Listen to our new Madame Talk with Marseille-based rapper/beatmaker/DJ Waka!
A rapper, beatmaker and DJ, Waka was born in Cameroon and arrived in France at the age of 8. She grew up between Paris and the suburbs before moving to Marseille in 2016.
Passionate about comics and drawing, she turned to music when she was 20. She first bought a guitar with her first pay check and then explored electronic music and beatmaking. Soon, she decided to write texts to go with her instrumentals and composed her first rap songs.
In 2015, Waka cofounded with Paulo Higgins the ONG Baham Arts, that celebrates female, queer and racialized artists through festivals and different events. Their latest project: taking over the Eden Café, a famous lesbian bar in Marseille, to make it a cultural and safe space for LGBTQIA+ people, particularly, trans, queer, racialized people and lesbians (click here to see their crowdfunding campaign.)
Concerned about creating her own narrative as a Black, lesbian, feminist and queer woman, the artist told us about her ambivalent relationship to writing, her admiration for American gay rapper Lil’ Nas X and trans Cameroonian influencer Shakiro and the importance of role models.