted with her for a while, and a little with DjTruk, one of those who had accompanied her on stage and a member of one of our ‘sister’ magazines, the French LAST-mag. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to publish the interview in this edition due to technical problems but we hope to have it ready for the next issue... Many thanks to Keny and her team; you are a great inspiration to us all. May the Fight of the People never die!