Djiki

Djiki

 Brockton, Massachusetts, USA
BandWorldSinger/Songwriter

My first CD, Tera Grandi, includes Cape-Verdean traditional music and international music of Latin, Caribbean, African and European rhythms and flavors. The lyrics are written in Cape-Verdean Creole, Spanish, Portuguese, and English

Biography

I was born in Brava, a tiny island of the archipelago Republic of Cape Verde. I learned to love the fine and sweet melody of morna, the Capeverdean national song, hearing my mother sing while removing flowery tassels from corn plants in preparation for harvest. My childhood musical experience would be complemented with the passionate serenades performed at our door steps by youthful neighbors, with the rhythm and chorus of the traditional celebrations of patron saints, and by walking behind musicians filling our streets with acoustic music in the mornings of New Year’s Day. Later on as a teenager I was introduced to the organ and guitar by enthusiastic amateur musicians involved in church music. I went on to sing and play guitar in the church. When I was eighteen, perhaps in recognition of my effort at learning music, my father bought me my first guitar. By that time Cape Verde was already invaded by international music from countries like Brazil, French Antilles, and the United States. With its pervasiveness, the record industry flooded our emigrant nation’s market with foreign sound and rhythm that would greatly influence the evolution of Capeverdean music. As always seems to be the case, young people were the most exposed to this wave of musical influence. I still have fresh memories of dancing cumbia (from Colombia) or cadence (from Dominica) in parties, or routinely listening to Brazilian samba and French song on the radio. As I later went to college abroad and ended up as an immigrant in the United States, my exposure to and appreciation of international music increased dramatically. At the same time, I learned new languages (Spanish, English) and, to prove the thesis that one always absorbs elements of a new culture while learning a new language, the musical influences from foreign cultures seem to have planted roots in my heart and soul. My early songwriting shows undeniable evidence of this multifaceted experience. But then, after living abroad for so many years, I would rediscover my roots to realize that Cape Verde is a mind blowing universe of musical forms and styles that recreated and mixed musical traditions from Africa, Europe, and other parts of the world. The richness and diversity of Capeverdean music only recently crossed the Atlantic horizon of our small archipelago to travel the four corners of the world in the voices of divas like Cesaria Evora, Lura, and Mayra Andrade. My debut album, while paying tribute to the splendid influences of foreign music, does not, however, elude today’s revival of Capeverdean musical tradition and era of experimentation Tera Grandi includes Cape-Verdean traditional music and international music of Latin, Caribbean, African and European rhythms and flavors. The lyrics are written in Cape-Verdean Creole, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. With the variety of the album’s repertoire I want to share with global citizens songs from my own ethnic culture as well as those inspired by music from other parts of the world I've been listening to since I was a teenager living in the islands of Cape Verde. Peace and universal love, Djiki.

Discography

Tera Grandi