Photo by Kadeem Ellis
Police brutality has become a central topic among performers to highlight and unpack in their music. Some tackle the subject with personal histories or bring focus to the lives lost to police brutality and institutionalized racism. Toronto's TiKA is not one to shy away from this heavy but important subject. The R&B singer's new single "All Day, All Night" explores over rippling, fluid beats how police brutality affects Black womxn not only as members of Black communities but also as daughters of the Black men and womxn who have been senselessly killed by this violence. TiKA cites Eric Garner's daughter, Erica Garner, as inspiration for the track, saying that Garner still keeps fighting, having nothing to lose because she ostensibly lost it all, but she is still here, still resilient as TiKA repeatedly sings, "I'm free." The phrase not only serves as a mantra, but as an intention; a reminder of the freedoms in which Black people deserve.
"How do you continue to navigate the world after watching your father being brutally murdered on TV like a minstrel show? You speak, yell, cry, scream, react, wake up, emote," TiKA told Noisey. "The complexities, layers and weight of the Black Womxn experience and the pain of my own trauma are oftentimes too heavy for me to even articulate in words. She inspired me to find them. Erica found purpose through her pain and she inspired me to seek out purpose in mine. A Sista once told me that it isn't always about me. I quote the late Nina Simone who once said, 'You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.' I hope I can always do that through my art and that this story inspires other Black Artists to use their voices wisely and with intention. Black Lives Matter. Always."
Listen to the track below:
Sarah MacDonald is a staff writer at Noisey Canada. Follow her on Twitter.