First thing first I have to introduce to you the British artist Shakka. Shakka is one of a kind. Half singer half rapper, Shakka is an entire artist. It’s been 5 years since I’ve listened to him and his project. I can firmly say that he’s an alien in the British music scene. And if you ask me, I will say that he doesn’t get enough recognition. Because Shakka’s talent and collaboration go beyond the British borders. Today, I wanted to come back on this singular project, that came out on November 6th 2015 : « The Lost Boys ». This is an article to rememorate myself about the possible aim of this project and its messages.
THE LOST BOYS EP
It’s clear that The Lost Boys EP is beyond our actual world and human existences. As the Intro of the project begins, we are already entering a new dimension. Shakka is confronting us with this repetition « You forget you were alive ». He’s interrogating himself or us or even a third being. The track « Intro » sets the tone : The Lost Boys is about finding the purpose of his life, physically and mentally. The end of the intro presents us a man with Shakka‘s voice and a « woman ». We can definitely say that The Lost Boys is about transhumanism and the construction and creation of a new species of human beings. Shakka and this woman are seeing each other for the first time. This woman will set him free from the Island. As we can see on the cover of the EP, Shakka and the three people behind him are escaping from the Island. The Lost Boys is about an inner discovery of oneself and of course, the discovery of the real world.
As we emerge ourselves into the project, we fall upon the track « You Don’t Know What You Do Me ». The second song goes further : Shakka has already caught « human » feelings like love and affection. Maybe this woman has revealed his consciousness. But the outro of the song clearly gives us a breach into the subject of the EP : Shakka is now on the continent, in London. But it’s not the London that many of us have experienced, the city seems to be under something’s control. Like a totalitarian city where every morning an alarm is waking you up so you can be what you have to be for the common good and sense. The next song, « Promise me », is a self dedication. Shakka is remembering himself not to forget his rights and wrongs, his inner self and his passions and doubts…every aspect of himself that makes him differ from the rest of the world. « Promise Me » is a cry for help and it’s a battle to say the same, seeing a complicated future approaching. The bop « Say Nada » is a complete liberation, on a different level : the music is intense, shared between rock and a trappy beat, Shakka explores himself mentally and sexually. This song is here to dislocate the pain and the stress of this monochrome life. This video sets the tone, « Say Nada » is about joy, freedom and pleasure. But the end of the song catches us quickly : Shakka was just sleeping. His colleagues wake him up and tell him, I quote : » you’ve been asleep – what the fuck bro ? – what you mean « you fell asleep » – what else could we mean by « you fell asleep » – but you started talking about a chick.. »?. His « friends » ask him if he has been taking his meds, which he hasn’t. We are clearly facing a mental fight between Shakka’s current life and the flashing memories of his « past life ». At this point, we understand that his meds control him and absorb the tiny parcel of emotions and memories he gets.
The song « Read My mind » is a sublime dance ballad. Shakka is once again reminiscing the feeling of love. At the end of the song, we go back to his reality. This time Shakka wakes up next to a doctor, this doctor asks him how long he has been free from his serum and it’s been a week. For a week, Shakka was able to fantasize and feel human. Those memories which are kept from him, are slowly growing in him. And we learn that in Shakka‘s society, women do not exist. His dreams are more than just memories, they confess an alternate reality and possibly one where he could love and be free. So finally, London is the Island, it’s the place from where he has to escape. The next title « Heart Don’t Lie » is calm and melancholic, it’s a sad song about holding our faces. But it’s mainly a self declaration of Shakka‘s feelings and humanity. London is a dystopian city, where men are kept away from women physically and mentally. Without women around, Shakka and the other men in London are living a sad life, where industry and sadness are the main goals. At the end of the song, Shakka‘s friends are waking up from their long psychic sleeps. Mentally free, they now understand his dreams and mind battles and they are also about to leave London : like in the Matrix, they have unplugged themselves and they are now ready to be alive, for real. They are now escapees under arrest.
Finally, « The Jungle’s » final song (and my favorite one). « The Jungle » symbolizes the stress to reach your goal. The first notes of the song sound like the alarm for a race, a race for your life in this context. The Jungle can personify Shakka and his friends’ minds, but also the difficulty to leave London, the dystopian city. When you wake up from a false reality, your owners will do everything to keep you asleep. The song crystalized a certain stress and dangerous atmosphere. Close from his goal, Shakka is feeling this energy boosting him to go on. At the end of the song, the feminine voice is here. Shakka has maybe finally reached the end of his quest : finding his life’s purpose, battling his insecurities and reaching out to this feminine voice, this woman who kept hunting him.
The Lost Boys is a musical masterpiece. In less than 10 songs, Shakka managed to tell this story, a part of him, where his imagination, troubles with the real world and London lassitude, are turning into a dystopian and fantasy sound project. The Lost Boys is about Shakka‘s freedom and the liberty of our society’s caricatural issues and cyclical functions. The next project « The Island », is the continuity of the Lost Boys. « The Island » is solar, vibrant, harmer and more focus on Shakka‘s life, possibilities and all the things liberty can offer him.
After 5 years, I can say that The Lost Boys has grown in me. And the more I age, the more I understand the project’s philosophy. Shakka is more than a voice : he’s a story teller, expressing his unconsciousness with grace and empathy. And he is also an incredible writer and creative.
I hope that I made you want to discover Shakka’s discography.
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