Interwiew : Reggae Artist Mystik Seydina

Tivaouane-born, Mont Rolland-raised, multi-lingual reggae musician / activist Mystik Seydina recently released a new album "Y'a que l'espoir" ("There is Only Hope"), available on cdbaby here and Soundcloud.

One video for the song "Ghetto Sufferation" filmed in Italy (by Francesco Tassara) is about the hardships of urban blight, and the connections across borders between those on the wrong side of current economics.

What is your new album about?

It's one of peace. In the song "Bloody World", I speak to humanity which I feel is unfortunately becoming more and more criminal, with less and less tolerance. I call on African people to unite because the time has come for the continent's unity if we really want to develop and eradicate suffering. I ask all governments to respect the people they serve and to do a good job managing the resources of their nations.

Is there anything about you in the songs and lyrics?

I have known suffering. If I sing "Homeless" and "Sama Diar Diar" it is because I pretty much lived the life of a homeless person with no security whatsoever. Living in this totally different universe, from what I was used to, it also led me to write a song about my mother "Maman Te Quiero".

Some of your lyrics are also very political. What do you consider your role as a musician?

I am always ready to be the voice of the voiceless, to fight against injustices, dictatorships, corruption, racial discrimination. I also fight against terrorism, those who misuse religion, people who cross oceans to sell drugs and illegally occupy lands. I want these people to leave Africa because Africa is not their playland. All these terrorists want to recolonize Africa to compete with the West and the United States. I hope Africans will no longer let themselves be colonized. We were never given the time to develop like other continents, other people have abused us. A reggae artist, if you speak the truth, wherever you are, even in the most isolated place in the world, people will hear you.

What are your future projects and goals?

At 37, I continue to work as a musician, songwriter and music video director, as well as artistic director of my own label "Gainde Culture Studio." Even though I've been traveling, I am still based in Senegal. I hope to work with many other artists from around the world, but especially from where I am from.

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